Notre Dame girls post 65-54 victory over Farmington

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Sommer McCauley proved to be too much for the Farmington Knightettes to handle as the Notre Dame senior led the Bulldogs girls basketball team with 29 points in a 65-54 victory at Notre Dame Regional High School.

"Sommer was unconscious, especially with her 3's in the first half," said coach Jerry Grim.

McCauley had four 3-pointers, all coming in the first half.

Farmington (9-4) jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but Notre Dame (8-4) responded with a 15-2 run capped off by Amanda Dirnberger's layup to pull ahead 17-8. Farmington had trouble handling the Notre Dame pressure while the Bulldogs extended their lead.

With 58 seconds left in the first quarter, Notre Dame's Sierra Ellis caught an inadvertent elbow in the paint. She lay motionless on the court until play was stopped by the officials. She left the game with a mild concussion, finishing with three points.

Junior Amber Karnes replaced Ellis in the lineup, but she said it took a team effort to overcome the loss of Ellis.

"We really stepped it up out there after Sierra got hurt," Karnes said. "Everyone played a part in helping us win the game."

McCauley got a 3-point shot to fall just before the end of the first quarter, giving the Bulldogs a 20-12 lead.

Farmington continued to battle, especially on the boards, but the Knightettes struggled getting shots to fall.

A layup by McCauley toward the end of the second quarter gave Notre Dame its biggest lead of the night at 31-18. Farmington closed the gap to 33-24 at halftime.

Farmington mounted a comeback late in the third quarter. An 8-0 run pulled the Knightettes within three, 37-34, but that would be the closest Farmington would get. Turnovers prevented Farmington from getting closer.

Notre Dame led 40-34 at the start of a high-scoring fourth quarter. Both teams combined for 45 points. The Bulldogs got to the foul line early and often, converting on 15 of 19 attempts for the quarter.

"This is a big win for us," said Grim. "Farmington is a tough team."

A 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter gave the Bulldogs a 54-43 lead. Farmington didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the game.

Notre Dame got a solid game from Dirnberger, a senior who contributed 12 points.

Leading the way for Farmington was junior Natalie Hooss with 17. Senior Natalie Bess added 13.

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday when they host Sikeston.

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