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Notre Dame seniors Anna Garner and Tori Rubel finish careers versus Jackson undefeated

Notre Dame seniors Anna Garner and Tori Rubel (back left) finished their varsity careers against Jackson perfect at 5-0 and 11-0, respectively. Photo by Nick McNeal

On Homecoming last Thursday, the Notre Dame girls basketball team faced crosstown rival Jackson in what proved to be one of the most thrilling matchups between the Bulldogs and Indians over the last four years.

Notre Dame hasn’t lost this matchup since the 2018-19 season but actually trailed Jackson 22-16 at halftime in a jam-packed gym at Jerry Grim Court. However, the Bulldogs used runs of 11-0 and 8-0 in the second half to eventually come out on top 45-41.

Scoring all of Notre Dame’s points in the 11-0 run was the tandem of 6-foot-1 senior guard Tori Rubel and 5-9 point guard Brie Rubel.

Brie knocked down one of her three 3-pointers during the run and hit two free throws in the final 20 seconds. Tori produced one bucket off an offensive putback and the other on a fastbreak score to give their team a 43-35 lead.

“The atmosphere really made things more exciting,” Brie Rubel said. “It was really just a fun game — two good teams going at it.”

Brie and Tori finished as the Bulldogs top-two scorers with 13 and eight points, respectively, while 6-2 freshman post Nevaeh Lucious scored eight as well. These three players filled the stat sheet as Lucious came down with 10 rebounds and had five blocks, Tori paced with eight rebounds while also having four assists and two steals and Brie dished out three assists and had two takeaways.

Also coming up big defensively was 5-6 senior guard Anna Garner with a game-high five steals, while she also scored seven points and hit one 3-pointer. Notre Dame 6-0 forward Kate Rubel paced with six points, four rebounds and two steals.

The Bulldogs held Jack-son’s leading scorer in 5-10 senior guard Katie Waller to just five points after having double-digits in the first two meetings this season. Waller scored all of her points from the free-throw line.

Leading the Indians in the scorer’s column was 6-1 junior post Nadia Wasilewski, who tied Brie Rubel’s game-high point total with 13 of their own as she scored seven in the fourth quarter.

Jackson 5-7 junior guard Holland Guilliams was the only other Indian besides Wasilewski to score in the fourth, which came off two free throws. Holland finished with seven points in the contest, as did 5-5 senior guard Maci Wendel and 5-7 sophomore guard Camryn Alsdorf.

For Tori and Anna, they finish their high school basketball careers undefeated versus their rivals Jackson. Rubel has been a starter ever since she was a freshman, finishing 11-0 versus the Indians, while Garner first started playing varsity last year and is now 5-0 against Jackson.

With those wins, the Bulldogs brought home four SEMO Conference Tournament Championships, three Holiday Classic Championships and are on track to repeat as conference regular-season champions.

“It really means a lot considering how good Jackson is and how hard they play every single time,” Tori Rubel said. “… We know we’re getting their best every time, and their best is really good, so that motivates us in the locker room to come out fired up.”

Rubel was also named Notre Dame’s Homecoming Queen two nights after her team’s big win.

“These moments mean a lot — I’ll have these memories forever,” Tori said. “Just playing and kicking out a ball to Brie and watching her just nail it — that’ll always be a core memory for me and having this moment with my team.”

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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