STAPLES -- Pequot Lakes head girls' basketball coach Bill Larson is on a mission to prove his team belongs in the Mid-State Conference.
The Patriots made the first statement Tuesday by beating the Staples-Motley Cardinals on the road 65-47.
"That was the driving force behind us (Tuesday)," Larson said about making a point early.
Pequot used height and experience to capture its first conference win and second victory of the season. Forward Teresa Parker recorded 33 points and 18 rebounds while point guard Flecia Foster added 19 points and eight assists.
"They really overplayed our wings so I took my person one-on-one and drew Teresa or Ashley (Meschke's) person and just dumped it down low," said Foster a three-year varsity veteran.
The Foster-Parker connection controlled the action in the first and last quarters. Parker scored 12 points in the opening frame to hand Pequot an 18-9 lead. The sophomore added 10 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
"I was real comfortable with our offense," said Larson. "I knew the double-team on Teresa was going to come eventually. What we needed to do was hit the free throw line a little more. We didn't do that right away and we should have."
Pequot's ability to find Parker in the post translated into a field goal percentage of 60 percent. The Patriots shot 27 of 45 from the field.
On the flip side, the Cardinals had trouble finding the basket. S-M shot 26 percent (20 of 77) from the field and 43 percent from the foul line. Parker added eight blocked shots to add to S-M's shooting problems.
"We didn't shoot that well," said Cardinals coach Ron Beachy. "I don't know what the numbers were but they outrebounded us pretty good too."
Sophomore Kim Mosack led the Cardinals with 11 points.
S-M used full-court pressure to create 28 Pequot turnovers. But S-M's inability to shoot and get second chances was its undoing.
Pequot made the right adjustments to the press as it outscored the Cardinals 33-22 in the second half to secure the win.
Michelle Honek, the lone returning starter for the Cardinals, was held to just one point because of early foul trouble and Ashley Meschke.
"We told Ashley Meschke that she was going to have to use her tennis ability and move her legs the way she does," said Larson. "She has over 100 wins in tennis so obviously she can move laterally. It doesn't take a brain surgeon coach to figure that one out."
Meschke added five points and eight rebounds for Pequot along with playing stellar defense.
Jacque Peterson and Ashley Blake provided a spark for the Cardinals off the bench. Peterson added nine points and Blake eight.
"It feels really good because I didn't come here expecting to win by so much," said Foster. "I think we really played well as a team. A lot better than what I thought we would."
Pequot Lakes 18 15 15 17 -- 65
Staples-Motley 9 16 11 11 -- 47
PEQUOT LAKES (65)
Flecia Foster 19, Brittany Engen 5, Ashley Meschke 4, Teresa Parker 33, Kali Welu 2, Kristin Willer 2. Team totals: FG 27-45 (60 percent), FT 9-16 (56 percent). Conference -- 1-0 Overall -- 2-0. Next game: host Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3
Michelle Honek 1, Emily Burrows 4, Steph Jares 5, Rose Milless 6, Kim Mosack 11, Liza Milless 3, Jacque Peterson 9, Ashley Blake 8. Team totals: FG 20-77 (26 percent), FT 6-14 (43 percent). Conference -- 0-1. Overall -- 0-1. Next game: host Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3
3-point baskets -- PL 0, SM 1 (Liza Milless). Fouled out -- SM-Jares.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.