FARMINGTON – Caitlyn Holmes waited nearly a full year and 14 games into her senior basketball season to finally have her nagging right pinkie reset after being unable to straighten it.
Although she admits feeling some intense discomfort more than a week removed from the procedure, the four-sport athlete from Central showed no negative effects on Saturday.
Holmes compiled 24 points, 13 rebounds and three steals while leading the Lady Rebels over MAAA Large-School rival Farmington 72-53 for their ninth consecutive win.
Skyler Amonette totaled 16 points with five assists, and Sophia Horton scored 13 as the Lady Rebels (15-1, 2-0) forced 19 turnovers amid an often frenetic pace.
Callie Thurston provided eight points with eight rebounds, and helped Holmes bestow Central a decisive advantage along the boards.
The Knights (8-7, 1-1) were unable to maximize their size near the basket against disruptive pressure, and did not attempt a single free throw in the game.
Senior forward Claire Busse had a team-high 12 points for Farmington, but that total included a pair of 3-pointers and a mid-range jumper in the fourth quarter.
Emily Greif finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and located Zoe Johns inside for two early baskets as their club attacked after escaping traps.
But Central countered with consecutive 3-pointers by Amonette and Horton, and would not trail again while capping the first quarter on an 11-2 run.
Holmes knocked down her first shot from about 17 feet, then drove for a pair of aggressive layups and followed a separate miss to highlight a 19-10 advantage.
Amonette sank her second triple to answer a driving layup by Alyson Tucker, but the Knights briefly chipped away with brisk ball movement from the perimeter.
Greif connected from long range, and Virginia Lugo raced through the lane for a transition layup to suddenly cut the Farmington deficit to 29-23.
Central relied on defense to regain its momentum prior to intermission. Kimmy Wallen alertly stole the ball back to score, and Thurston intercepted a pass seconds later to find Holmes for another basket.
The Lady Rebels executed a similar sequence to open the third. Karissa Belfield converted a steal and layup after Thurston netted her first field goal on a baseline jumper.
Horton finished a nifty bounce from Holmes while drawing contact, and Central completed a 9-0 blitz that spanned 1:40 of clock time to build a 43-23 cushion.
Macey Pauls stemmed the negative spiral for Farmington with a 3-pointer for her first basket, but Busse exited with four fouls after making the score 45-30.
A designed return pass from Baylee Gilliam to Pauls on an inbounds play brought the home team closer. However, Central used its relentless speed to punctuate the quarter on an 8-0 run.
The Lady Rebels went 13-of-19 overall from the line, and Holmes made another slashing layup to create the largest margin of the afternoon at 57-35.
Farmington offered its closest approach from there at 59-45 when Greif finished a 3-on-2 fast break. A key layup by Amonette and two ensuing free throws by Holmes sealed the outcome.
Pauls tallied nine points while Johns scored eight and Tucker had seven for the Knights.
Grandview 61, West County 57
WARE, Mo. – West County carried a one-point lead into the fourth quarter of a tight battle on Saturday before having its 8-game winning streak snapped.
Meaghan Faust scored a game-high 25 points, and Macy Ketcherside added 21 from the post to pace Grandview to a 61-57 victory at home.
Dori McRaven finished with 17 points, and Alyssa Roever connected three times from the perimeter to net 13 for West County (14-4).
Grandview (12-2) secured narrow leads of 13-11 through one quarter and 27-23 at halftime, but the Lady Bulldogs were ahead 37-36 eight minutes later.
Allee Drennen provided 12 points for West County, which faces Arcadia Valley in an MAAA Small-School showdown on Monday. Jordan Stevens chipped in seven points, and Cheyenne Young had six.