The St. Catharine Lady Patriots (1-4, 0-1 MSC) tipped off their conference season when the Pikeville Bears (1-3, 1-0 MSC) invaded Lourdes Hall.
The Lady Patriots came into Thursday night’s opener with a 6-4 record against the UPIKE Bears in their last 10 meetings, with the last five wins belonging to the Patriots. Even better for the Patriots, Kourtney Belcher (Hustonville, Ky.) would be returning to the line-up after missing the last contest against Wilberforce. Belcher wasted no time making the most of her return; with the Bears and Patriots trading blows, Belcher pinned a Bear defender in the post to go up and in to give the Patriots their largest lead of the night (26-21 4:20 first half). After two three point field goals the Bears took a two point advantage to the half, leading 26-28.
In the second half missed opportunities plagued the Patriots as the Bears tore off a 13-0 run with only 10 minutes remaining in the contest. During that stretch the Patriots turned the ball over four times, while going 0-4 from the field. However, the Patriots never let up as they put together a 10-0 of their own, cutting the lead to 10 with two minutes remaining in the contest. With a game high 11 assists from Heather Sandlin (Florence, Ky.) and 13 points from Machera Calhoun (Fort Meyers, Fla.) the Patriots stayed within striking distance. With the clock vanishing quickly, the Patriots couldn’t overcome the 47 points from the Bears bench falling 86-72.
The Lady Patriots will aim to bounce back as they host the Bluefield Rams (3-2, 0-1 MSC) on Saturday in Lourdes Hall at 2 PM.