BOX ELDER | The opening minutes of the first quarter set the tone between St. Thomas More and Douglas.
More opened with a combined 14 points from the sister combo of Moira and Ciara Duffy, while Douglas struggled to find the bottom of the net.
The Lady Cavaliers turned a 20-5 first quarter cushion into a runaway, thumping the Patriots 61-17 Thursday night at Whitehead Auditorium.
“I was proud of the all-around effort we gave tonight. I thought we saw the floor well, ran the floor and got easy looks,” More head coach Brandon Kandolin said. “When it wasn’t there, we were able to come back out, get a lot of touches and take advantage of an easy shot.”
For Douglas, Brook Clark’s basket was the only points of the quarter on seven attempts until Kylee Pourier’s half-court heave rattled home to beat the buzzer to provide one of the few offensive highlights of the night for the Patriots.
Getting off to a good start offensively is critical for the Patriots, head coach Duane Wince said.
“That’s always huge for us, because we don’t score a lot of points. If we can get some baskets early, it’s a huge confidence builder and sets the tone for a better offensive night for us. If we miss the first couple, you can see what happens,” Wince said.
“I give our girls credit for playing hard. St. Thomas More makes everything difficult. We switched up our offenses a couple times. They just play great defense and help each other,” Wince said.
Ciara Duffy finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two steals. Moira Duffy added 14 points, two blocks and three steals for the Lady Cavaliers.
Madison Kirsch also finished in double-figures with 12, including 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Alexys Swedlund scored nine.
More inflicted most of the damage in the first 24 minutes, with Kandolin going to his reserves in the final quarter. The second string still posted 10 points in the frame.
Clark’s six points and Pourier’s five led Douglas. The Patriots managed just 8-of-37 from the field.
More outrebounded Douglas 25-20. CeCe Page had five boards to lead the Patriots.
St. Thomas More (15-1 overall, 7-1 BHC) travels to Chadron, Neb., on Friday. The Lady Cavs handed Chadron (17-1) its only loss, 64-43, on Dec. 21 in Rapid City.
Douglas (6-9, 6-4 BHC) travels to Belle Fourche for another conference matchup on Friday.