Coming off clinching the conference championship on Monday, the Festus varsity girls basketball team had no answers for the Visitation Academy Vivettes on Wednesday at home. The visitors from St. Louis hit shots, forced turnovers, and played a stifling man-to-man defense as they downed the Tigers 65-39. The loss stopped a three-game winning streak for Festus, as they lost for the first time at home since December 18.
Visitation pressed down on the gas pedal from the opening tip and never let up. The Vivettes raced out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers weren’t able to get on the board until there was 2:03 left when Jenna Oetting (11) hit a ten-foot jumper to make the score 10-2. The Tigers actually finished the quarter strong, scoring five more points and finding themselves down only 12-7 after the first eight minutes.
But the second quarter doomed the Tigers. Visitation played an aggressive man-to-man defense with an emphasis on denying pass attempts. The Tigers never found their rhythm and had problems running their offense. The Vivettes opened up a 32-15 halftime lead, and the Tigers would never get closer in the second half.
Visitation has won nine straight games and stand at 14-7 on the season. They shot 54 percent from the field, out-rebounded the Tigers 32-17, and forced 22 turnovers.
Abby Rickermann (10) led Festus with 11 points. Oetting added nine points, while Maddie Welsh (11) and Bria Garmon (10) chipped in with eight and seven points respectively. Jess Hebenstreit (9) closed out the scoring with four points.
Festus is now 11-9 on the season and will be off until Monday when the team hosts the North County Raiders. Tip off is at 7 p.m. and will be the final home game of the season.