By Mathew Brock

Pilot Sports Writer

The Bruins stood out in their new 3A league on Tuesday night when they bested the St. Mary’s Crusaders at a solid 65-45.

“I think we wore them down. Our tempo was great tonight. They’re a team that wants to play fast and those are fun games,” said Bruins coach Chris Schofield. “Our girls did a great job hanging in there and bouncing back after a rough first half.”

After taking a big lead in the first quarter, the Bruins managed to stay a respectable distance ahead of the Crusaders for most of the game.

The first quarter was big for the Bruins who created a wide 13-3 gap against the Crusaders. The Crusaders came out strong in the second quarter with a big 20 point, but the Bruins kept pace with 15 of their own to take things to 28-23 in the Bruins favor going into the second half.

The Bruins outdid themselves in the third quarter with a big 24 points to the Crusaders 12, taking things to wide 52-35. The Bruins continued to own the momentum and wrapped things up with 13 points to the Crusader’s 10, ending the game a 65-45.

Sidney Alexander was the top scorer for the Bruins Tuesday night with 17 total points. She had four three-pointers, a two-pointers, and three free throws. Chloe McCrae was the next best with 12 total points consisting of five two-pointers and a pair of successful free throws. Sierra Fitzhugh landed in third with 11 points from one three-pointer, three two-pointers and a pair of free throws.

“In our second half, our kids showed a lot of toughness. We often take rushed shots and finished the first half that way. We pleaded with them to fire inside out. They did and we really beat them up in the second half,” Schofield said. “Avana Pettus did great tonight. She didn’t get a lot of points tonight, but she rebounded and made great decisions with the ball. Mickey Fulton gave us some huge minutes.”

Schofield says the team had some trouble with defense in the first half, specifically identifying shooters, but showed improvement in the second half.

The Bruins head to South Umpqua Friday to play the Lancers, another old rival that moved down with them to the 3A level. Their game will start at 7:30 p.m.

“Regardless of what scores end up being, I think the teams in our league are just really balanced,” Schofield said. “Going on the road, it’s going to be a really good environment to play a high school basketball game and South Umpqua is playing really well right now. They’re somewhat similar to us after playing them earlier in the year.”

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