Erika Moenter of St. John's battles with Leah Harshman of Parkway in Thusday's contest. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Erika Moenter of St. John's battles with Leah Harshman of Parkway in Thusday's contest. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)

ROCKFORD — It’s an old basketball adage that defense travels; i.e. while a team’s shooting often goes cold in road games, its defense should be consistent regardless of the location of the game. That held true in Thursday night’s Delphos St. Johns/Parkway game, won by the Lady Blue Jays 53-27. St. John’s finishes its MAC season at 5-4 and is now 13-6 overall. Parkway is 0-8 and 3-16.

The Jays had to work extra hard to penetrate the Panthers’ active 2-3 zone and shot only 36 percent (17 of 47), the same percentage as Parkway (12 for 33). However, St. John’s pressured the Panther guards hard, forcing 22 turnovers (the Jays had only 6), resulting in 14 more field goal attempts, several of which came in transition.

St. John’s had to resort to frequent long shots, canning 5 of 22 (23 percent) from behind the arc, while Parkway only shot three from long distance, missing them all. The visitors also went to the line a lot more — 14 of 18 (78 percent) to Parkway’s 3 of 5 (60 percent). The Panthers won the boards 24-19.

The third quarter was the game-breaker. Parkway was still within striking distance, 25-15, at halftime, but the next seven minutes were a disaster for the home team. The Jays scored 15 straight points before Panther sophomore Clara Hellwarth muscled in a layup at 0:39 to make it 40-17 after three.

Parkway had a good offensive fourth quarter — 5 of 8 from the field and only three turnovers — but Delphos won that quarter as well, 13-10.

The Blue Jays started the game with an 11-2 spurt and were up 16-4 with 3:08 left in the first quarter. However, the feisty Panthers got a free throw from junior Leah Harshman, a strong layup by senior Allie Ford, and a put-back from Ford to get within 16-9 after one.

The margin varied between six and 10 during the second period, with the Blue Jays taking a 25-15 lead at the break. Neither team shot it well during those 16 minutes, but turnovers (10 by Parkway, 3 by St. John’s) and free throws (7 hits by the Jays, 3 by the Panthers) made the difference.

Thirteen Blue Jays — eight sophomores, two seniors, and three juniors) played in the game, and eight of them scored, led by senior Betty Vorst, sophomore Melanie Koenig, senior Taylor Zuber, and sophomore Paige Gaynier with 12, 12, 9, and 7.

Parkway played ten — five juniors, two seniors, two sophomores, one freshman — and seven scored. None were in double figures. Hellwarth, a sub, led with 6.

Parkway won the jayvee game 31-26. The Panthers were led in scoring by junior Kris Kirby and freshman Elise Darrigan with 7 apiece. Junior Abby Hensley and sophomore Elly Wrasman had 8 each for the Jays.

Delphos St. John’s (53)

Melanie Koenig 12, Paige Gaynier 7, Taylor Zuber 9, Hannah Will 6, Betty Vorst 12, Abby Hensley 0, Rylee Pohlman 0, Erika Moenter 0, Cassidy Werts 0, Abby Buettner 0, Elly Wrasman 2, Brianna Altenburger 2, Aubrie Friemoth 3.

Parkway (27)

Stephanie Schaaf 0, Shaelyn Thomas 2, Rachel Barrett 2, Leah Harshman 5, Claire Eichler 4, Kris Kirby 0, Kelsey Nichols 0, Clara Hellwarth 6, Elise Darrigan 4, Allie Ford 4.

3-point shooting: DSJ 5/22 (Zuber 3, Gaynier, Friemoth), PW 0/3. Rebounds: DSJ 19, PW 24. Fouls: DSJ 6, PW 13. Turnovers: DSJ 6, PW 22. Jayvee score: PW 31-26.