KANSAS - A little bit better finish was all Cory-Rawson's girls really needed. They got that against Lakota here Tuesday night.
And then some.
And then some more after that.
The Hornets put together a 20-1 run in the third quarter as part of a 40-7 second-half blitz that produced a 61-27 non-league romp over the Raiders.
"Thursday at Van Buren, we lost a heartbreaker," Hornets coach Zack Bame said of his team's 57-56 decision to the unbeaten Black Knights. "With seven seconds to go, someone hit a 3-pointer and we lost by one. Tonight was a good game to get us going."
That could be a bit of an understatement.
Working off a 21-19 halftime edge, the Hornets wasted no time in gaining control in the third period.
Kendra Tuttle had a putback and jumper in the lane, Kiley Scott added an inside basket and Megan Ritter netted one from the foul line in an 8-0 start that had Lakota coach Mike Miller asking for time.
But there was no slowing the Hornets, who used a diamond press to frustrate the Raiders and set up the big run.
"I challenged them a little at halftime," Bame said. "Yes, we were up two points and I really wasn't all that disappointed with our effort on offense. What we had to do was to step it up defensively. I felt if we could do that, it would fuel our offense.
"That's just what happened," he said. "We started playing some defense, we got out and ran the floor, (there were) easy looks, plus we hit some other shots that we weren't able to hit in the first half."
By the time Lakota's Katie Park hit a foul shot with 2:18 left in the third quarter, the Cory-Rawson margin had grown to 34-20. The Hornets (2-5) then scored the next 12 points to put the game out of reach one minute into the fourth period.
The Raiders went 0-for-6 from the field and had nine turnovers in the third quarter. The turnover count reached 26 by night's end.
"When we run our plays, we look really good, but for whatever reason, I really don't know why, we came out in the second half and just didn't run our plays," Miller said after his club fell to 1-6. "It seems like when we get down by five points or so, we're so used to things going bad that we start to get flustered."
The evidence was there in the first half.
Cory-Rawson had built a 15-9 lead when the Raiders went on an 8-0 run to take their only lead of the game. Stephanie Miller, who had a pair of 3-pointers in leading Lakota scorers with 12 points, hit one from the left elbow and another from the baseline in the rally.
But Scott, who topped the Hornets with 19 points, scored on a baseline drive and Ritter added a basket to help the winners to their 21-19 edge at the break.
Tuttle backed Scott with 12 points and Courtney Dulle added 11, including three from 3-point range.
"We had been struggling with our shooting," Bame said. "Before tonight, we had maybe seven 3s all season long and if you had asked me at the beginning of the year what our strength was, I would have told you we have four on the floor who can really shoot it.
"I just told them you can't quit," he said. "They're never going to go in if you don't keep shooting."
Nicole Hulihan gave the Hornets an inside presence with nine points and nine rebounds.
Park had seven points and Morgan Mowry scored six for the Raiders.
"We just didn't play with the energy we needed in the second half," Miller said. "We were down just two at the half, it should have been a close game. It shouldn't have ended like it did, but we'll keep working."