A Shannon Jack sighting on the bench is rare during a St. Vincent-St. Mary girls basketball game.
Fighting Irish coach Joe Jakubick needs her on the floor, and generally Jack contributes in a multitude of ways as a 5-foot-9 guard.
Jack made her presence felt once again Thursday for St. V-M in a 66-55 win over host Firestone with 25 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals to lead the Irish (8-3).
Imani Scott, a 5-6 senior guard, paced the Falcons (8-5) with a career-high 31 points.
Jack actually subbed out for a couple of minutes Thursday because St. V-M built a double-digit lead. Jack played all 48 minutes of a four-overtime 85-78 win over visiting Mentor Lake Catholic on Dec. 1 and scored 22 points.
“I am a junior,” Jack said. “I think it is my duty and responsibility to be out there leading and helping in every way I can.
“I am used to [playing a lot of minutes]. It is really something I do because they need me to do it. If my team needs me to do it, than I will do it. I don’t mind it at all.”
Amelia Motz, a 5-9 freshman reserve, scored 14 points, and 5-6 junior Kiley May scored 11 points. Both had three assists and three steals.
The Irish also received solid play from 6-0 senior Erica Bratton (six points, five rebounds) and 6-2 junior Jordan Korinek (six points, six rebounds and four blocks).
Jakubick walked away with a win, but not totally pleased with his team’s 25 turnovers.
“Firestone came out and played with I think a lot of energy,” Jakubick said. “They were able to be aggressive. They got to the foul line a lot throughout the game because they were aggressive. I felt we were way too passive and very fortunate to win.”
Firestone led 13-10 after one quarter, but Motz scored 10 of her points in the second quarter to lift St. V-M to a 26-16 halftime lead. Motz was playing in her second game after suffering a broken finger on her left hand in the season opener against Solon.
“It felt good playing with my team again,” Motz said. “I missed being out there and playing with my teammates.”
Scott, who had three assists, scored 17 points in the third quarter, but St. V-M led 48-38 going into the fourth.
“If we play like this the rest of the season, we will win all of our games,” said Scott, whose previous career high was 27 points. “We played with intensity.”
The Falcons got no closer than five points in the fourth quarter.
“You hate to say you are still learning in the middle of the season, but we are still trying to find ourselves out there,” Firestone coach Audley McGill said. “It has been a tough road. I know we have won eight games, but we still have got some work to do. We just have to make those layups and foul shots. That killed us.”
Firestone 5-7 senior Brooke Morgan and 5-6 senior Brea Forney each scored eight points. Morgan also had six steals and Forney had five rebounds. Darian Carter, a 5-10 sophomore, chipped in six points and five rebounds.
The Falcons played without injured 6-foot senior Mishae Roper, who McGill hopes can play Jan. 10 against host Kenmore.
“We don’t know, that is the issue,” McGill said. “Her hands and feet are swollen. She has not played in the last five games, and she has been limited in the other games [before that]. When you are taking 14 rebounds and 10 or 11 points out of the lineup, that is tough. We are trying to make up for that.”
Fortunately for St. V-M, it had Jack in uniform.
“Any City game is going to be a big game for us,” Jack said. “To come over here, we knew that they would have a lot of hype and energy. They played hard and played really well. I give them a lot of credit. This is a good win for us. It is better to win kind of ugly, than to lose.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.