TRAVERSE CITY — The St. Francis girls basketball roster says Juliana Phillips and Sarah Carney are freshmen, but the Gladiators two frontcourt standouts play more like seasoned veterans.
Those two combined for 25 points and 17 rebounds to spearhead the Gladiators’ 43-25 victory over Traverse City Central on Tuesday in the Hoops for Hope game at Central High School.
Carney sparked St. Francis in the first half, scoring all 10 of her points as the Gladiators staked out a 20-14 lead at the half. Phillips caught fire in the second half and scored 12 of her game-high 15, allowing St. Francis to pull away to a double-digit victory.
“I think it’s just really awesome to come out with this win,” said Phillips. “All-in-all it’s for a great cause and it’s really great to come up to the challenge of a Class A school. We love coming to play these teams. It’s always fun because we know they’re always going to bring a hard challenge. We knew they were going to give it all they had tonight and we just had to play to the best of our ability. My whole team was great.”
The game was unique in that it featured Central head coach Heather Simpson against some of the volleyball players she coaches at St. Francis in the fall. It was the fifth edition of the Hoops for Hope game, which raises money for Child and Family Services and Girls on the Run and provides shoes for kids in need.
“This is really good for us because it’s such a great cause and more so just to come out here and play and have a great time against some of the people that we know really well, especially Heather, because we all know and love her,” said Carney. “It’s just a good victory for us overall for our season. A lot of things were clicking, but a lot of things didn’t go the way we wanted it to, necessarily. We still got the victory.”