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Preston post player Kylie Larsen calls for the ball while being guarded by Burley’s Amari Whiting last Saturday.

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The strong start to the 2020-21 season continues for Preston’s girls basketball program.

Preston jumped out to a 18-point lead in the first half and never looked back en route to a 54-24 drubbing of visiting Marsh Valley on Friday night.

Earlier this week, Preston rolled to a 49-27 win at home over three-time defending 2A state champion Soda Springs, which lost six seniors from last season’s squad. The Indians dispatched of Burley, the defending 4A state consolation champs, 49-40 in its home and season opener last Saturday.

Marsh Valley (1-1) had no answer for Preston post player Kylie Larsen, who nearly outscored the Eagles by herself in the opening half. Larsen tallied 13 of her season-high 18 points in the first two quarters for the Indians, who took a 31-15 lead into the half. The senior also dominated the 3A Eagles defensively.

Any slim chance of a Marsh Valley comeback was terminated in the third quarter as the hosts held the visitors scoreless. The Eagles didn’t score their first points of the second half until there was 5:05 remaining in the final quarter.

Preston’s advantage ballooned to 24 points at the end of the third quarter, 39-15, and reached 30 points three times in the fourth. Eight different players scored at least two points apiece for the Indians, who enjoyed a big size advantage over the Eagles.

Mickayla Robertson netted seven of her nine points in the second half for Preston, which got seven points from Sydnee Marlow and a career-high six points from Karlee Lords.

On Wednesday night, Preston outscored Soda Springs 29-12 in the middle two quarters to bury the visitors.

“Defensively, we were just putting pressure on them,” Preston head coach Ryan Harris said in an interview with The Idaho State Journal. “Offensively, we got some outside shots going. We got some penetration and then kicked it out for the outside shots.

“But we missed a lot of shots tonight. We honestly should have been in the 50s tonight.”

Robertson led the way against the Cardinals (0-2) with 14 points, while Hailey Meek was right behind with 12. Meek also contributed with five assists, four steals and four rebounds. Robertson knocked down 4 of 6 field goal attempts, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.

“They can both shoot from outside and they’re both long wing players,” Harris said Robertson and Meek. “We can create some mismatches with them. They can get up and down the court and they both have great wind. They’re just good basketball players.”

Riley Ward also put together a solid all-around performance for Preston as she chipped in with eight points, six boards, three assists and three steals. Larsen paced Preston with nine rebounds and also blocked a pair of shots, and Addison Moser dished out four assists.

Preston was slated to host Sugar-Salem on Saturday night, but that game has been moved to next Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

BEAVERS 43, PIRATES 33

West Side jumped out to a 20-17 halftime lead over 3A American Falls, but struggled offensively in the fourth quarter and defensively in the third. The Beavers (1-1) outscored the Pirates (0-2) 26-13 in the second half, and netted 18 of their points in the third quarter, while limiting the visitors to three in the fourth.

Kajsia Fuller finished with more than half of West Side’s point — 17 in all. Sienna Fuller and Natalie Lemmon combined for 11 points for the Pirates.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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