MONMOUTH — When Tia Day’s first shot fell, it was a hint of things to come.
When her second 3 dropped less than a minute later, it was a full-fledged warning.
In the first minute of the second quarter Saturday, the Monmouth girls’ basketball team tripled its lead, and the offensive burst was the start of something good for the Mustangs.
“I thought when we started making our shots that we’d start to get our confidence and start playing like we usually do,” said Day, a freshman point guard.
Day helped spark Monmouth in the second quarter and the rest of the Mustangs responded in a 60-35 win over Lisbon.
Day had eight points in that quarter, including two of her trio of 3s on the night. Monmouth finished with seven 3s in the game, including four in the second quarter.
“We’ve got some decent shooters,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said. “That’s a thing that’s going to help us this year. It will be spreading people out a little bit more. We haven’t been able to do that for a few years.”
Abbey Allen, another freshman, and Sidney Wilson each had nine for Monmouth. Jenna Davies added seven. The Mustangs had 11 different girls score.
“We played all 13 girls at least four-and-a-half minutes,” Wing said. “That says something right there — that we have pretty good depth. Some of the kids just need the experience of being on the court and playing.”
Lisbon just couldn’t match the Mustangs offensive output. Bree Sautter and Jasmin Le each had eight for the Greyhounds while Mia Durgin had seven. Lisbon was plagued by over two dozen turnovers, including 16 in the first half.
“We were a little panicked,” Lisbon coach Julie Petrie said. “We just couldn’t get into an offensive flow. We just stood around and waited for someone to step up and take control. Unfortunately it took longer than it should have.”
The game had been tied twice in the first quarter. Monmouth opened up a 12-8 lead at the end on a 3 by Wilson.
The Mustangs opened the second quarter with a bang. Day drilled a 3 in the first minute, making it 15-8 in an instant. Then after an Allen basket inside, Day hit another 3 for a 20-8 lead.
“They had a great shooting night,” Petrie said. “That combination of us not scoring and not picking up our assignments defensively, that doesn’t bode well.”
Lisbon got baskets by Sautter and Durgin to get within 20-12, but Monmouth finished the half strong. Davis scored all seven of her points in a span of :51 seconds, including a 3 that made it 27-12. Day had a drive. Maddie Stevens finished off a nice passing play, and Wilson hit another 3 to make it 34-16 at the half.
“We have a lot of scorers this year, which is good,” Day said. “You know if you pass it, you know you’re not going to lose it. We have people that can shoot from anywhere.”
Day had five points in the third, including another 3. Allen added a 3 while Lisbon was held to just five points. The Greyhound started to make things happen offensively in the fourth. Le had six points and Katherin George had a pair of baskets.
“We’re still trying to get our feet wet,” Petrie said. “We’re still trying to find out who’s going to lead us and take charge.
“We have to get the confidence up because we have kids in big roles. We just have to chip away and try to focus on a couple things in practice and look to get better each game.”
Though Monmouth had a great surge of offense in the second quarter, maintaining that is something the Mustangs will look to improve upon during the season.
“When we get going, it’s streaky,” Wing said. “We do some good things and start scoring and then kind of go into lulls once in awhile. That’s what we’re trying to work on, cutting down on those offensive lulls.”