After Kendyl MacAskill banked in her 3-point heave as the first-quarter buzzer sounded Tuesday night, the Central High School girls basketball team found itself in a tight contest at rival Palisade.
The Bulldogs got the start they hoped for to upset the Warriors. Sticking the landing, however, was a different story.
Central used a 13-0 second-quarter run and a 14-0 spurt in the third run to pull away for a 50-33 road win.
The Warriors improved to 9-4 as the Bulldogs fell to 2-9.
“We wanted to come in and show them that it’s our court, even when it’s not,” said Central’s Leah Redding. “We want to prove around town that we’re one of the best teams around.”
Redding led Central with 14 points, followed by Nikki Madaris (nine) and Roni Brown (seven).
Elizabeth Hawkins and Addie Steele made the first two baskets of the game to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead, but Redding, Mya Murdock and Sasha Rascon got going offensively and the Warriors began forcing frequent turnovers, sparking a 9-0 run.
MacAskill’s shot tied the game 9-9 after one quarter, but after the Bulldogs took a 10-9 lead on a free throw, the Warriors scored 13 straight points, highlighted by a banked-in shot by Rascon and a right-wing 3-pointer by Aspen Satterfield. Central took a 22-14 lead into the locker room.
Any chance Palisade had vanished to start the second half, when the Warriors stretched the lead to 36-14 with a 14-0 run.
“We let our defense create some offense and that took the lid off the basket and helped us sustain our runs,” Central coach Mary Doane said. “We changed our defense a little bit. We went back and forth between a couple different defenses. We got in our passing lanes, which is something I told them about after the first quarter, that we needed to do a better job getting in passing lanes.”
The Warriors set the third-quarter tone right away, with Redding splashing a shot from beyond the arc and Brown quickly following that with a layup, drawing a foul.
Within a few short moments, an eight-point hole had become 14 for Palisade.
“We really just snapped out of being slow,” Redding said. “We really got into our groove and played how we know how to play.”
Hawkins had an and-one opportunity of her own and Satterfield made another 3-point shot as the Warriors stretched their lead to 42-21 through three quarters.
“We knew they were going to get some runs on us,” Palisade coach DeAnne Larsen said. “It was about us trying to keep our composure and come back with our own runs. We lacked a little bit in that first half of it. In the second half, we were a little more intense trying to get on those runs.”
Hawkins led Palisade with 10 points and Alexis Marushack finished with seven.