For Lady Crusaders, It's Season's Greetings

By Lyons, Joe | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

For Lady Crusaders, It's Season's Greetings


Lyons, Joe, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


There's something about January that seems to agree with the St. Dominic High girls basketball team.

The Lady Crusaders won the Elsberry Tournament for the third consecutive year Saturday, beating Clopton 69-36 in the title game.

St. Dominic (10-4) has won nine consecutive games and is the St. Charles Post Team of the Week. "We're very proud of the way we've played at Elsberry and we're especially proud of this team," Lady Crusaders coach Dennis Fischer said. "After graduating some outstanding seniors and losing a couple of other kids to other sports, we really weren't sure how quickly this team would come together. "But this is a very special group of athletes. These girls have worked extremely hard and there's a tremendous sense of team unity. We're playing hard, we're playing as a team and we're having a lot of fun. "Even in the games we've lost, we've been an enjoyable team to watch." The Lady Crusaders finished 19-9 a year ago. But that team was paced by fourth-year starters Samantha Grashoff, Beth Vorwerk and Laurie Poepsel. In addition, two other key players, Kristi Bredbenner and Jenny Terbrock, decided to pass up basketball to concentrate on softball and soccer, respectively. "Sam, Beth and Laurie did a lot to help us turn this program around; we went from 13-12 in their sophomore seasons to 17-9 and finally 19-9 last year," Fischer said. "But we knew that we had some solid players coming back and a number of talented kids coming from the JV. These girls were 17-5 on the JV level last year; in our tournament, they beat Rockwood Summit, lost by 11 to Lindbergh and gave us a heckuva game in a one-point loss. "We were excited about this team's talent, but we weren't sure how quickly we'd be able to bring it together." St. Dominic started slowly, losing to area powers St. Joseph's Academy (62-31), Duchesne (50-31), Francis Howell (42-38) and Troy Buchanan (63-37) while beating Wentzville (55-25). "We knew that our schedule was loaded early, but that's by design," Fischer said. "We like to face some top teams early and then play teams that are more our size in the middle of the season. Then we finish off with more of the bigger schools - Jefferson City, Notre Dame, St. Charles West and Borgia - to hopefully prepare us for the playoffs. "But I have to be careful. Last year, after beating Clopton at Elsberry, they came back to beat us in the championship game at Bowling Green and one of their fans asked me if they'd given us enough competition. I have a great deal of respect for the programs in that area and they play some very good basketball in places like Clopton and Bowling Green." The Lady Crusaders are competing this week in the Bowling Green Tournament. Seeded third behind the host school and Elsberry, St. Dominic was to face Silex in first-round action Tuesday. In the Elsberry Tournament last week, the Lady Crusaders rolled past Louisiana 97-27 in the first round and then knocked off Winfield 52-37 in the semifinals. "The Louisiana game was a real mismatch; our level of talent was too much for them," Fischer said. "We beat Winfield 39-25 earlier in the season, so we felt real good about the way we played last week. …

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