The eighth ranked Rolla girls basketball team traveled to Columbia to face off against Battle on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The Lady Bulldogs got out to an early lead with a great first half on their way to a 70-53 win.
Rolla came out strong on both sides of the ball on Tuesday night. Offensively, The Lady Bulldogs put up 15 points in the opening quarter, while holding Battle to just nine points to get out to an early lead. Loran Pritchett led the offense early, scoring six points in the opening quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs kept rolling in the second quarter. Defensively, they held Battle to 10 points, as the Lady Spartans scored just three field goals in the quarter. Rolla, meanwhile, added 15 more points and continued to get great play in the post. Savannah Campbell and Rebecca Janke each scored four points in the paint. Ellie Rodgers added a three, while Pritchett and Carli Libhart each added a basket. The Lady Bulldogs used that scoring push down low to go into the half with a 30-19 lead.
Battle fought their way back into the game in the third quarter with a barrage of threes. Eliyah Bennett-McCarthy buried four threes in the quarter, bringing her total for the game to six. Ashley Bland added a three of her own, as Battle scored 21 points in the quarter to close the game. The Lady Bulldogs were able to maintain their lead thanks to another strong offensive quarter. Kiana Garner took the reigns with six points in the quarter, while Madison Mace added four. Rolla scored 15 points for the third straight quarter to go into the final quarter with a 45-40 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs put an exclamation point on the game with an excellent fourth quarter. Rolla exploded for 25 points in the fourth with six different people scoring in the final frame. Pritchett led the way with seven points, while Campbell added six more points. Janke continued a strong game down low with four points in the fourth. Battle couldn't keep pace, as Rolla held them to 13 points to finish off a 70-53 win.
"The girls played very well last night. Battle is a well-coached team and to go on the road and give them their first loss on the season was huge for us," said head coach Luke Floyd. "I thought that we were able to get the ball inside to our bigs all night and take advantage of our size. Once again our full court was able to wear them down as the game progressed and created some easy scoring opportunities for us. I’m very proud of our team and how we’ve started the season."
Pritchett recorded a double-double in the win, leading the team in both scoring in rebounding with 15 points and 11 boards, while dishing out a pair of assists. Janke added 12 points in the paint, while grabbing seven rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two assists. Campbell chipped in with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal. Mace scored nine points to go along with seven rebounds, a steal and an assist. Garner and Libhart each scored six points. Garner added four rebounds and four steals, while Libhart had two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Rodgers had seven points, while leading the team with 10 assists and seven steals. She also had four rebounds in the win. As a team, Rolla had 40 rebounds and had 17 steals in the win.
Rolla also had an excellent showing in the JV game. The Lady Bulldogs got out to a great start to take a 35-16 lead into halftime and ran away with a 51-31 win. Emma Floyd led the JV with 15 points, Riley Wassilak added 10 and Kate Brand scored nine. Keira Chrisco and Sara Coverdell each chipped in with six points in the win.
Next up for Rolla is a home game against Ozark Conference rival Waynesville on Monday, Dec. 10.