DALE – The Lady Pirates of Dale got going early and never let up in a 62-27 rout of Bethel at Dale Friday.
Already holding a 12-5 lead early into the second quarter, Mikayla Rutland hit a 3-pointer with 6:03 to go and kicked off a 14-0 rally capped on another triple by Lacey Savage for a 26-5 advantage with 3:20 left. They took a 32-10 lead into the half.
While the offense was putting up big point totals, it was the defense for the Lady Pirates that created several of those opportunities.
Dale's press was too much for the Lady Wildcats to handle and they applied it viciously for the entirety of the game. Because of that effort, the Lady Pirates were able to come up with 15 steals and created a large number of jump ball opportunities. The physical efforts that the girls were giving impressed Dale coach Josh Forsythe.
“Our defensive pressure and intensity is really good right now,” he said. “I'm proud of that. I've been at Dale 19 years and I think that might be the most times in a game that we dove on the floor for a loose basketball.”
Rutland led all scorers with 18 points and hit four 3-pointers and Elaine Witt put up 14 points for the Lady Pirates. Savage had nine and Maddie Degraffenreid and Lindy Nowakowski each put up six points. Claire Chastain had six rebounds, two blocks and three assists and Witt had six steals.
Brooke Shaw led Bethel with 10 points, six of which came as the only ponits for the Lady Wildcats in the second quarter.
The 11 offensive boards that the Lady Pirates had turned into several good putbacks on what otherwise would have been missed opportunities.
“We missed some shots that I wish we would have made, but we hussled and had a bunch of offensive putbacks,” Forsythe said.
Dale is in a good place right now as the No. 2 team in Class 2A with an undefeated 5-0 record, but Forsythe thinks his team can have one of the best defenses around by the beginning of 2018.
“We're pretty stinking good right now, and I think by the end of the year we can be a great defensive team,” he said.
The Lady Wildcats (0-2) will face Holdenville Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Bethel GPS Classic. Dale will begin their run at the OBU tournament Thursday night.