Old lessons are often the best.
"I learned a long time ago, the object of this game is to stop your opponent from scoring, not necessarily you scoring," Helias coach Doug Light said after Friday night's 65-49 win over the St. Teresa's Academy Stars at Rackers Fieldhouse. "If you get enough stops, you can feed off of that."
The Lady Crusaders got more than enough stops against the Stars in the their second solid effort of the week.
"We really played well together," Light said. "We've been emphasizing playing as a team and it's showing.
"The kids have worked so hard and haven't gotten down on themselves. We've just kept plugging away."
Helias, which limited St. Teresa's to 36-percent shooting (19-of-53) in the game, led by as many as seven points in the opening quarter before taking a 15-12 lead into the second period.
The Lady Crusaders maintained their lead in the second quarter. The Stars cut the deficit to one at 29-28 on a three-point play by Megan Lankford with :45 left in the half. But a layup by Taylor Hagenhoff with :03 remaining gave the Lady Crusaders a three-point lead at the break.
St. Teresa's took its first and only lead of the game with 2:55 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Becca Lueke that made it 38-37. Helias responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead back for good as it was 45-40 heading into the final period.
"(St. Teresa's) has lost a lot of games by just a handful of points," Light said. "We had to remind ourselves to finish it."
Finish it, they did. Helias used a 15-3 run over a four-plus minute span in the fourth quarter to put the game away. The 16-point final margin tied the largest of the contest.
Krista Haslag was strong in the paint and totaled a game-high 19 points for the Lady Crusaders.
"We felt we could get the ball inside tonight," Light said. "A game like this should do wonders for her confidence."
Arielle Chambers added 13 points for Helias, while Olivia Hackmann chipped in with 10.
After several games of 20-plus turnovers, Helias had 10 for the second straight game.
"Ball security, we did a nice job of doing that again," Light said.
Helias (3-7) is back in action this afternoon against Notre Dame de Sion. Game time is 12:30 p.m.
"Anytime you win with as hard as we've been working, it's got to be a great confidence boost," Light said. "I asked them if they were done for the weekend and they said they weren't, they were ready to play again."
Lueke had 12 points to lead St. Teresa's (3-8). Maggie Rellihan added 10 for the Stars, who will play the Jefferson City Lady Jays at 1:30 p.m. today at Lewis and Clark Middle School.