If Mater Dei senior Lindsey Perkes has heard it once, shes heard it 100 times during the last four years when youre hot, shoot the basketball.
Perkes nailed consecutive 3-point shots and Olivia Theising added a 3-point basket to highlight a 14-0 scoring run to open the second half on Saturday as Mater Dei went on for a 45-39 win over Highland.
The victory improves Mater Dei to 9-6 for the season and it was the 498th career coaching win for veteran coach David Kohnen.
Highland fell to 9-6. The Bulldogs got a combined 13 points from Amanda Ponce and Olivia LaPorta, led 23-20 at halftime .
But when junior forward Lauren Donnewald scored on a conventional 3-point play to open the third quarter, Mater Dei was off and running, especially when Perkes followed with 3-point baskets from almost the identical spot on the floor.
When Lindsey hits a couple, is open and gets in a streak, we want her to shoot the basketball, Kohnen said. Obviously when you are able to get on that run like we did today against a good basketball team its big.
This is a big win for us. Everybody wants to beat Mater Dei.
Theising followed with her 3-point basket to increase the Mater Dei lead to 32-23. Avoynna Kampwerth completed the 3-point run with an offensive rebound and basket before Highland junior Olivia LaPorta scored to end the streak. Down by 11, Highland chipped away. A basket by junior Emily Vonder Haar cut the deficit to 38-37 with under four minutes left, but Donnewald and Kampwerth made two free throws each to all but seal the Knights win in a battle of metro-east area Class 3A powers.
LaPorta paced Highland with 12 points. But a week after beating both Belleville East and Carbondale to earn fifth place at the Mascoutah Girls Invitational, the Bulldogs simply couldnt find their shooting touch.
Its pretty simple really. We didnt hit shots. We had open looks that we just didnt make. Plus, we talk all the time about finishing strong. We didnt finish strong today, Bulldogs coach Mike Arbuthnot said. But the difference in the game was the way we started the first and third quarters. They (Mater Dei) got out on us 7-0 in the first quarter and they had a 14-0 run to start the half. I guess we were sleepwalking.
Trailing 7-0 and 11-4 early Highland dominated the final 10 minutes of the first half. Ponce scored five points and Vonder Haar added a 3-point basket and a pair of free throws as Highland outscored Mater Dei 17-9 during the second period and took a 23-20 lead.
Highland which finished with just six turnovers also forced Mater Dei into some mistakes in the second quarter. Mater Dei committed five of its 11 turnovers in the period.
We didnt do a very good job of handling the basketball in the second quarter, Kohnen said. At halftime I asked the girls if there was a cute boy sitting in the one corner of the gym. There was one time in the second quarter where we had three passes go out of bounds. They were all in the same corner and each one was thrown further out then the last one.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or