BONNE TERRE – The Ste. Genevieve girls basketball team held North County scoreless for more than five minutes to start the fourth quarter and reclaim a late lead on Monday night.
The Dragons generated an 8-0 run during the stint, and closed out their conference finale on a 14-4 stretch for a 42-35 victory. With the win, they finish third in the MAAA Large-School division.
Jennifer Humbolt provided a spark by crashing the glass for Ste. Genevieve (12-5, 3-2), and recaptured a 32-31 lead within the first minute of the fourth period on a putback through heavy traffic. She finished with a team-high 18 points plus eight rebounds and six steals.
Kayleigh Winch, who provided a daunting presence inside for North County (10-9, 2-3), received her fourth foul on the opening possession of the final quarter. She paced all players with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Michaela Mason snapped the five-minute cold spell for the Lady Raiders with a layup through contact, and brought the deficit within 36-33.
But the Dragons staunchly defended the post, and often earned free throws to finish out the contest.
Ste. Genevieve converted 18-of-23 attempts from the line, while North County went 2-of-9.
Avery Reed tallied the first four points for Ste. Genevieve on consecutive finishes at the rim, and a four-point play by Matti Helms widened the lead to 8-3 just 2:15 into the game.
Reed finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds her fourth-straight double double, while Helms posted eight points in the win.
Winch produced eight points, six rebounds and three blocks during the first quarter to help the Lady Raiders gain a 9-8 advantage after scoring on three consecutive fast-break opportunities.
Humbolt carried the Dragons through the second quarter by notching all 10 of their points. She achieved a 19-18 lead on a layup with 3:30 on the clock, and later sank a pair from the stripe for a 21-20 halftime edge.
Winch reemerged in the third quarter to post five points and a block within the first two minutes. The Lady Raiders displayed lockdown interior defense, and moved back ahead 29-27 with three minutes remaining on a floater by Ella Gant, who recorded eight points.
Humbolt split a pair of free throws to bring the Dragons within 31-28 heading into the final quarter.
Maci Reynolds frequently attacked the basket for Ste. Genevieve, but was only awarded two trips to the line.
Both teams will learn their respective seeds for the MAAA Tournament on Wednesday.