First quarter outburst helps Sandpoint sail to victory

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE) Junior Hattie Larson drives past Bonners Ferry’s Baylee Blackmore Tuesday night at Les Rogers Court. Larson had 21 points and nine rebounds in the game.

SANDPOINT — It looks like the Bulldogs have left the slow starts in the past.

Tuesday night against Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint came out firing on all cylinders and outscored the Badgers 19-6 in the first quarter to cruise to a 62-28 win.

“I was really pleased with how we came out,” head coach Will Love said. “That’s been a struggle for us in a lot of our games this year so we talked a lot about that in the pregame.”

It was apparent from the opening tip that the Bulldogs wanted to take control of the game early. And they did just that.

Crisp passes and excellent ball movement created a number of opportunities for the Bulldogs on the offensive end. Led by senior Dawson Driggs and junior Hattie Larson, Sandpoint attacked the rim and hit open jumpers when the Badgers defense got sucked into the paint. Driggs had 8 points in the first quarter while Larson scored 7. And the defense was just as good forcing five first quarter turnovers.

It was a near perfect quarter.

After such a fast start, most teams would let their foot off the pedal but the Bulldogs kept attacking and rode that momentum to a 33-18 halftime lead.

Sandpoint maintained their offensive efficiency in the second half by scoring 29 points and kept up the intensity defensively holding the Badgers to just 10 points in the final 16 minutes of action.

The 34 point victory is Sandpoint’s largest this year and helps complete a season sweep of Bonners Ferry.

The Bulldogs depth was on full display Tuesday as eight Bulldogs scored. Larson led them all with 21 points and nine rebounds while Driggs and senior Maddie Morgan each tallied 11 points. Freshman Kelsey Cessna added 8 and Aly Lish scored 6.

Love said his team put all the pieces together against Bonners Ferry.

“I want to give credit to the girls because they’re the ones that executed and came out played the way that they did,” he said. “It shows what they’re capable of. We’ve seen spurts of it throughout the season but tonight they were able to do it for 32 minutes.”

Sandpoint (8-6) stays at home to face Lakeland in the Battle for the Paddle 4 p.m. Friday.

Bonners Ferry 6 12 7 3 — 28

Sandpoint 19 14 15 14 — 62

BONNERS FERRY — B. Blackmore 9, Sa. Hill 0, M. Blackmore 2, Petesch 0, Ansley 13, Si. Hill 3, Villelli 0, Pinkerton 1.

SANDPOINT — Cessna 8, Lish 6, Day. Driggs 0, Morgan 11, Daw. Driggs 11, Edwards 2, Steiger 0, Phillips 1, Larson 21, Banks 2.

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