WOODBURY — Facing a stiff test in its Suburban East Conference opener, the Stillwater girls’ basketball team fell to East Ridge 53-37 on Tuesday.
The undefeated Raptors (1-0 SEC, 6-0), whose average margin of victory is more than 19 points per game, jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead and Stillwater wasn’t able to make a serious charge in the second half.
“We had our chances” Stillwater coach Gerard Coury said. “We had four great possessions to start the second and only converted on one of them. We made three defensive stops so we had a chance to cut it down to five, but missed shots — lay-ups and open jumpshots.”
Hannah Pignato did much of the damage for the Raptors, leading all scorers with 16 points.
“They run their stuff really well, but we never did anything to disrupt them,” Coury said. “We didn’t have good enough ball pressure and, overall, it was disappointing for us.”
Paige Becker, Annie Lauber and Rilee Day each finished with seven points to lead the Ponies (0-1, 2-3), who were also outscored 9-4 at the free throw line.
The Ponies committed 13 turnovers in the first half and many of those came in the halfcourt, not necessarily due to pressure from the Raptors.
“A lot of self-inflicted wounds, basic stuff,” Coury said. “That’s our biggest issue, a lot of bad turnovers and not have any ball toughness. What makes it hard is when you’re not shooting well and turning it over, it’s hard to win games.
“We just have to be tougher. I thought we were lacking overall toughness, and for us to be successful we have to do all those little things and our uniforms didn’t get dirty. If this program is going to be successful, we need to get back to who we are and that’s just overall being tough.”
Stillwater 19 18 — 37
East Ridge 30 23 — 53
Stillwater (pts): Annie Lauber 7, Natalie Johnson 6, Morgan Tschumperlin 2, Rilee Day 7, Haley Balzart 3, Meg Pepera 5 and Paige Becker 7.
East Ridge: Amanda Robinson 8, Courtney Keefe 4, Brianna Walker 6, Ellen Wiggins 2, Hannah Pignato 16, Jamie Swanson 10, Megan Amend 3 and Hannah Bloomquist 4.
3-pointers: St, 3; ER, 4.
Free throws: St, 4-5; ER, 9-12.