Seabury girls basketball overcomes turnovers to defeat crosstown rival Veritas 40-13

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Seabury guard Oona Nelson (22) looks to take the ball from Veritas forward Hannah Borger (40). Seabury defeated Veritas 40-13 on Friday, Jan. 17.

There are two aspects that Bishop Seabury and Veritas girls basketball shared Friday night: youth and turnovers. Ultimately, the Seahawks (3-2) found enough of an edge and offensive rhythm to outlast the Eagles (0-5) 40-13 Friday.

“We played together and we responded well,” Bishop Seabury coach Ryan Gutierrez said. “I challenged the girls and they responded. We came out with our hair on fire tonight.”

For Veritas, this is the first season with a varsity team in three seasons, meaning every day is a significant learning experience for the Eagles.

“So they’re very young, very inexperienced and trying to build a team,” Veritas coach Lori Alvarado said. “And here’s what I would say — they play hard and we’re building our skills and in a couple years I think they’ll be very, very competitive.”

While Bishop Seabury ultimately lost the turnover battle (29 for the Seahawks and 28 for the Eagles), the Seahawks did tie their season-high point total. Gutierrez said his young guards got “sped up,” and Veritas is still learning ball security under duress.

“I think we tried to rush things too much, tried to push things too hard sometimes and just didn’t take good care of the ball,” Alvarado said. “And that is something we’ll be working on when we see Seabury in a few weeks.”

Another strong point for Bishop Seabury was the play of freshmen guards Reagan Thayer (12 points) and Oona Nelson (14 points).

“Yeah Oona and Reagan have been the spark of our team to this point,” Gutierrez said. “They bring the fire, so it was good to have them out there.”

BSA managed to get on the board first with an early layup from Thayer and a free throw to take an early 3-0 lead. However, both teams went into a lengthy scoring drought as both teams struggled to find offensive rhythm.

With just over two minutes left in the first quarter, sophomore forward Hannah Motsinger got a layup to go. That helped spark a BSA run to give the Seahawks a 9-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Still, though, there were a combined 18 turnovers and 9 points, meaning both BSA and VCS had plenty of work to do.

The Seahawks looked to turn the page in the second quarter as Thayer got a layup to go out of an inbounds play to start the quarter. Veritas also finally found some offense as guard Corissa Bandel hit a free throw and later scored the Eagles’ first field goal of the game.

And while the turnovers continued to come from both teams to finish the first half — 18 for Bishop Seabury and 21 for Veritas — Seabury still remained in full control. Thayer and Nelson continued to provide chances for the Seahawks, with Thayer scoring a team-high 9 points in the first half.

BSA led 21-5 at halftime, and the Seahawks were looking to build off that momentum into the second half.

The third quarter was the cleanest quarter turnover-wise, with Nelson finally getting a couple of shots to fall for Bishop Seabury and the Seahawks switching to a zone defense. Sophomore guard Katie Eckert also hit her first shot of the game — a 15-footer right before the buzzer.

The Seahawks switched to zone midway through the quarter, partly because of experience in that set but also to save Nelson who was in foul trouble.

“We’re comfortable in the zone,” Gutierrez said. “We’re limited on numbers, so it definitely helps when we go to the zone and we’re able to control the rhythm of the other team.”

With those limited numbers, it’s impossible for the Seahawks to even scrimmage at practice. However, Gutierrez prides himself in his players’ conditioning, which played a major factor on Friday.

“We’re used to running and getting up and down (the court),” Gutierrez said.

On the other side, Veritas created more chances. And while those didn’t end up in much points-wise, guard Lydia Alvarado had better control of the offense.

“She’s just started that position in the last two or three games, so she’s just getting her feet under her for that position,” Lori Alvarado said. “I’m working with her to help her see the court (better) and push the ball. I’m really glad that she put up shots and went up against them in the second half.”

Bishop Seabury held a 30-7 advantage at the end of the third quarter, and by that point had enough momentum to hold on for the win. Nelson added 6 points in the fourth quarter for the Seahawks, and Lydia Alvarado got on the board with a couple of baskets of her own.

The win moves Bishop Seabury to a winning record, which is a big milestone for the Seahawks’ program.

“We haven’t experienced that to this point in the last couple years, so it’s definitely boosted our confidence,” Gutierrez said. “The girls are excited.”

Bishop Seabury will next play Tuesday at a tournament in McLouth, and Veritas will travel to Canton on Tuesday for the Bennington Round Robin.

Seabury (40)

Oona Nelson 5-12 4-8 14, Reagan Thayer 5-21 2-9 12, Sofia Gonzalez 3-6 0-2 6, Anna Johnson 2-7 0-1 4, Hannah Motsinger 1-6 0-2 2, Riley Bird 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 17-59 6-20 40.

Veritas (13)

Corissa Bandel 2-9 1-6 5, Lydia Alvarado 2-16 0-2 4, Satchel Koch 1-12 0-4 2, Zoey Hansen 1-5 0-0 2, Hannah Borger 0-3 0-0 0, Rebekah Ballast 0-2 0-0 0, Megan Malm 0-1 0-0 0, Anna Houk 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 6-49 1-12 13.

Seabury 9 12 9 10 — 40

Veritas 0 5 2 6 — 13

3-point field goals: Seabury 0-4; Veritas 0-5. Turnovers: Seabury 29, Veritas 28.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.