GLEN CARBON – The Father McGivney girls' basketball team gave a great effort against defending Class 2A state champions Breese Mater Dei Catholic, but in the end, the Knights made the plays they needed in taking a 43-26 win over the Griffins Monday night at the McGivney gym.

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Mater Dei established their presence inside during the first half, but in the second half, McGivney was able to defend the lane better, and the Griffins never gave up, kept on plugging, and did everything they could against the Knights. The Griffins showed what they are capable of doing against an extraordinary team and head coach Jeff Oller is excited about the remainder of the season.

“We did a better job of protecting the paint than we did in the first half,” said Coach Oller. “It was tough to get anything offensively inside, but I’m proud of how the girls battled the entire game. It was a good game to learn from and continue to progress this season.”

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The Knights held the lead throughout the game, holding edges of 16-9, 30-12 and 38-16 after the first three quarters, with the Griffins outscoring Mater Dei in the final quarter 10-5.

Sami Oller led the way for McGivney with nine points, while Natalie Beck, Sabrina Ivnik and Emily Johnson all had four points each, Mia Lieberman and Jada Zumwalt had two points apiece and Izzie Venarsky had a single point.

Mater Dei goes to 8-2, while the Griffins are now 7-4, and host Rochester on Friday night at 7:30 p.m., then after the holidays, play two big games, against St. Louis Lift For Life Academy on Jan. 3 and are at Highland in the opening game of the Highland Optimists Shootout Jan. 6 at 9 a.m.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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