EagleHerald/Brian Bell
Alexa Pristelski of STAA goes up for a shot against Sevastopol’s Amber Roalkvan during Tuesday’s game in Marinette.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Alexa Pristelski of STAA goes up for a shot against Sevastopol’s Amber Roalkvan during Tuesday’s game in Marinette.

<
1
2
>

MARINETTE — The St. Thomas Aquinas Academy girls basketball team fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in a 60-36 loss on Tuesday against Sevastopol. 

Fatigue played a factor for the Cavalettes, who only have five players on the roster, but coach Mark Simon was happy with how hard his team played throughout despite having to play the last 10 minutes with four players. 

“We’re kind of in a Catch-22,” Simon said. “In order to compete we have to push the ball, if you push the ball you have to deal with fatigue, if you deal with fatigue you have to deal with fouls and you deal with fouls we might have to end with four.

“We’ve ended with four three or four times this year. But I’m happy with how hard these girls compete; I hope it’s a good life lesson for them. They’re not being coddled, they’re not being babied, they’re not coming out of the game and we’re not slowing down.”

STAA fell behind 11-2 after Sevastopol’s Amber Roalkvan knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, forcing the Cavvies into a timeout. 

Out of the timeout, Grace Brauer hit another Pioneers’ 3-pointer but was answered by Alexa Pristelski’s triple to end a 4-minute scoring drought for STAA.

Pristelski scored the first 14 points for STAA (four 3-pointers) before Halle Beranek made a corner jump-shot to cut the deficit to 32-16, but a Roalkvan 3-point basket and pull-up jumper followed by a Zoe Kuehn layup got the score to 41-16 just before halftime. Pristelski nailed her fifth three of the game for her 17th first-half point at the buzzer to head into halftime trailing 41-19.

“Alexa can shoot the ball,” Simon said. “She’s only going to get better as the season goes on.”

The Cavvies had troubles keeping tabs on Roalkvan as she scored 16 of her team-high 24 points in the first half. Brauer and Kuehn each scored 10 in the first for the Pioneers. 

“We had a good scouting report on them, we knew that Roalkvan could shoot, but we wanted to see for ourselves and she made us pay,” Simon said. “Her and Kuehn were their two scoring threats and Brauer had a good first half as well.”

Sevastopol controlled much of the action in the second half. After a Roalkvan 3-point basket to get the Pioneers lead to 51-25, Lily Lefebvre picked up her fifth and final foul with 10 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the game forcing STAA to play with four players. 

Pristelski scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Cavvies; Beranek had five and Livia Benson added four.

“We’re getting better. We’re trying to teach the game of basketball,” Simon said. “We’re not just trying to be mechanical out there and (the girls) are getting it. We’ll be better in February than we are now, I can guarantee that.”

STAA travels to Suring on Thursday for a Marinette & Oconto Conference matchup.