By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
For the first game of the season, the Carl Junction girls basketball team has to be pleased with its press.
The Bulldogs used their full-court pressure defense to get the Monett Cubs out of sync and capitalized on numerous turnovers in a 52-13 win Thursday night in the Mercy Sportscare CJ Classic.
“I’m very excited with what I saw from the press,” Carl Junction coach Tiffany Dirks said. “We really attacked early. We were able to turn our defense into offense.”
The press helped Carl Junction take a 14-4 lead after the first quarter. Then the Bulldogs opened the second quarter with a 10-0 run led by six points from sophomore Brenlee McPherson.
Carl Junction (1-0) used the run to go up 26-6 at halftime.
Monett scored three points early in the second half to cut the lead to 28-9 with 6:27 remaining in the third quarter.
However, Carl Junction followed with an 18-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 46-9 lead and put the game out of reach. The run was highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from junior Olivia Uhrich.
The Bulldogs boasted a balanced scoring attack as McPherson led the way with 12, while Uhrich, Bryce Boyd and Sydney Koch scored 10, 9 and 8 points, respectively.
“We were able to spread it out,” Dirks said. “We showed we had a lot of people with the ability to score.”
Carl Junction also showed that it has a strong nucleus of young players as the Bulldogs start one senior, one junior, two sophomores and a freshman.
“It looks good for the future,” Dirks said.
Monett was limited to five points or fewer in each quarter. Senior forward Cheryl Barnes led the Cubs with six points.
Carl Junction will continue play in the classic at 6 tonight against the Webb City Cardinals.
In the second game Thursday night, Nevada’s girls beat Liberal 59-39.