By STEPHEN GLOVER
For the Call
When the Mehlville girls’ basketball team won the district tournament last season, some claimed the Panthers didn’t truly earn the title because Cor Jesu was upset in their semifinal game against Seckman.
To silence all the critics, the Panthers handed Cor Jesu a 53-31 pounding in the district championship game at Seckman last Friday.
“We thumped them (Cor Jesu),” an excited Ed Feibig told the Call. “They didn’t know what hit them.”
The Panthers had a slim 18-12 advantage at halftime. But a 35-point outburst in the second half gave the Panthers a sizable lead en route to a lopsided win.
The Angels tried to disrupt the Mehlville offense with a full-court press, but the Panthers ran over it.
“They (Cor Jesu) came out and pressed us, but you’ve got to be really good at it or we have to be having a bad day to lose,” Feibig said.
Mehlville shot 47 percent from the field, including a 5-for-10 performance from behind the arc, while holding Cor Jesu to just 28 percent shooting.
Panther Michelle Senf led all scorers with 13 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and two assists. The junior forward averages 14.2 points and 11 rebounds a game this season. Senf also had been suffering from back spasms during the Lindbergh game but appeared to be in good health during the Cor Jesu match.
“Michelle’s points were kind of quiet points,” Feibig explained. “She made some rebounds that I just couldn’t believe. I guess her back wasn’t bothering her too much in that game.”
Mehlville’s Alyse Gordon added 11 points with four rebounds and three assists. The sophomore guard averages 9.7 points and 5.4 rebounds a game while leading the team in assists with 49.
“Her defense is just outstanding right now,” Feibig said. “I think that the game has slowed down to where she can see the whole floor and can anticipate where to go.”
Alyse’s sister Kayla Gordon also scored 11 points for the Panthers along with four assists and two rebounds. The sophomore guard is averaging 8.9 points and 3.7 re-bounds a game this season.
“Kayla’s had a rough going in the last couple of weeks,” Feibig said. “She’s starting to come back again and has picked up her defense.”
The Panthers will face a solid Nerinx Hall squad that disposed of St. Joseph’s Academy 52-49 last Saturday.
The Markers (20-8) are led by Casey Kraft. The senior guard is having a great season averaging 16.7 points and 7.1 rebounds a game this season.
“They (Nerinx Hall) are really good,” Feibig said. “They’re big, strong, fast and can shoot the ball pretty good. They’ve got a nice press and that’s something that we’re going to have to handle.”
Mehlville’s sectional championship game against Nerinx Hall tips off at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 at St. Louis Community College Meramec.