SMITHLAND - It's been a long week for the St. Mary girls basketball team.
Because of snow postponing games, the Lady Vikings made up a major contest against district rival McCracken County on Monday before playing the Lady Mustangs again on Tuesday. Those two matchups left them a little tired heading into Thursday's game at Livingston Central.
The Lady Vikings, however, found enough energy for a 46-39 win against the Lady Cardinals. They outscored Livingston Central 24-17 in the second half.
"We're drained emotionally as well as physically," Lady Vikings coach Staci Averill said. "I told them in the first half we just slid through there. Second half, we came out more energized."
Consider senior Casey Kupper largely responsible for that. She scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half, and fellow senior Alex Durbin added six of her 16.
The Lady Cardinals (9-12) were without junior forward Hannah Leidecker due to a leg injury. Lady Cardinals coach Jim Larson said she's averaged a double-double this season as one of the team's top post players.
In her absence, Lady Cardinals senior center Hailee Lampley produced a game-high 20 points.
The Lady Vikings (13-8) built their lead in the three minutes after halftime, going on a 7-2 run that turned a 22-22 halftime score to 29-24. They led 37-33 going into the third quarter and allowed the Lady Cardinals (9-12) to score just six points in the fourth quarter.
"We just lost a couple people on defensive assignments we had been doing a good job on," Lady Cardinals coach Jim Larson said. "They made a couple of plays right in a row, got a little bit on us. It's hard to stop with Alex and Casey."
He added the Lady Cardinals focused on Durbin and Kupper throughout the first half at the expense of having defenders play off Lady Vikings freshman guard Julianne Keonig. She took advantage of the space to score seven points and grab nine rebounds.
"I've thrown her into the fire," Averill said. "She's really improved over the year. So many people focus on Casey and Alex, that's going to be key down the stretch."
The Lady Vikings' tough week continues when they play host to Crittenden County tonight before traveling to Marshall County on Saturday. After Thursday's game, Averill told them to prepare for the rest of their five-game week.
"I told them to go home and go to bed," she said. "This is where you've got to take care of yourself.
St. Mary 52, Livingston Central 36 - The Vikings are also going through a tough stretch. They're playing six games over eight days - but they faced an easier challenge Thursday night.
Vikings coach Greg Overstreet is happy about that.
"We've played eight straight games that had great magnitude," he said. "We kind of needed a game where we could play our younger guys and get them on the floor. You just never know when you're going to have an injury or somebody go down and not be able to play."
The Vikings (18-8) started slowly, holding a 15-10 lead going into the second quarter, but a 20-6 second quarter allowed them to rest their starters some and use their bench players.
Junior forward Peyton Smith produced a game-high 13 points, and senior guard Patrick Hubert added 12. Senior guard Austin Wright led the Cardinals (5-17) with 11 points.
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St. Mary 10 22 33 46
Livingston Central 10 22 33 39
ST. MARY â “ Koenig 7, Casey Kupper 12, Word 8, Bratton 2, Alex Durbin 16, Thomas 1, Gipson.
Field goals 17. 3-pointers 2 (Word 2). Free throws 10/16. Rebounds 26. Record 13-8.
LIVINGSTON CENTRAL â “ Campbell, Padon 5, Head 9, Barnes 5, Hailey Lampley 20, Williams.
Field goals 17. 3-pointers 2 (Padon, Head). Free throws 3/10. Rebounds 27. Record 9-12.
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St. Mary 10 16 21 36
Livingston Central 15 35 45 52
ST. MARY â “ Dickens 2, Overstreet 5, Patrick Hubert 12, Dome 4, Averill 3, Vaughn, Eggemeyer 5, DeNeve 2, Peyton Smith 13, Hopper 3, A. Hubert 2, Emmons 1.
Field goals 19. 3-pointers 5 (Overstreet, Smith, 2, Hopper, Dome). Free throws 9/18. Record 18-8.
LIVINGSTON CENTRAL â “ Woodward 8, Austin Wright 11, Gilbert 5, Ramage 9, Ray 1, Thomasson 2, Rodgers, Miller.
Field goals 13. 3-pointers 4 (Woodward 2, Gilbert, Ramage). Free throws 6/12. Record 5-17.
Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.