ALTON - Mary Harkins hit for 20 points, while Sami Oller added 19 points as the Father McGivney defense forced 28 turnovers and held Marquette Catholic to only three points in the opening quarter en route to a 59-35 win over the Explorers in a Gateway Metro Conference girls basketball game Thursday night at Marquette Family Arena.
The Griffins were on top of things right from the opening tip, going out to a 13-3 first-quarter lead, then extending it to 32-10 at halftime. The Explorers rallied in the third to cut the lead to 41-23 after the third quarter, but McGivney outscored Marquette in the final period 16-12 to take their win.
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Oller and Harkins caused much of the damage by the Griffins, and also got help from six points by Julia Stobie, five points from Alexis Bond, four points by Emily Johnson, three points from Emma Martinez, and two points by Sophia Ivnik.
The McGivney defense didn't allow any of the Explorer players to score in double digits in the game, with leading scorer Haley Rodgers being held to nine points on the night. Nia Ballinger added eight points for Marquette, Olivia Kratschmer had seven points, Allie Weiner scored four points, Payton Patterson hit for three points and Addison Pranger scored two points.
The Griffins are now 7-1 on the season and next play Granite City at home on Saturday afternoon in a 1 p.m. tip, then return to conference play Dec. 14 at Bunker Hill and at home Dec. 15 against Maryville Christian, with both games starting at 7:30 p.m. McGivney then hits the road before the Holidays with games at Pleasant Plains Dec. 21 and at Springfield Lutheran Dec. 22, both also starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Explorers drop to 6-4 and play at Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Their game against East St. Louis on Dec. 13 has already been declared a forfeit win to the Explorers after the Flyers were involved in an altercation against Alton, after which the East St. Louis administration forfeited their next three games, including against Marquette. The Explorers then play at Okawville on Dec. 14, at Collinsville on Dec. 19, and at Bunker Hill on Dec. 20, all games starting at 7:30 p.m.