LAFAYETTE — Dawson School girls coach Rob Pierson wasn't at all worried when the schedule came out and there was a Dec. 20 game against rival Shining Mountain penciled in.
Finals week. Kids leaving to go different places to be with families over the holidays. And that itch to just get away from school for a few weeks are always prevalent.
"When we are here, we are ready to go," he said.
And they were on Wednesday night against the Lions, scoring the first eight points of the game and never looking back for a 36-20 victory to improve their December record to 4-2.
"We are not really worried about break until break happens," said Pierson, who is in his first season in charge of the Mustangs. "I'm happy with the effort. We are still putting some new things in, but this is a very high energy group."
The Mustangs won the game early with their effort on the defensive end. Dawson forced six first quarter Shining Mountain turnovers and held them to just two points in the opening eight minutes.
A 7-0 start the second quarter saw the lead grow to 16-2 against a Lions team that had trouble finding the gas pedal in the opening half.
Dawson got a team-high 12 points from sophomore Madison Day and eight point from her sister Kaitlyn to lead the way.
"It's really kind of foundational for us to get some things in place, but so far so good, it's been a good preseason and I can't ask for more than we are doing," Pierson said. "We are still getting to know each other a little bit, but it is coming together."
Thing improved in the second half for Shining Mountain and coach Mike Hawkes, whose eight player roster includes five freshmen — although those five have been together since sixth grade.
The Lions got 13 points from Frances Hilliard — including 10 in the second half.
"The things that I love about this squad is that they are really hungry. They want to be here and they want to work hard," said Hawkes, whose young team dropped to 2-5. "(Dawson) came out with the right kind of attitude to play against the cross-town rival, and we talk about coming out on fire instead of trying to start the fire.
"And tonight we needed to find that fire, we just didn't come out with that urgency at all."
DAWSON 36, SHINING MOUNTAIN 20
SHINING MOUNTAIN (2-5)
Olivia Jabari 0 0-0 0, Fiona Lovejoy 0 0-0 0, Tess Sullivan 0 1-2 1, Frances Hilliard 5 0-3 13, Amrita Shore 0 0-0 0, Sophie Fairmont 1 0-0 2, Lola Conaway 1 0-0 2, Katia Genter 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 1-5 20.
Madison Day 6 0-0 12, Kaitlyn Day 3 0-3 8, Emily 0 0-0 0, Alexandra Dunbar 0 0-0 0, Kate Gallop 3 0-2 6, Elise Freedman 1 0-0 2, Maddy Timms 3 0-0 6, Amelia Boone 0 1-6 1, Ruby Walker 0 0-0 0. Totas 16 1-11 36.
Score by quarters:Shining Mountain 2 5 7 6 — 20
Dawson 9 11 4 12—36
3-point field goals — Shining Mountain (3): Hilliard 3; Dawson (3): K. Day 2, Freedman. Total fouls — Shining Mountain 8; Dawson 11.