FOSTORIA You could look at Kohl's, Menards or Sears for it, but what Aaron Smith wants for Christmas can't be found in any store.
The St. Wendelin coach believes it can be found on his girls basketball team and he's completely with OK with getting that gift a little early.
"We're eight to 10 points away from the good teams; to beat the really good teams. We've lost by eight, 10 and by 11 and we upset Liberty-Benton," Smith said. "When we get the kids to step up that need to step up, we pick up that 10 points and we can beat a good team. But we haven't got that since the Liberty-Benton game."
While 10 points wouldn't have been enough, 12 would have as the Mohawks fell to Carey, 57-46, in Midland Athletic League play.
"Their five and our five, we're minus 10 (points). That's the way we feel," Smith said. "(With) New Riegel, Mohawk, Hopewell-Loudon and all that, we need to get something extra out of somebody and we can pick somebody off."
Colleen Fondessy led all scorers with 22 points and her teammate Heather Saalman had 10 but no one on the team had more than four points.
Smith would like to see the balance that Carey has on offense.
"(Carey's) a very tough team to defend because they can shoot outside and they have the 6-2 girl (Hannah Tong)," Smith said.
Carey had three players in double figures: Hannah Draper (15), Sydney Wentling (14) and Tong (10).
"I was pretty pleased with our effort," Carey coach Phil Vaughn said. "It seems like it's balanced more like that, more than it isn't.
While she was the lowest of the three in scoring, it was Tong who caused the most trouble for St. Wendelin (2-3, 0-2 MAL) as she hauled in 15 boards and had three blocks.
The rebounding effort was the difference between the two teams on the glass (47-32) but more importantly to Smith, Carey had 22 second chances on offense.
"The biggest thing we talked to the girls (about) in the first half was they just killed us on the boards," Smith said. "That hurt us as much as anything."
Vaughn said the rebounding advantage was key to building a lead in the first half for the Blue Devils (5-0, 2-0 MAL).
"That's a great thing hitting the boards and getting the second opportunity," he said. "I don't think we cashed in on a lot of those in the first half. It seems like we didn't shoot very well under the basket and a lot of open threes. The second shots, that was a good stat for us."
In the first quarter, Carey used 13 offensive boards (out of 17 total) to build a 17-11 lead. St. Wendelin went nearly four minutes into the game before Fondessy drained two free throws to finally put the Mohawks on the board, 8-2.
The scoring drought to open a quarter repeated in the second quarter. Carey went on an 11-0 run before Fondessy sank the first of two free throws with 4:48 left in the first half to make it 28-12. By half, Carey led 33-19.
The Blue Devils did their damage at the line for most of the third quarter, not scoring a field goal until Hannah Draper drained a 3-pointer with 39 seconds to go. She repeated it 20 seconds later to give Carey a 44-30 margin heading into the final quarter.
Fondessy and Saalman did all of St. Wendelin's scoring in the fourth quarter as the Mohawks got as close as nine, 47-38, with 4:18 left. But the Mohawks could get no closer the rest of the way.
"I thought we did some pretty bad things the first half. I'm pretty happy with the second half. We won the second half so you find something to be positive about," Smith said. "They're a very good team. They're better than us. It doesn't mean we can't beat them."
Kamryn Troike showed signs of the force she's going to be in the years to come. The freshman had just four points but she hauled in 13 rebounds and had two blocks.