Red Storm hoops take down Saints

Saranac Lake’s Ayla Small shoots over St. Regis Falls’ Kendra Richardson during Thursday’s game in Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake girls basketball team opened its season Thursday with a 35-27 home win over the St. Regis Falls Saints.

The Red Storm were strong defensively through much of the contest, holding the Saints to single points in each of the first three quarters. Saranac Lake was also strong on the offensive side, scoring double-digits in three separate quarters.

After a strong first quarter, the Red Storm took a 10-5 lead before their defense held strong in the second to close out the half at 14-10. Saranac Lake then picked up the intensity after intermission and went on a 10-4 third-quarter run.

Trailing by 10 points, the Saints found some life offensively in the fourth quarter and brought the score to within six points, before the Red Storm’s new head coach Jacob Vennie-Vollrath called a timeout.

“We’re a little bit on our heels but we got back into it, and I think that just shows that we play heavy defense,” Vennie-Vollrath said. “The girls take pride in their defense and they are working hard every practice to improve their defense. I think they push each other every practice to get better.”

Following the timeout, Saranac Lake held its ground and scored 11 points to close out the game with the victory.

“They played hard. They came out and they were running end to end,” Vennie-Vollrath said. “All of the girls got some playing time — which is good — and I got to see some great things out of everybody. St. Regis has a great team too. They are solid. They’ve got a great coach. I look forward to watching them the rest of the season.

“We’re young. We’re a young team. We’re mostly juniors,” he added. “I think throughout the season we’ll continue to improve.”

Junior Phoebe Peer led the way for Saranac Lake with 10 points, while fellow junior Kylee Meyers put up seven points, which included a three-pointer. Junior Addison Dann chipped in six points and junior Samra Cirikovic had four.

Kendra Richardson paced St. Regis Falls with 11 points, which included one three-pointer. The Saints’ Autumn Cox had nine points, while Olivia Wilson had five.

Thursday’s win marked the first of the season for Saranac Lake and the first for Vennie-Vollrath, who took over the program this season. Vennie-Vollrath said it felt good to get the win.

“It’s a great team. A number of coaches have coached these girls since they were in fifth and sixth grade and it’s an honor to be able to coach them now,” Vennie-Vollrath said.

The Red Storm will look to keep the ball rolling as the team is slated to take on Willsboro on the road Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.


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