St. Joseph's on road of redemption

Saturday, March 13, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:14 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

MacKenzie Stirmlinger called it ironic, but it was more like inspiration.

St. Joseph's Academy avenged a regular season loss to Incarnate Word, winning 47-27 on Friday in the Class 5 semifinals at Hearnes Center.

The Angels (24-4) will play Hickman (30-1) in the Class 5 championship at 6:30 p.m. today. The Kewpies beat St. Joseph's 48-46 on Jan. 13.

St. Joseph's coach Julie Matheny said rematches with Incarnate Word (27-3) and Hickman made it hungry and it was evident Friday.

Trailing 12-8, the Angels outscored the Red Knights 13-2 in the second quarter. Stirmlinger, St. Joseph's sophomore guard, started the rally with a 3-pointer and scored nine of her 13 points in the first half.

St. Joseph's extended its lead, outscoring Incarnate Word 13-3 in the third quarter.

Incarnate Word committed 24 turnovers and went more than 10 minutes, from the end the first quarter until the beginning of the third quarter, without a field goal.

"We asked all the kids to step in and be ready to play some defense," Matheny said, "and defensively is where I think we won the game tonight."

Guards Kelsey Luna and Molly Fitzsimmons each had eight points and four rebounds for the Angels.

"We knew in order for us to take care of business we were going to have to execute in the backcourt," Matheny said.

Rachel Pierson, a 6-foot-3 center, led Incarnate Word with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Felicia Chester added six points and six assists.

The Red Knights had their 17-game winning streak snapped.

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