The high school basketball season got off to a good start for Sturgis Friday night.
The Scoopers boys' and girls' teams started with wins, as the girls topped Douglas 56-43 and the boys followed with a 58-45 win over the Patriots in Box Elder.
"I think it was definitely the first game of the season," Sturgis girls' coach Jordan Proefrock said with a smile. "We had some unforced turnovers that are just mental mistakes. We got into some foul trouble which is something we're trying to emphasize. On the positive side, we had 42 rebounds on the game, that's something we do really well."
The same was true in the eyes of Sturgis boys' assistant coach Pat Cass, who said he was happy with the win, but there are still things to work on.
"I thought we had a good stretch in the second half where we made good decisions," he said. "We moved the ball a little bit and decided where to attack instead of forcing the issue."
The girls' game got off to a competitive start, but by the end of the first quarter Sturgis had started pulling away and led 19-6 after the first break.
In the second quarter, play was stopped briefly as Jordynn Toliver broke the all-time scoring record at Douglas with a 3-pointer. The points put her at 780 for her career and in first place.
"It's an incredible tribute to her," Douglas girls' coach Duane Wince said. "She works hard, she plays hard. She's a good defensive player and it's quite a deal for her to become the leading scorer. We just wanted to take that time to congratulate her."
Wince said he isn't too down about one loss to open the season and he saw plenty to be optimistic about.
"I thought our team showed a lot of grit and they played hard," he said. "I thought the effort was good all night, we really hurt ourselves with a lot of turnovers. Some of those were forced by Sturgis and others were us not taking care of the basketball."
Toliver finished with 16 as Jeslyn Jindra also kicked in 10. Loralee Stock of Sturgis led all scorers with 18.
At halftime Sturgis had stretched its lead to 28-16.
Neither offense came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, but Douglas was able to put a dent in the lead and with one quarter to go the Scoopers were on top 37-27.
In the fourth quarter the Sturgis offense found a rhythm and put the Patriots away, as it outscored Douglas 19-16 in the final eight minutes.
Sturgis, 1-0, hosts Pierre today while Douglas, 0-1, while Douglas faces Rapid City Christian Tuesday.
"We have to keep it in perspective," Proefrock said. "This is the first game of the season and we have a long way to go. The good news is we're better than we were last year."
On the boys' side it was unclear how either team would be heading into the season. Douglas lost most of its scoring and the Scoopers also graduated seniors.
It ended up being Sturgis' night, as it was led by Ryan Garland who had 16 points and Gavin West who had 10. Douglas' leading scorer was Ryan Tompkins who had 15.
"With the brand new system this year there's a bit of a learning curve," Cass said. "It always takes some time to figure out the details and get what you want. That'll be a process."
The first half was a back-and-forth affair. At the end of the first quarter Sturgis led 12-10 and at halftime the lead was 24-22.
The third quarter is where the Scoopers took over. Behind Garland, Sturgis extended the lead to 45-34 at the end of the third and outscored Douglas 13-11 in the fourth.
"I definitely like the way my kids competed. They went out and played hard," Douglas boys' coach Travis Miller said. "I was happy that they came out and didn't back down at all. Obviously they pulled away from us a little at the end, but I'm very happy with the effort."
Sturgis, 1-0, hosts Belle Fourche Tuesday while Douglas, 0-1, will travel to St. Thomas More Tuesday.