The Rolla girls basketball team (4-7) hosted Salem on Tuesday, Jan. 2. The Lady Bulldogs were fresh off a third place finish in the US Bank Holiday Invitational and carried that momentum into 2018 with a 69-45 win.
Rolla had great balance offensively and that started early on. Ellie Rodgers and Rebecca Janke each scored six points in the first quarter, with Kiana Garner adding four and Becca Skyles adding two points. That carried into the second quarter, where Loran Pritchett and Karlee Cheesman were rolled into the scoring fold. Rolla jumped out to an 18-12 lead in the first quarter before stretching that lead out in the second. The Lady Bullddogs scored 19 points in the second quarter after Janke and Pritchett each scored six points on their way to a 37-22 lead at the half.
The Lady Bulldogs kept rolling in the second half, scoring at least 15 points in every quarter of the game. Garner led the way with six points in the third quarter, as one of five players to score for Rolla in the quarter. Salem had their best quarter of the night in the third, scoring 17 points on the back of three three-pointers. The Lady Bulldogs wouldn't let Salem gain any ground, however, scoring 17 points of their own to carry a 54-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
Rolla finished off the night by playing lockdown defense, holding Salem to just six points. The Lady Bulldogs kept the offense going in the fourth quarter, as six different players chipped in for 15 points on their way to a 69-45 win.
The Lady Bulldogs had five different players score in double figures, led by 16 points from Janke, who also added six rebounds, four blocks, three assists and a steal. Janke was extremely efficient, shooting 7-9 from the field and hitting both her free throw attempts.
Skyles added another 12 points, three steals and two rebounds, while Rodgers chipped in another 11 points, six assists, two rebounds and one steal. Garner and Pritchett each added 10 points. Pritchett added six rebounds and three steals, while Garner added five boards. Olivia Burke also helped facilitate the offense with eight assists to go along with three points, three rebounds and two steals.
Rolla also had one of their cleaner games of the season, turning the ball over just 17 times in the win. On the other end, the Lady Bulldogs grabbed 14 steals as a team.
"The girls played very well. We were able to press Salem early and speed up the game. We played hard defensively and were able to create several turnovers and scoring opportunities with our press," said head coach Luke Floyd. "I thought our pace of play was where we’d like it to be. Offensively we moved the ball very well and did a great job of finding the open girl and knocking down shots. I was very pleased with our offensive balance."