BISMARCK – The Bismarck girls basketball team was forced to play short-handed when a broken finger recently sidelined starter Madison Dugal for several games.
The sophomore forward delivered one of her best varsity performances to date on Monday night, and helped the Lady Indians post back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
Bismarck received double-doubles from Dugal and junior Brilee Henson – the result of strong work along the boards – and used effective defense in the second half to defeat Lesterville 71-43.
The visiting Lady Bearcats stayed within 37-29 on a jumper by Hannah Richardson, but any chance for a sustained comeback dissipated following 14 turnovers in the third quarter.
Dugal lobbed a pass into Henson for a basket, then followed a subsequent missed shot with another field goal to punctuate a 10-0 response.
Freshman Macy Butery ended a perimeter drought for Bismarck (5-10) with a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass early in the fourth quarter. Henson connected later from long range for a 59-37 advantage.
Dugal totaled 20 points and 14 rebounds, reaching her career scoring high by halftime, while Henson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Indians are reliant on dispersing most minutes to their starters, and managed to avert serious foul trouble throughout the night.
Freshman Jadyn Fitzgerald scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds to pace Lesterville (4-9). Her third basket put the Lady Bearcats ahead 10-9 amid a series of lead changes.
Bismarck answered with an 8-0 run late in the first quarter. Dugal scores from a tight angle on a third chance, and Alyssa Sago converted an ensuing steal into a made pull-up jumper.
Henson teamed with Savannah Tate for a pair of transition layups after Lesterville had drawn to within 21-18, and Ashley Turner scored on an entry pass to highlight another 8-0 spurt.
Dugal supplied four separate baskets during the second quarter after corralling offensive rebounds, and the Lady Indians maintained a 35-25 halftime edge.
Sago scored 10 points and Tate added eight for Bismarck, which outscored Lesterville 22-10 in the fourth quarter. Brooklynn Fitzwater chipped in six points off the bench.
The Lady Indians will host Clearwater in a previously postponed contest on Tuesday.
Matt King is a sports reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org