Hot start holds up for SI girls hoops team against rival 

click to enlarge Surveying the scene: St. Ignatius’ Maria Kemiji-McDonald looks over the defense Tuesday. Kemiji-McDonald scored 11 points. - JOSEPH SCHELL/SPECIAL TO THE SF EXAMINER
  • Joseph Schell/Special to The SF Examiner
  • Surveying the scene: St. Ignatius’ Maria Kemiji-McDonald looks over the defense Tuesday. Kemiji-McDonald scored 11 points.

The St. Ignatius girls’ basketball team showed no ill effects from a 19-point loss to Archbishop Mitty on Saturday in a spirited matchup against its archrival on Tuesday.

The Wildcats never trailed against Sacred Heart Cathedral, defeating the Irish 56-44 in West Catholic Athletic League action at USF.

St. Ignatius (11-2, 2-1) scored the last seven points of the first half, providing a 29-13 halftime lead.

Meanwhile, Sacred Heart shot a paltry 18 percent in the first half, and it proved to be too much to overcome.

Sacred Heart (7-7, 2-1) did make a run in the second half and cut the Wildcats’ lead to 48-42 on GeAnna Summers-Luaulu’s layup with 3:48 left in the game, but that was the closest the Irish would get as St. Ignatius scored the next four points to put the game out of reach.

"We knew Sacred Heart would make a run at us, but our seniors led the way at the end and their leadership was the key to maintaining the lead in the second half," St. Ignatius coach Mike Mulkerrins said.

Although Sacred Heart was able to shake the cold shooting in the third quarter and score the first seven points of the second half, it wasn’t enough as St. Ignatius broke the Irish’s full-court pressure, leading to easy buckets.

"We talked at halftime about attacking them and slowing the pace down, and we did that in the third quarter," Sacred Heart coach Mike Carey said. "But that run [St. Ignatius] made in the second quarter was tough to come back from."

Senior Kaitlyn Crawley led St. Ignatius with 12 points, while fellow senior Maria Kemiji-McDonald added 11 points.

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