Lipton brews up easy St. Mary's victory Saints top Southern-AA, 68-43, behind her 32 points

Girls basketball

December 12, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Shortly after watching visiting St. Mary's come away with a comfortable 68-43 win over Southern-AA last night in Harwood, a fan asked Saints standout point guard Emily Lipton a simple question: "Are you a senior?"

When Lipton replied she was only a junior, he shook his head in amazement. "Great game," he said.

In an early-season contest filled with turnovers and missed shots from both sides, Lipton was in playoff form, scoring 32 points and leading a strong defensive effort that overwhelmed the Bulldogs.

St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson, whose third-ranked Saints improved to 3-2, is still looking for answers with the Catholic League opener set for Wednesday.

"We've played poorly all year and are still playing poorly. Thanks goodness, Emily Lipton showed up tonight," he said. "Too many turnovers, too many missed layups, too many [missed] free throws. But we'll be ready by next Wednesday when Catholic League play begins."

Dobson didn't mention any problems with his pressure defense, which forced 35 turnovers and played big in the Bulldogs' (1-1) shooting 21 percent from the field. Lipton, last year's Metro Player of the Year, was in the middle of all the havoc, turning turnovers into St. Mary's points.

"That's our game plan," she said. "Mr. Dobson runs us hard in practice so when the fourth quarter comes, it's our game. I just try to make things happen, create and get everyone involved."

The Bulldogs (1-1) did all they could to stay with St. Mary's, but every possession was a chore simply to get the ball up the floor.

Three first-half runs helped the Saints take a 38-22 halftime break. Lipton had 12 of the points and four steals.

The Bulldogs did have their moments, leaving coach Linda Kilpatrick pleased with the effort. Senior center Tameka Graves led with 15 points and 20 rebounds, while Jessica Downes added 12 points.

Kilpatrick, whose Bulldogs reached the Class 2A state final last season, welcomed the tough early-season test.

"With the open playoff format, it's not going to do anything but help us," she said. "We got a lot of good shots, although we only shot 21 percent. To get those shots against a good team is a positive. We also got some steals, and that looked good. St. Mary's is an outstanding team, and they can go as many deep on their bench as they have."

Ten different players scored for St. Mary's, with junior guard Maria Smear finishing with seven and junior Terri Daniels adding six.

Pub Date: 12/12/97

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