LAFAYETTE — The Dawson School girls basketball team is ready to move past mediocrity.
After several years in a row of finishing with six to 10 wins — more so on the lighter side of those numbers — the Mustangs have a new coach in Rob Pierson who isn't going to settle for it.
Neither are the girls he's guiding.
In a 44-21 season opening win against Rocky Mountain Lutheran on Monday night at the Dawson gym, Pierson was focused on getting his youthful team in a get-ready-to-hustle mode, and it paid off with an exceptional start to the contest and the establishment of a pattern he hopes they can consistently repeat.
"The pace was what I wanted, and that's what we've been working on the whole (preseason)," Pierson said after watching his team allow just four field goals to the Eagles (0-3) the entire contest. "Getting touches at each of the positions was another emphasis, and I thought our guards and bigs were both very active tonight for us. So with that, I'm real happy with the start."
Dawson (1-0) certainly showed the desire to create havoc early on against Rocky Mountain Lutheran, who plays in the Class 1A 5280 League. While the Eagles did have some size in the post and were able to control the rebounds a little bit, they also had trouble getting down the court thanks in large part to the ball pressure the Mustangs applied.
Rocky Mountain Lutheran had eight turnovers in each of the first three quarters of play, and that allowed the Mustangs to work both fast-break opportunities and be able to gain more offensive possessions to find their way in this first regular season contest.
Kaitlyn Day hit a pair of early 3-point baskets, and her sister Madison had five early points to get the hosts in a good position offensively, but the Mustangs didn't have to rely on them for most of the scoring.
In fact, Amelia Boone and Ruby Walker — the latter who came off the bench — provided some nice early buckets and Dawson held a 17-5 lead after just one quarter. The Mustangs didn't allow a single made field goal in the frame.
Maddy Timms, just a freshman, scored four of her six points in the second quarter and then gave way to Alexandra Dunbar, who scored all eight of her points in the second half.
Without a lot of size, Pierson said the team has to work through the Day sisters and utilize some of that quickness they have overall. With eight players scoring points in the contest, it was a successful audition.
"I think everyone knows the Day sisters can play well and they know their skill set, so we're going to have a good balance around them I think," Pierson said. "The ball moved well tonight."
Dawson School 44, Rocky Mountain Lutheran 21
At Dawson School
ROCKY MOUNTAIN LUTHERAN (0-3)
Grace Sievert 2 5-9 10, Tyler Douglas 2 0-2 4, Julia Kieselhorst 0 0-0 0, Ashley Larsen 0 0-0 0, Maddie Mulvaney 0 7-13 7, Violet Dumke 0 0-0 0. Totals 4 12-24 21.
DAWSON SCHOOL (1-0)
Madison Day 4 1-2 9, Kaitlyn Day 4 0-0 10, Emily Hicks 0 0-0 0, Jessica Drapkin 0 0-0 0, Alex Dunbar 4 0-0 8, Kate Gallop 0 1-4 1, Maddy Timms 3 0-0 6, Amelia Boone 2 0-0 4, Ruby Walker 2 0-0 4, Alexis Gilio 1 0-0 2, Elise Freedman 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 2-6 44.
Score by quarters:Rocky Mountain Lutheran5961—21
3-point field goals — Rocky Mountain Lutheran (1): Sievert; Dawson (2) K. Day 2.