Kansas signee burns Lady Bulldogs on Thursday.
Lauren Aldridge may not be the best player that the Rolla High School girls' basketball team faces this season - that would be a tall order considering the all-state trees from Columbia Rock Bridge and Columbia Hickman are also on the Lady Bulldog schedule.
However, the Kansas Jayhawk signee was plenty good enough Thursday night.
Aldridge, a 5-7 senior point guard, buried six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points to pace the Marshfield Lady Blue Jays to a 60-38 non-league victory over Rolla Thursday at the RHS gym.
Rolla falls to 1-9 while Marshfield, ranked No. 9 in this week's Missouri Class 4 state poll, improves to 7-3.
Aldridge, who signed during November's early signing period with Kansas to play in the Big 12 Conference, controlled the tempo of Thursday's game against Rolla, forcing several Lady Bulldog turnovers and running the Blue Jay offense. Much of that offense consisted of long-range jumpers, as Marshfield connected on 12 three-pointers.
Rolla simply couldn't generate enough offense to keep up.
"We had the game right where it needed to be at the end of the first quarter," said RHS head coach Bryce Swafford. "These are the type of games we've got to keep close and don't let them have a big run. But they shot the ball extremely well and once we got behind you could see us kind of pushing.
"We've got to be able to slow down our game in a half-court set. Aldridge is a Division I signee who does a lot of things well. She's a great shooter."
Aldridge opened the game with back-to-back field goals to give Marshfield a 5-0 lead and the Blue Jays led the entire game. Behind six points from 5-11 senior forward Megan Neal, Rolla stayed close in the first period. A free throw by sophomore forward Caroline Victor cut the Lady Bulldog deficit to 12-9 entering the second period.
It started to get away from the home team early in the second period, as Marshfield strung together 11 unanswered points - including three 3-pointers - to take a 14-point edge. A trey by 5-6 senior guard Makenna Smith at the 5:04 mark ended that run and gave the Lady jays a 23-9 advantage.
Another three-pointer by 5-5 sophomore guard Allie Owens ended the third period and gave Marshfield a 20-point cushion, 38-18.
The Marshfield lead would not dip below 19 points the rest of the game, and swelled to as much as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
Smith backed Aldridge with 17 points - including four 3-pointers.
Neal led Rolla with 12 points.
Marshfield also won the junior varsity game 49-35.
Marshfield led the jayvee game 16-6 after the first period and went into halftime up 26-10. It was 39-22 heading in the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Amber Walters had 10 points for the Rolla jayvee squad, now 3-4.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to host Joplin in Ozark Conference play on Monday, with the jayvee game starting at 6 p.m. and the varsity contest to follow.
Marshfield 60, Rolla 38
Rolla (1-9): McCaul 2-1-5, DeShurley 3-2-8, Garner 2-0-4, Collier 1-2-4, Rafter 0-2-2, Victor 0-3-3, Neal 6-0-12, Totals 14-10-38.
Marshfield (7-3): Aldridge 8-0-22, King 1-0-2, Greenlee 1-1-4, Smith 6-1-17, Owens 1-0-3, VanDiggelen 3-0-6, Johns 3-0-6, Totals 23-2-60.
Marshfield 49, Rolla 35
Rolla (3-4): Brow 3-0-7, Phenix 0-1-1, Walters 5-0-10, Sowers 2-0-4, Dupes 2-0-4, Temple 1-0-2, Studdard 1-0-2, Morris 2-1-5, Totals 16-2-35.
Marshfield: King 0-1-1, Weber 1-0-2, Owens 7-1-15, Flower 2-1-5, Taylor 2-0-4, McCall 2-1-5, Johns 6-0-12, Weatherly 0-2-2, Choate 1-1-3, Totals 21-7-49.