As consistent as her defense has been, Brooke Rollins' offense has had the Brainerd Warrior' coaching staff up nights.
The senior guard hasn't performed, offensively, up to expectations. The Warriors' captain changed that Thursday at the Brainerd High School.
Rollins scored 11 points to help the Warriors to a 60-30 pounding of the Little Falls Flyers in Central Lakes Conference girls basketball.
"I've been shooting a lot more in practice lately and staying after a little bit more and I think it's finally paying off," said Rollins.
Brainerd used a balanced scoring attack and a 22-3 third quarter to burst to a quick second-half lead. The Warriors maintained the lead the rest of the way as Jessie Rosenthal (four points), Breanna Olson (2) and Cara Wiltse (2) came off the bench to add to the scoring barrage.
Brainerd had scored 60 or more points only three times before Thursday's game. But a 10-0 run to start the third quarter and a 12-0 run to end it catapulted the Warriors to a commanding 43-21 lead.
All five starters scored in the decisive third. A three-pointer by Flyer sophomore Sarah Kallis was the hiccup in the eight-minute span.
"We just decided at halftime to play what we do best and that's man to man and we got 10 points in about a minute," said warrior coach Carl Hendrickson. "That just gets everyone ignited. You start to put those in, you start to get the momentum and all of a sudden you're hitting the shots from the outside.
"We put a lot of points on the board in a hurry just from that aspect of getting some points off of turnovers and generating some enthusiasm."
Rollins and Megan Arns both scored six in the third quarter. Julie Austin and Maria Swanson added four points a piece and Bithiah McDermott added two.
"It was important to get off to a quick start because momentum means a lot," said Rollins. "It takes us awhile to get started sometime and we just needed to do it then."
Swanson led all scorers with 14 points followed by Rollins and Arns with 11. After picking up four quick fouls, Austin still managed 10 points for Brainerd. Kallis led the Flyers with 10 points.
"We got scoring from not only our starters, but from our bench people," said Hendrickson. "That's important for us. We've been in games where we've scored 32 and 35 points and we can't win games scoring that low. Our goal here on out is to score 60 points every game."
The Warriors used a stifling fullcourt man-to-man press that helped create 13 Flyer turnovers in the third quarter. Little Falls shot 1 of 5 in the third quarter while Brainerd was a sweltering 65 percent (11 of 17).
The onslaught didn't stop in the fourth as Brainerd built its lead, outscoring Little Falls 17-9. In all Brainerd shot 42 percent (26-55) from the field while its defense produced 34 turnovers.
"This win makes us feel better because when we aren't scoring and we're not running our plays right everyone gets frustrated," said Rollins. "So this will hopefully make things better."
Little Falls 7 11 3 8 -- 30
Brainerd 11 10 22 17 -- 60
LITTLE FALLS (30)
Amanda Dunlap 7, Holly Hoheisel 2, Sarah Kallis 10, Melissa Waytashek 5, Ashley Lubbers 6. Team totals: FG 12-42 (29 percent), FT 4-8 (50 percent). Conference -- 1-10. Overall -- 3-16. Next game: At Bemidji 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Julie Austin 10, Jessie Rosenthal 4, Bithiah McDermott 6, Breanna Olson 2, Brooke Rollins 11, Cara Wiltse 2, Maria Swanson 14, Megan Arns 11. Team totals: FG 25-60 (42 percent), FT 8-15 (53 percent). Conference -- 6-5. Overall -- 9-7. Next game: Host Willmar 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
3-point baskets -- LF 2 (Kallis 2). Rebounds -- B 29 (Arns 7, Swanson 7, Rollins 5 ); LF 24. Turnovers -- B 23; LF 33. Assists -- B 19 (Arns 8). Steals -- B 25 (Arns 9, Swanson 6).
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