After eight minutes, the Hays High School girls’ basketball team was locked into a battle with Colby on Friday night.

After the second quarter, the game was pretty much decided.

The Indians used their full-court pressure to make a statement in the second and third quarters en route to a 44-19 victory over the Eagles at the HHS gym.

“We came out and played strong, but we knew we had to keep pushing,” said sophomore Isabel Robben. “They’re good outside shooters, so we knew it would be easy for them to come back into the game.”

Colby showed it could shoot from outside early, knocking down three 3-pointers in the opening period to lead 11-10 after the first eight minutes.

But those were the only highlights the Eagles would have the rest of the way, as Hays High (5-1) locked in defensively.

So much so, that the Indians allowed only two points each in the second and third quarters.

“That’s the one beauty about our kids is they play so hard,” said HHS coach Kirk Maska. “Not that we shot poor tonight, but we didn’t start off shooting well. But our defense is going to keep us in games nine times out of 10. We were able to get up and down the court and get some easy shots. We’re taking little steps each week, and we’re getting better.”

Robben helped the Indians in a strong second quarter, tallying five of her eight points in the period, and junior Savannah Schneider got on track with seven of her game-high 13.

“We have some pretty good full-court pressure,” Robben said. “We have some room to improve, but I think it helps it out a lot.”

The Indians, ranked No. 9 in the latest KBCA poll in Class 4A Division I, forced multiple turnovers in the second quarter to lead 30-13 at halftime.

“We turned it over a lot, and Hays got a lot of baskets in transition in the game,” said Colby coach Tom Stephens. “Hays got a lot of rebounds, and I don’t think we got back very good. I was disappointed in our turnovers. We had a lot of fouls, unnecessary fouls in the first half.”

The margin grew to 39-15 entering the fourth quarter.

“Hats off to our kids. They all play hard, and we’re so hard to figure out who to stop because every night it’s going to be somebody different — and most nights, they’ve all contributed,” Maska said. “We saw that again tonight.”

The Indians led by as many as 29 in the fourth quarter and went on a 34-4 run from the second quarter until sophomore Hallie Vaughn made two free throws with 3:46 left in the game. She finished with 10 points.

It was the final game for the Indians before the Christmas break.

“We’re happy that we got to 5-1 tonight, and that was our goal,” Robben said.