In season opener, Lady Raiders look dominant; Saint Mary's losing streak hits five

If first impressions mean anything, the Immaculata girls’ basketball team is in for a great season.
In front of its home crowd, the Lady Raiders opened the new year by drubbing Heritage Christian 60-30 Thursday.
“I thought it was awesome,” Imac coach Terry Jordan said. “What I liked most about it was the confidence we had. No one was afraid to shoot the ball, especially the newcomers. It was good to see that aggressiveness.”
Aggressive was a perfect way to describe Immaculata’s play against the visiting Lady Chargers. Behind a relentless full-court press that trapped at a every available moment, Immaculata vaulted out to a 23-5 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
“Our trap was on,” Jordan said. “We have to run that to be successful and run it as a collective team, which tonight we did to perfection.”
The Heritage turnovers came too fast to keep track of and by halftime, the Lady Raiders held a commanding 40-16 edge.
To start the third, Immaculata finished off any thoughts of a comeback when it outscored its opponent 16-7, and then cruised to the 30-point win in the fourth.
Lainey Bell was the team’s leading scorer with 20 points, followed by Ellie Wolk with 14 and Lauren Vardiman with nine. Grace Parker added eight points, Mary Kate Wolken four and Kasey Cannon and Georgia Lynn Dean each had two. Danielle Sachse contributed one point.
Immaculata, 1-0, will play at Horton Friday at 6 p.m.
“I told our girls five things that I wanted to see happen tonight,” Jordan said. “Last year, it took us 15 games to do all five of those things in a game and tonight, we did them all. That just speaks to their will of wanting to be a part of this team.”

Lady Spires start league play slow
In its first conference game of the season, the Saint Mary women’s basketball team saw its losing streak stretch to five Thursday.
Playing at Bethel College, the Lady Spires crumpled under the Threshers’ hospitality and lost 70-53. The last time USM won a game was back on Nov. 13, a 72-61 home win over Stephens College.
Saint Mary, 4-5 overall and 0-1 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, will be at Friends University Saturday for a 5 p.m. contest.