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Top-seeded Notre Dame routs Scott City in Holiday Classic girls basketball tournament
The Bulldogs opened the tourney with a 60-25 win
The key for any tournament's top seed is to play like a top seed.
That's exactly what happened Tuesday afternoon at the Show Me Center as Notre Dame routed Scott City 60-25 in the opening game of the Kelso Supply Holiday Classic.
Shelby Beussink and Annie Siebert led a balanced scoring attack with 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the Bulldogs improved to 6-1.
"That was one of the precedents we needed to set," Notre Dame coach Renee Peters said. "We need to play our game regardless of who, and where, or when, and what time of day."
Combining a tenacious full-court press with relentless half-court defensive pressure, the Bulldogs forced 24 Scott City turnovers, which led directly to 17 points.
"It's one of those things where you want to play hard but you don't want to save too much or show too much, but you've got to get the win," Peters said. "I was real proud of our girls tonight."
Scott City coach Ricky Keller figured his team was in for a struggle, and he was right.
"We knew it was gonna be tough coming in, but I didn't plan on it being this bad," Keller said after his team fell to 1-7. "We have a few things that we definitely need to work on, like transition defense, springing back on defense and not turning the ball over as much."
The tone was set early as Notre Dame's Annie Siebert converted consecutive steals into layups to fuel a 9-2 run to end the first period and turn an 8-4 lead into a 17-6 advantage.
"Well that's our bread-and-butter. Our offense is our defense," Peters said. "We've been saying that all along. We play to the motto of 'Catch me.' You've got to come after us because we're going to push the ball. ... Our main strength is our transition game."
Scott City committed eight turnovers in the first period, and it only got worse for the Rams. They had eight more in the second as the Bulldogs built a 34-12 lead at intermission.
"Our defense is our offense, so if we get those steals, pressure them, keep them from scoring, that's our job," Siebert said
Scott City's plan was to get the ball inside to 6-foot-2 sophomore center Natalie Woods, who led the Rams with eight points. They just couldn't get it inside consistently because of the Bulldogs' constant pressure.
"It's hard to get it inside when you turn the ball over before you can get it in there," Keller said. "They're transition is really tough. They send a girl back every time, and no matter if you designate someone or not ... they're just quick.
"I'll bet they scored 30 points on layups."
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, kept up the pressure. Senior Miranda Fowler scored seven of her nine points in the second period, and a 10-2 run to open the second half sealed the win for the Bulldogs.
"That's pretty much what our defense is, getting steals on our press and up top and running the ball up and down the court," said Bulldogs guard Karsen Powers, who had three of the Bulldogs' 15 steals and scored nine points. "We like to put a lot of pressure up top on the ball so they can't get it inside 'cause we're not the tallest team around so we gotta try to keep it outside."
Notre Dame's domination showed in the fact the Bulldogs attempted 62 shots (making 25) to the Rams' 37 (11 made).
"We wanted to set a tone for the rest of the tournament," Siebert said. "That's what we did."
NOTRE DAME (60) -- Miranda Fowler 9, Annie Siebert 12, Karsen Powers 9, Madeline Rosenquist 4, Shelby Beussink 13, Kaitlin Welter 7, Kelsey Luster 6. FG: 25, FT: 8-15, F: 9. (3-pointers: Fowler 1, Welter 1. Fouled out: none).
SCOTT CITY (25) -- Lyndsie Robert 2, Lindsey Rendleman 4, Natalie Woods 8, Alicia Kern 7, Abbie McAlister 4. FG: 11, FT: 3-5, F: 13. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Kern)