It was a near perfect start for the Raiders.
The Three Rivers women's basketball team scored the first 15 points in just 4 minutes and went on to beat Arkansas State Mid-South 109-52 Wednesday at the Libla Family Sports Complex.
"Our defensive intensity coming out was some of the best its been all year long," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. "For us to come out and shut them down offensively. I knew as soon as we made a backdoor cut and caught a pass in traffic and scored (on the first play), we were going to be pretty good."
Chaylea Mosby had seven points in the opening run and finished with 17 in the first half and a team-high 20 in the game.
Jordan Little scored 10 seconds after the opening tip, and then Myia Yelder got a steal and a three-point play. Mosby got a putback, a steal and a layup, and then rattled in a 3 with more than 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
Hannah Thurmon then capped the run with a steal and a jumper and the Division II Greyhounds (5-12), who scored their first points with 5:23 left in the first quarter, never got within 10 points.
Thurmon had 11 points, as did An'Nyah Pettus.
After some back-and-forth action, Three Rivers (15-5) went 7 minutes without allowing a field goal, and ultimately went into the locker room with a 59-23 lead.
In the final 12 minutes of the first half the Raiders allowed six points, meaning ASU Mid-South scored 17 of its 23 points in the first half during a 5-minute stretch in the first quarter.
Deanay Watson finished a runout off a turnover with 3 minutes left the third quarter that put the Raiders ahead by 40.
Kalissa Hollis sank her second, third and fourth 3-pointers of the season, all swished from the top of the key, and finished with 14 points.
"Coach wanted me to shoot more, so just let it fly," Hollis said. "I've been working on 3s a lot in practice and just shoot them when I'm open."
Brogan Jones later pulled off a textbook spin move from the right block and finished the three-point play that brought the bench to its feet, a smile to her face, and 101 points to the scoreboard.
"It was just kind of like, 'dang.' It is a great feeling to have back. I missed it being out for so long with health problems. I think it is a testament that hard work can get you anywhere," Jones said.
Added Walk, "Just tickled to death for them. It does me good to see them cheer for each other. That's what a coach wants to see, when a kid enjoys being around each other. You build that fellowship and build that camaraderie and you know you're willing to do stuff for a teammate. We've been talking a little bit about that, you know, what are you willing to do."
Jones finished with 10 points, matching her season high set just three days ago against State Fair.
"I've been stepping up my conditioning and just getting in the flow more. I've been able to stay in longer and longer periods of time. I think it is just all coming back to me," Jones said.
It was the fourth time this season the Raiders have scored 100 points. They went into Wednesday's contest third in the nation in points per game at 88.3. Three Rivers' season-high for points in a game was 114 in an 86-point win over Lindenwood-Belleville JV.
"They've had it in them all year long. They've got to believe they can do it and they are getting a lot of confidence from the kids. Everybody else, when they make a shot, they are cheering them on and you can just see that confidence grow," Walk said.
Wabash Valley, which beat Three Rivers 92-81 on Nov. 9, leads the nation with 91.3 points per game and Vincennes is second at 89.2.
In the past two games, Three Rivers' freshmen post players — Hollis, Jones and Jamiyah Thomas — have averaged 24.5 points per game while averaging 11 points combined for the season.
"We're already scoring 90 points a game," Jones said. "That's like 120 points if you add in the extra points we got."
Ashley Peague led ASU Mid-South with 12 points. Adrianne Chambers and Aaliyah Lee each had 11.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic