ELLIS — Already encouraged by what her team accomplished in the first half on Friday at Ellis, Thomas More Prep-Marian girls basketball coach Rose McFarland immediately saw the Monarchs take it up a notch to begin the third quarter. 

TMP used its fullcourt pressure to score the first 10 points of the second half and pushed the lead to 25 by the end of the third frame en route to a 63-38 victory over the Railers. 

“We were real excited about it,’ McFarland said of the Monarchs’ third quarter. “We were playing good defense, getting some steals and converting those into layups. That really widened the game.”

Ellis hung around with TMP for the first quarter before the Monarchs started to gain separation midway though the second frame, opening up a 31-19 lead by halftime.

“I thought we were doing a lot of good things,” McFarland said. “We were moving the ball up and down the floor. We missed a lot of shots inside. Second half we kind of took our time a little more. But I was real encouraged by what were doing and moving the ball, looking for the next pass.”

TMP (4-3, 3-0 Mid-Continent League)  had success working the ball inside in the second half against the Railers, who dropped to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in MCL play. 

“I felt like we had a size advantage,” McFarland said. “When we settled down and moved the ball, we got some really good looks inside. 

“There were times when we really rushed our shot. But I was really happy with our defense, our intensity. It was a good start after Christmas.”

Junior guard Adell Riedel paced the Monarchs with 13 points while sophomore post player Sasha Wasinger finished with 12. Senior Emily Shippers added nine points while senior Jillian Lowe and freshman Emilee Lane chipped in seven and six points, respectively. 

“That’s how we want our team to be,” McFarland said of the scoring balance. “We want everyone to feel like they can have their shot when it’s open. We don’t necessarily want to rely on just one person. That just makes our team tougher to guard, tougher down the road.”

Sophomore guard Grace Eck scored a game-high 20 points for the Railers. 

The Monarchs will turn around to face Sacred Heart on the road Saturday.