PHOENIX, Ariz. - The St. Francis basketball team fell to Thunder Basin (Wyo.) 65-57 on the second day of the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix at KROC Center. The Troubadours mounted a fourth-quarter comeback after being down 20 points in the second half to pull within two possessions three times.
"The key to getting back in the game was reminding each other we have each other's backs," said senior Megan Austin. "We did everything we could to get back and win the game. In the end we had a lot of things that did not go our way but we kept our minds straight and our composure."
Senior Lauren Pank scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter as the team got back within six points in the final minutes. But Thunder Basin answered with key baskets down the stretch to pull away at the end.
The Bolts, who hail from Gillette, Wyo., led 16-11 as Austin, Nika Bagatelos and Mia Fleming-Mullins had early baskets in the first quarter. Thunder Basin built the advantage in the second, holding the Troubadours to just two field goals. Ally Gage and Mackenzie Le added seven points at the line to keep the team in the game.
Bagatelos scored six of her game-high 10 points in the third as the Troubies started to find their offensive flow and some defensive stops. In the fourth Keitges hit a three to go with Pank's three triples and Fleming-Mullins had five points but the team was unable to complete the comeback.
"We need to keep reminding each other that we are a team and there is no "I" in team," said Austin. "We are a family and need to keep working together."
Gage finished with eight points, while Austin contributed seven with Keitges adding six in the loss.
The Troubadours opened the tournament on Wednesday with a 58-33 loss to The Village School from Texas. Fleming-Mullins led the team with 14 points.
St. Francis (4-5) will play Basha High School at 1 p.m. at Mesquite High School on Friday. Basha lost to Red Mountain 43-31 on Thursday. The game can be seen on Baller.tv.
The Village School 58, St. Francis 33
SF – Fleming-Mullins 14, Bagatelos 6, Gage 4, Lee 3, Pank 2, Austin 2, Lopez 2, Le 2.
Thunder Basin (Wyo.) 65, St. Francis 57
SF – Bagatelos 10, Pank 9, Fleming-Mullins 9, Gage 8, Austin 7, Keitges 6, Le 4, Lopez 2, Lee 1.