Eagles jump out to early lead, go on to rout Wolves

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By Dan Johnson

If the first 23 points scored by Dakota Ridge weren’t enough of an indication that Jan. 15’s game against Grandview was going the Eagles’ way, the end of the first quarter provided all the visual evidence one needed.

Jennelle Branting banked in consecutive 3-pointers, the second coming at the buzzer, capping the Eagles’ second 13-2 run of the quarter and making the score 29-8 after just eight minutes of play.

“We haven’t had a home game in a long time, so we wanted to come out hard,” said senior Brooke Pendergraft who scored a game-most 24 points.

Dakota Ridge cruised from there, rolling to a 81-55 win over the Wolves, raising its record to 11-2 entering Jefferson County League play.

Pendergraft wasn’t the only Eagle who had a big night, as Lindsi Holm scored 16 points, Branting 15 and Jenna Santistevan finished with 14 points.

“It does make it a little easier when we come out hard and play like we want it from the very beginning,” said Holm, who made three 3-pointers, including one at the third quarter buzzer that gave the Eagles a 31-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

After the outstanding first quarter, Dakota Ridge admittedly got out of the gates a bit slowly to start the second quarter. But still, even with the slow start, Grandview could get no closer than 17 points and the Eagles increased their lead to 23 by halftime.

Dakota Ridge really put the game out of reach late in the third quarter, closing with a 13-4 run, with Holm hitting bookend 3-pointers.