SENECA – Fresh off two breaks in its schedule – one scheduled, one not – Seneca played its first Interstate Eight Conference girls basketball game in 21 days Thursday.
The Lady Irish had a week off after the St. Bede Lady Bruin Christmas Classic before returning to action Saturday with a win at Serena. Their next game against Marquette on Monday was postponed because of weather, as was a practice Tuesday.
The helter-skelter nature of their recent schedule showed no ill effects Thursday, as the host Lady Irish defeated Manteno, 56-22, to improve to 15-3 overall and 6-1 in conference play.
“We had to practice yesterday and [Seneca coach Barb] Beck told us that we had to be on our ‘A’ game, so we all worked really hard and I thought we came out pretty good,” Seneca guard Mallory Misener said.
Seneca led from a Jacey Lamboley’s basket 34 seconds into the game until the finish. Two Jenna Hoffman 3-pointers allowed Manteno to remain within three points midway through the first quarter, but the Irish led 17-8 by its conclusion after holding Manteno to 3-for-17 shooting. Late 3’s from Danielle Hauch and Misener put an exclamation point on a first half, which Seneca lead by 38-14.
“Our main thing was to get it in to our posts and then try to free up some of our outside shots and get the inside-out game,” Lamboley said. “I think we’re starting to do a lot better with that stuff.”
Nine players scored for Seneca, though Misener, with 13 points, was the only one in double figures. Hauch had nine points, Haines had eight, Anna Baker had seven and Paige Hacker had six to lead the charge.
Scoring was not the only area in which the Lady Irish had balance. Eleven Seneca players had at least one rebound, with Haines grabbing a team-high seven, as Seneca totaled 41 to Manteno’s 31.
Seneca got a total of 12 assists from seven different players, led by Lamboley’s four; a total of 15 steals from seven different players, led by Misener’s five; and a total of 11 blocked shots from six different players, led by three each from Lamboley and Anna Baker.
“We talk about getting a good start all the time, so it was nice to see some different people putting the ball in the hole,” Beck said. “They got some good looks because we moved the ball extremely well, I thought.”