DALE—The Dale Lady Pirates, on the strength of a first quarter blitz, whipped the visiting Latta Lady Panthers 54-30, Friday night.

“I thought we really set the tone with our 20-point first quarter,” said Dale Lady Pirate head coach Josh Forsythe. “We did a really good job attacking their zone.”

Attack they did and Mikayla Rutland led the charge.

Rutland scored 13 first quarter points including three, three-pointers to give Dale a comfy 20-6 lead after the first quarter. The offensive pace slowed in the second quarter, but the Lady Pirates never faltered on defense.

Dale held the Lady Panthers to just 12 points in the first half and just one field goal in the second quarter.

“Our defensive intensity was really good tonight,” said Forsythe. “I'm really proud of our effort.”

Lacy Savage scored six points in the second quarter to propel Dale to a 27-12 lead at intermission.

The second half started much like the opening of the game. Rutland hit two more treys in the third quarter, upping her long-ball total to six for the game. She finished with a game-high 21 points and also hauled in 11 rebounds to earn the double-double.

Latta never challenged in the second half as Dale increased the lead to 37-17 after three quarters and cruised to their 14th win of the season.

Rutland was the only Dale scorer in double figures, Savage finished with seven points as did Jacie McClure.

Latta was led in scoring by Emma Epperly who hit for 12 points.

The one-loss Lady Pirates, who are ranked third in Class 2A, will host Preston next Tuesday before traveling to begin play in the Cashion Tournament next Thursday.