J. Carroll powers by Seton Keough Pats force 36 turnovers on way to 57-35 victory

Girls basketball

January 24, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Only two words were needed to explain the huge grin that John Carroll coach Kathleen Shannon couldn't wipe off her face last night -- 36 turnovers.

Kristen Jasper scored 18 points, and Jenn Westervelt added 14 as No. 5-ranked John Carroll played a swarming defense that shut down No. 17 Seton Keough's offense for long stretches.

The Patriots held the Gators scoreless for nearly the whole final ,, quarter and pulled away for a 57-35 Catholic League victory.

The host Patriots bottled up the Seton Keough offense. John Carroll (12-4, 5-2) played tough man-to-man defense, sealed off the lanes, gave good help all around the court, and allowed the Gators nothing.

Seton Keough (7-8, 4-3) needed almost three minutes at the start just to get off a shot. The Gators didn't score a point for 5: 01 in the first quarter. But by that time, John Carroll had taken an 8-0 lead.

But the worst part may have been how John Carroll forced turnovers on nine of Seton Keough's first 11 possessions.

The Gators turned the ball over 10 times in the first quarter and came up with only four shots.

"We worked really hard on defense," said Shannon. "We played team-oriented defense the whole game."

Seton Keough still stayed close.

The Gators crept back and tied the game late in the second quarter before the Patriots took a three-point halftime lead. A jumper by Nikki Brown sliced the John Carroll lead to 32-29 with 4: 55 left in the third quarter.

But the Patriots took off from there. They held the Gators to only two baskets and six points the rest of the way, forcing 16 of the turnovers in that final 12: 55.

John Carroll led, 39-31, after three quarters but broke it open in the fourth. The Patriots, paced by Jasper, Westervelt and Jenny Biscoe (eight points, five steals), scored the first 16 points of the quarter as part of a 23-2 run.

Seton Keough didn't even score in the period until Suzanne Becker sank two free throws with 33 seconds remaining.

"We had intensity throughout the game," said Westervelt. "We just kept it going."

The Patriots got help from several places. Westervelt pitched in with seven rebounds and four steals. Sarah Oktavec scored six points and added five steals. Biscoe ran the offense smoothly.

The Patriots also did a good job of spreading the floor on JTC offense. They often moved 5-foot-11 senior center Westervelt out to the top of the key to open up the lane. John Carroll then used backdoor passes to get easy shots repeatedly.

Seton Keough never got into its offense. John Carroll used a full-court man-to-man most of the game, and it disrupted the Gators on offense. Seton Keough struggled trying to run its offense.

"It was great team defense," said Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg. "They just played harder than we did."

Pub Date: 1/24/98

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