St. Vincent-St. Mary senior girls basketball player Kiley May is not one to shy away from playing in a big game.
Neither is senior teammate Jordan Korinek.
May and Korinek combined to give St. V-M an outside and inside presence, and proved to be the key in the Fighting Irish’s 60-51 victory Wednesday night over visiting North Royalton.
The Irish and Bears both entered the game with one loss, which May and Korinek both knew. May responded by scoring 21 points, grabbing four rebounds and assisting on three other baskets. The 21 points matches a career-high.
“I just loved the intensity of the game,” May said. “We were playing a really good team. When it gets down to it, I love the environment of intense games.”
Korinek finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
“The way we handled their pressure was key,” Korinek said. “We have been preparing for that all week. I think the way our guards executed around that really helped us throughout the game.”
The Irish (16-1) never trailed the Bears (14-2) Wednesday, but the lead never got too large and the outcome was not decided until late in the fourth quarter.
St. V-M led 17-13 after one quarter, 31-23 at halftime and 44-34 after three quarters.
“They are a quality team,” St. V-M coach Joe Jakubick said. “We made a few little mistakes and every time it seemed like it cost us. They would hit a 3 or we would bobble a rebound, but they are a really good team. I think a game like this will prepare you for the tournament. They would make little runs and every time our girls answered them. I am real proud of how our girls weathered the different runs they made.”
North Royalton trimmed its deficit to five points once in the third quarter and to seven points once in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get over the hump.
“We looked at this as a game to get ready for the tournament,” North Royalton coach Steffani Cicerchi said. “We talked about how the past couple of games we have had the target on our backs and basically that wasn’t the case today. We came in today and played like we had nothing to lose.
“Sometimes you can learn more from losing. We lost our second game of the season to Stow when we gave up 25 offensive rebounds. We adjusted very well since then. Tonight, we gave up 16 points in transition, so that will definitely be something we work on the next few games. We are still learning. That is a great team we just played.”
Senior Shannon Jack also played efficiently for the Irish and totaled 13 points, five steals, four assists and four rebounds. Senior Cassie Jakubick, sophomore Lexie Handley and senior Alexis Taylor combined to account for St. V-M’s nine other points.
Senior guard Abby Miduri made five 3-point shots for the Bears and finished with 21 points and three steals. Junior Alison Smolinski contributed 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and sophomore Julianne Lebo scored six points.
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.