Three days after handing Lower Richland its first instate loss in nearly four years, the Class 2A, third-ranked Eau Claire girls basketball team went back to more mundane matters on Tuesday against Dreher at George Glymph Arena.
The host Shamrocks dispatched the Blue Devils 52-35 to improve to 3-0. Eau Claire coach Precious Caldwell was not particularly happy with the performance.
"We jumped out to a big lead and seemed to think that we could just have some fun," Caldwell said.
"The kids might still have been thinking about the Lower Richland game, because they weren't that focused on taking care of business tonight. We'll get back to concentrating on execution, I can assure you."
The Shamrocks jumped to a 10-0 lead and expanded the advantage to 17-3 by the 1:05 mark of the first quarter. Eau Claire then went more than six minutes without scoring, allowing the Blue Devils to cut the deficit to 17-11.
A 3-pointer from the right wing by Thaesha Lyles ended the dry spell at 2:47 of the second quarter, and the Shamrocks were not in serious trouble again.
"We missed some layups and got sloppy with the ball and before you knew it, we were in a game," Caldwell said.
"We didn't have those kind of lapses against Lower Richland, and, hopefully, we learned our lesson. We have to take command, and not back off when it looks like things are going well."
Veterans Amelia Carrie and Janae Stevenson had the big numbers. Carrie, a junior guard, scored a game-high 19 points, and had three assists and three steals. Stevenson, a 6-foot-1 senior center, scored 14 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. Thaesha Lyles chipped in seven points and 11 boards.
Tequila McNeal and Racquel Brown shared scoring honors for Dreher with eight points apiece.
"We're inexperienced, so we have a tendency to play in spurts," Blue Devils coach Teresa Jones said.
"We have some good minutes and some not-good minutes. But I told the girls I was proud of them tonight because we competed well against a very good team. We didn't win, but we didn't get blown out."
Eau Claire dominated in the first and third quarters with a 28-11 advantage, but Dreher played the Shamrocks to a 24-24 draw in the second and fourth quarters.
EC: Amelia Carrie 19, Janae Stevenson 14, Lyles 8, Davis 7, Brown 2. D: Boone 2, McNeal 8, Sullivan 6, Smith 1, Wiggins 6, Brown 8, Canty 4, Scott 1.