FORT WAYNE – Coming off a three-day layoff from almost all basketball activities, the Bishop Luers girls basketball team entered the SAC tournament in the midst of a winter snowstorm.
But the Knights shook off the rust and the snowflakes to pull out a 55-45 first-round SAC tournament win over Bishop Dwenger on Wednesday at Wayne.
I didnt know what to expect, Luers coach Denny Renier said. We had three days off where we didnt shoot, although we shot around a little (Wednesday). We were a little rusty, I could tell that. Overall, we did fine.
(The Saints) are not a great team, but they are a solid team. We are not a great team either. We are just a team trying to find its way.
Fourth-seeded Luers will play top-seeded South Side at 3 p.m. today in the SAC tournament semifinals.
Luers (5-7) got 13 points and 10 rebounds from Addie Reimbold, 12 from Erin Butler and 10 from Allison Butler.
A steady snowfall began just as the tournament began Wednesday morning, producing less than ideal driving conditions.
The first day of the tournament was played under a cloud of possible postponement. It was the same, though, for all eight schools involved.
It is hard because we have been off for Christmas, and everybody still has the mindset for the holidays, Reimbold said. We knew this was a big game, and we wanted another shot at South Side (which beat Luers 41-39 in last years SAC title game). We had to get this one to get there.
Once we get in here, we know it is game time, and we need to focus. We all know everybody else is dealing with the same distractions.
The Knights beat the fifth-seeded Saints 57-37 on Nov. 20.
We played them a couple of weeks ago, and we knew what they were capable of, Reimbold said. We knew we had to shut down Ally Christman and Alyssa (Gibson) because they are a couple of their key players.
Christman led Dwenger (5-6) with 16 points, while Gibson added 10, eight in the first quarter.
Christman is such a tough player, Renier said. They are just going to her the whole time in the second half.
Luers led 41-25 in the third quarter before Dwenger trimmed the margin to six, at 46-40, early in the fourth. The Saints would not get any further.
We lost some patience when we had a lead, Renier said. They werent bad shots, but we have to understand when we do have a lead we need to preserve it and take the clock down some.
A young Knights team committed only 11 turnovers, while forcing 20 Saints miscues.
After giving up 17 points in the third, Luers allowed only seven in the fourth to secure the win.
The SAC tournament is sponsored by SportONE.