WaKeeney — Tuesday’s Mid-Continent League game between Thomas More Prep-Marian girls and Trego Community pitted a deep and experienced Monarch (6-2) team against a Golden Eagles (2-6) squad still finding its way after replacing five seniors from last season.
The difference hardly could’ve been more noticeable. The early TMP pressure led to Trego turnovers and easy baskets. The Monarchs scored the first 13 points of the game and went on to win 68-28.
“They’re quick, they’re good, they can shoot,” Trego coach Jerod Brown said. “Obviously, (Rose) McFarland’s a good coach, and they know how to play basketball.”
The Monarchs extended the run throughout the first quarter for a 26-2 advantage after eight minutes. TMP tacked on the first five points of the second quarter and extended the lead to 29.
“We got off to a really good start,” McFarland said. “Defensively, we were pressuring them, created some turnovers and we were looking down the floor and filling the lanes.”
After Trego’s scoring drought ended, the team worked into some of its better offensive action and prevented TMP from expanding the deficit before half.
“It may seem weird when you get beat that bad, but in the actual offense, that’s probably some of the best we’ve ever run our offense,” Brown said.
Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, the start of the third quarter meant the return of the TMP starters. Sophomore Kayla Vitztum continued a hot start, scoring on multiple layups in the opening minutes of the third quarter. She scored 10 of her game-high 25 points in the third quarter alone.
“They had a hard time stopping her,” McFarland said. “She’s just got a quick first move, and she turned and took it to the goal.”
The TMP coach also complemented the play of junior Katelyn Zimmerman, who finished second to Vitztum with 12 points. Senior Melissa Pfeifer was the third Monarch in double figures with 11.
In total, 13 Monarchs saw action.
Sophomore Janae Huxman led four Trego scorers with 11 points. Teghan Sells and Mariah Brungardt, the only two seniors on the Trego roster, scored six points apiece.
Both teams continue their seasons on Friday. The Golden Eagles will look to get back in the win column against Ness City, while TMP hosts Smith Center in MCL action.
The Monarch boys continued an impressive start to Mid-Continent League play with an anticlimactic 62-46 win at Trego Tuesday night.
TMP moved to 6-2 and 4-0 in league play in WaKeeney and opened up a double -digit advantage in the first quarter behind strong play from the senior class.
Ryan Ruder knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and added a jumper for eight first-quarter points. Classmates TJ Flax, Peyton Hoffman and Jared Vitztum each added multiple buckets, as the Monarchs jumped out at a 22-10 lead after one.
TMP coach Joe Hertel got his reserves involved often and substituted entire rotations at once, as his team enjoyed a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
After a 3-pointer by Golden Eagle junior Emmit Owens cut the TMP lead to nine, both defenses provided a little bit more resistance, and the visitors led 30-19 after two quarters.
Vitztum and Flax again paced the Monarch offense to a 18-12 advantage in the third quarter, while reserves Creighton Renz and Jared Schumacher also pitched in.
Owens scored eight of his team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping Trego to win the final quarter.
Vitztum led all scorers with 19 points for TMP. Flax finished with 12 while Ruder added 10.
The Monarchs will look for their fifth MCL win in as many tries Friday against Hill City.