PERU — The La Salle-Peru girls basketball team was amped up for Saturday’s nonconference game at rival St. Bede.
That translated into a dominant start for the Cavaliers.
L-P senior Brooklyn Ficek drained a deep 3-pointer on the first possession of the game, the Cavs forced turnovers on the Bruins’ first four possessions, and L-P scored the game’s first seven points.
The Cavs kept extending the lead, cruising to a 57-26, running-clock victory.
“It’s the crosstown rivalry, so we were all super pumped for the game,” L-P junior Addie Duttlinger said. “I thought we played really, really well. We came out right away with intensity that we needed to push through the whole game.
“Normally we start off really well, and then by the third quarter we get a little rocky, but today I think we really pushed through the whole game.”
St. Bede didn’t score until Ali Bosnich hit a pair of free throws 2:54 in to make it 7-2. Bosnich gave the Bruins their first field goal with a post bucket with 3:01 left in the quarter.
L-P responded with back-to-back baskets by Bailey Pode on assists from Duttlinger as the Cavs took a 14-5 lead after one quarter. La Salle-Peru forced eight turnovers in the first quarter and seven more in the second as it pushed the lead to 31-15 at halftime.
“Addie Duttlinger and Brooklyn are very athletic,” L-P coach Adam Spencer said. “They had some younger guards. We kind of took advantage of that. We came off on the weak side, tried to front one side and go guard off Bosnich on the other side so the entry passes were contested. We knew that was what they were going to do.”
Bosnich scored 13 of St. Bede’s 15 first-half points and finished with a game-high 16.
No other St. Bede player scored more than three points.
“They were focusing on [Bosnich], and Ali did a great job,” St. Bede coach Stephanie Mickley said. “She had most of our points. We knew she could handle it. We just have to get it to her. She did everything she could for us, as always.”
L-P’s lead grew to 20 for the first time on a free throw by Pode, and the Cavs enacted the running clock when Jasmine Garman drove for a bucket with 6:50 left to make it 52-22.
“We took care of business finally,” Spencer said. “We didn’t have a 10-point lead at halftime then let it get down to five or six. We extended it.”
Pode led the Cavs (15-10) with 14 points, while Duttlinger and Ficek had 13 points each. Garman added eight.
“We were sharing the ball,” Duttlinger said. “I thought we did a really good job of doing that, especially down low, like driving and kicking to the opposite side.”
L-P plays Interstate 8 Conference leader Sycamore at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at home.
“If we play like we did today, I think we’ll be good,” Duttlinger said. “We’re going to need a little more intensity, rebounding, sharing the ball — all around.”
St. Bede (7-16) plays Seneca in a nonconference game Tuesday at home.
“It’s good to play teams like [L-P], because it’s going to make us fight harder,” Mickley said. “Seneca is tough. We lost to them by four in our [Christmas] tournament. So [our team] may not feel like it right now, but this is the best thing for them going into regionals to play tough teams the rest of the way out.”