LYONS -- With the score tied at an offensively miserable score of 8-8 at halftime, one wondered if, after the break, the team that managed to string just two baskets together might be the one to come away with a victory.
As it turned out, once a couple baskets fell for Alexander Dawson, the shots just kept raining down.
Shaking off the doldrums of a frustrating first half, the Mustangs quickly put together a dominant run in the third quarter, paving the way for a 37-20 nonconference win at Lyons. Alexander Dawson (6-6) received sudden scoring bursts from Morgan Powers, Rachel Clair and Fiona Bell during the third to pull away from the Lions. It was the sixth consecutive loss for Lyons, which fell to 1-11 overall.
"I told them at the half that the good news was that it couldn't get much worse than that," Alexander Dawson coach Jessica Mitchell said. "They all kind of laughed and I think it relaxed them a little. We hadn't hit a shot yet and we were tied, so we tried to push it from there.
"Once they saw the lid was off the top (of the rim) in the second half, they got some confidence. When one of us gets going, it kind of feeds off each other. That helped us a lot in the second half."
Lyons took a 10-8 lead immediately after the break on a driving layup by senior Olivia Raspotnik, but that would be the end of the offensive highlights for the Lions. A jumper from Bell began a 20-0 run by Dawson that put the game out of reach and featured a range of contributions for the Mustangs.
Powers, who missed all five of her 3-point attempts in the first half, knocked down three consecutive long jumpers, including a pair of 3-pointers. Bell added six points during the burst while Clair, who made only one of her first eight shots, drained consecutive 3-pointers, the last of which capped Dawson's 20-0 run and gave the Mustangs a 28-10 lead going into the fourth.
"Some of our shots were close but we weren't making them, but we knew they would fall eventually," Powers said. "We kept telling our teammates that they were going to fall and to keep trying. They finally did. Once that started it helped our team get excited and pull away. It's good to get confidence like that."
Bell paced Dawson with 12 points, scoring eight in the second half, while Powers scored all 11 of her points after intermission. Powers also contributed 10 rebounds, combining with Nicole Towner (12 rebounds) to give the Mustangs a sizeable advantage on the boards.
The youthful Lions, who feature only two seniors on their roster, have not been the most formidable offensive team, entering Saturday's contest averaging just 25.7 points a game. Yet it has been a particularly frustrating week for Lyons, which managed only 33 points overall in losses against Platte Valley and Dawson. Head coach Sandy Mitchell (no relation to Dawson coach Jessica Mitchell) still is patiently attempting to develop other offensive weapons to help the Lions when Raspotnik is shackled as she was on Saturday. The senior, averaging more than 14 points and 12 rebounds, was limited to seven points by Alexander Dawson.
"Olivia is our go-to player, but we're talking about a team that is so young," said Sandy Mitchell, whose club made only six field goals. "And not just young, but with no experience. (Raspotnik) wasn't getting hot, and when she doesn't get hot, it almost trickles down to the rest of the team, unfortunately."
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Alexander Dawson 37, Lyons 20
At Lyons HS
ALEXANDER DAWSON (6-6)
Powers 4 0-0 11, Gallop 1 0-1 2, Towner 2 0-2 4, Clair 3 0-0 8, Bell 6 0-3 12, Barrett 0 0-2 0, Desai 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 0-8 37.
A. Sundrud 0 0-0 0, Bashor 0 4-6 4, Raspotnik 2 2-2 7, Walko 1 0-0 2, Simms 1 0-0 2, Roth 1 0-0 3, Grace 1 0-0 2, Hamilton 0 0-0 0, S. Sundrud 0 0-0 0, Danduran 0 0-0 0. Totals 6 6-8 20.
Score by quarters:
Alexander Dawson 6 2 20 9 -- 37
Lyons 3 5 2 10 -- 20
3-point field goals -- Alexander Dawson (5): Powers 3, Clair 2; Lyons (2): Raspotnik, Roth. Total fouls -- Alexander Dawson 12, Lyons 15. Fouled out -- Walko.