Leading by two points at halftime over Angola, Bishop Luers girls basketball coach Mark Pixley told his team that all they needed to do was clean up their rebounding, take care of the basketball, stick to their offense, and the rest would take care of itself.
His players made that look like pretty good advice as they went on an 18-2 run to open the second half, giving the host Knights (2-0) enough of a cushion to earn a 61-48 victory over an Angola team that fell in overtime in the regional final the last time it played.
"The third quarter is how we want to play," Pixley said. "The first half, we came out and we were kind of testing the waters. Angola's a really good team, and the first team that really pressured us, and we weren't handling their pressure that well."
Bishop Luers' Lydia Reimbold, who scored a game-high 22 points, scored nine of them during that run, and Kennedy Glenn scored eight of her 10 points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Hornets made just three buckets in the quarter.
"Our big thing is always three stops in a row, and after that, another three stops," Reimbold said. "So that was our thing: Let's get three stops, get three scores, and keep building off of that."
The Hornets (0-1) were down by 18 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but hit four 3-pointers in the final quarter, pulling within 10 points. Kayla Fenstermaker led Angola with 14 points and Hanna Knoll scored 13.
"We were kind of playing helter-skelter in the third, and Angola, they're a good team, they're going to make a run," Pixley said. "I told the girls in the huddle, they're going to make a run. We'd make a run if we were down 13. But we wanted to slow it down a little and see if we could get (Reimbold) in the post, and I think she hit an elbow-jumper to settle us down."
Janaiya Bright, who left the game after picking up two early fouls, scored six of her eight points in the final quarter and had three steals that helped the Knights regain control.
Bishop Luers is opening the season against four of the most successful teams in the area, beating Central Noble 51-18 in the opener and preparing for dates against South Side later this week and Norwell next week.
"That showed us that we can be confident with breaking a press and they helped us get ready for South Side on Thursday," Reimbold said of the Hornets. "Their press is going to be really similar, so I was really proud of our team on that."