Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
WARDSVILLE — The Helias Lady Crusaders jumped out to a quick lead against Blair Oaks to start the season, and the Lady Falcons couldn’t claw all the way back, as Helias held on for a 35-19 season-opening win Tuesday night.
“Always nice to get a win to start a season,” Helias coach Doug Light said. “It’s always a good thing for your kids and for the next week and a half you’ve got a good feeling about yourself to build some momentum on.”
Helias scored the first seven points of the game, and Blair Oaks was held scoreless until Kallie Kerperin hit a jumper in the paint with 1:38 remaining in the first quarter.
“It’s just early,” Blair Oaks coach Leroy Bernskoetter said. “Helias is a good team, and if we knock down some shots and don’t turn the ball over as much it’s a whole different game.”
The game got off to a sloppy start for the Lady Falcons, who had nine turnovers to two points in the first quarter. Blair Oaks came out stronger in the second quarter, however, turning the ball over just once and cutting the lead to five at one point before Ashley Rehagen hit a 3-pointer to end a 5:39 Helias drought.
Rehagen, a sophomore, led all scorers on the night with nine points.
Blair Oaks began strong once again in the second half, when Chelsi Emerson converted on an and-1 opportunity and Lauren Viessman put in a layup to cut the Helias lead to 16-13. But the Lady Falcons couldn’t quite close the gap, and the Lady Crusaders finished the third quarter up 25-19.
That was all the scoring Blair Oaks would see on the night. The Lady Falcons went 0-for-4 from the field in the final quarter, and Helias hit its lone fourth-quarter shot from the floor while hitting 8-of-10 free throws.
Helias finished the night shooting 9-of-31 from the floor (29 percent) and 3-of-9 from 3-point range. The Lady Falcons made 5-of-29 shots from the floor and 1-of-15 3-pointers.
Blair Oaks had 21 turnovers to the Lady Crusaders’ 17, and each team had 15 fouls.
Kellie Fredendall led Blair Oaks with six points, and Carli Buschjost and Veronica Wiebold each had team-high four rebounds.
The Lady Falcons (0-1) play Dec. 1 in the Eugene Tournament and Helias (1-0) plays Dec. 6 at the Norm Stewart Challenge at Columbia College.
Helias also won the junior varsity game, 34-20.
Erin Wyrick led the Lady Crusaders with nine points, and Rachel Schulte had seven.
Helias’ junior varsity (1-0) plays Dec. 11 against Fatima, and Blair Oaks (0-1) plays next week in the Eugene Tournament.