Chambers carries St. Frances, 63-37

December 16, 1993|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

Anyone who has seen St. Frances junior Melba Chambers play knows that she can score.

Yesterday, she showed that she also can do a lot more.

Chambers, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward, scored a game-high 29 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and had five steals and two blocked shots in leading the fifth-ranked Panthers to a 63-37 victory over No. 15 Seton Keough in a Catholic League game at Loyola College.

"Melba's defensive intensity and rebounding are the two biggest improvements in her game this year," said St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton. "Her ability to rebound and get out in the open court with the ball creates a lot of scoring opportunities for the team."

Shelton also noticed that Chambers is quietly assuming a

leadership role. Whenever Seton Keough made an attempt to get back in the game, Chambers stepped up.

"She's taking control," he said. "She's showing leadership, especially at crucial times. We didn't get that last year."

Junior twins Kortni and Kristi Webb added 11 points apiece for the Panthers. Kortni, a 6-1 transfer from IND, also blocked five shots.

St. Frances (4-1, 1-0) took advantage of its edge in quickness and athleticism from the onset. In the first half, the Panthers' full-court pressure forced the Gators (3-2, 1-1) into 19 turnovers and 6-for-31 shooting.

After Seton Keough scored the game's first two points to take its only lead, St. Frances scored 14 of the next 16 and led by at least 10 the rest of the way.

"Our defensive effort was good," Shelton said. "That's the biggest thing we had to work on this year. We concentrate on our full-court press so we can get our fast break going. We did a great job collapsing on the ball and forcing turnovers."

Shelton said he had anticipated a tighter game. Seton Keough opened with a 41-35 victory over No. 19 McDonogh and gave No. 4 Mount Hebron a scare in a 53-44 loss.

There would be no upset this time, however.

"We weren't ready to play," Seton Keough coach Mike Mohler said. "Our execution was horrible. Our passing was atrocious. It looked like the first day of practice.

"St. Frances didn't do anything we didn't expect them to do. We just didn't see the floor well. We were always two seconds late making a pass and turning it over. They'd end up getting a layup instead of us."

Seton Keough appeared to be making a move early in the fourth quarter when it scored five straight to pull within 48-35.

But in trying to further reduce the deficit, the Gators began shooting -- and missing -- from three-point range, allowing St. Frances to score easy baskets off the fast break.

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