STAB girls keep rolling, beat Covenant

On Tuesday night, the St. Anne’s Belfield girls’ basketball team traveled to Richmond and knocked off previously undefeated Trinity Episcopal in an emotional 62-53 battle.

Taking the court less than 24 hours after an all-out war and playing with the same energy is never an easy task, but that is exactly what long-time STAB head coach Phil Stinnie asked of his team on Wednesday at Covenant.

It took a little longer than Stinnie would have liked, but as soon as the third quarter started, the Saints resembled the team that knocked off one of the state’s best the night before.

STAB, behind double-doubles from both Jovia Winkey and Vanessa Woodfolk, outscored the Eagles 43-12 in the second half to cruise to a road 72-24 victory.

Winkey led the way with 18 points and 10 steals, while shooting a scorching 60 percent from the floor.

It was business as usual for Woodfolk in the low post, who chipped in 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Far and away the tallest player on the court, Woodfolk’s made a living cleaning up the offensive glass for easy put-backs, and even knocked down a triple during the victors’ explosive third quarter.

Sophomore guard Scottie Hull knocked down four triples and scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half, while junior Audrey Antesberger finished with 10 points on the night.

Seven different Saints touched the scoreboard, as STAB picked up right where they left off Tuesday evening in the second half.

“It’s pretty tough because we want them to be locked in mentally, but the emotions of last night’s game were still lingering,” said Stinnie of playing back-to-back nights. “I think they showed some flashes of a good team [in the second half] because they locked in to take care of some stuff.”

St. Anne’s (9-5) led by double digits for the vast majority of the contest, but the visitors did not truly pull away until the third quarter. Thanks to a cold shooting stretch combined with several uncharacteristic turnovers, the Saints managed just two points in the final 5:30 minutes of the first half.

Following an extended halftime speech at the team bench by Stinne however, STAB quickly reestablished its dominance by scoring the first 15 points of the third quarter.

From there, the rout was on.

“The first half was pretty sloppy… we had a lot of turnovers,” Stinnie said. “At halftime I said, ‘Ok, let’s lock in and work on us. Let’s practice on the things that we do and let’s take each possession’, and we really did that in the second half.”

The Eagles (1-11) played tough defense throughout, but could not pull any closer to within 13 once STAB built a big lead in the second quarter. Covenant could never turn those Saint Anne’s turnovers into points or get into a rhythm offensively.

A jumper by Maggie O’Connor finally put the Eagles into double digits midway through the second quarter, but the home team would have to wait several more minutes for its final bucket of the first half. Ella Dalton led Covenant with eight points.

First year Eagle head coach Austin Crocker, who is a STAB alum, felt that his team full of freshmen and sophomores is progressing, but there is still work to be done in the post-Emily Maupin era.

“We really had to start over in a sense,” Crocker noted. “We really had start putting those building blocks into place, and we’re just getting started here. That’s what I try to emphasize with the girls is just to keep getting better each and every day. It’s not going to happen over night, but it’s just getting better one step at a time.”

Covenant will look to rebound against Tandem on Thursday, while the Saints will hit the road for a huge clash at Collegiate on Friday night.