Sister Act 3: Lauren, Kristen Dempsey combine for 35 in win
The 2012 high school basketball season could not have gotten off to a much better start for the Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals. Sitting at 3-1 heading into the Thanksgiving break, the Lady Cardinals have put together stellar shooting nights while play excellent defense on the other end.
Senior guard Lauren Dempsey has been a huge spark in the starting role for the team, averaging 15 points per game including a 19 and 21point showing so far this young season.
After getting past Bismarck and Cutter Morning Star last week, after falling to Poyen in the season opener, the Lady Cardinals dominated the shooting game once again Monday, beating Ouachita 52-34 for their third straight win.
"I am pretty happy about where we are at," Head Coach John White said. "There are always things you can work on and we are going to try and address those and it makes it easier to do that after a win."
White added that his team is doing a good job of sharing the basketball and playing defense thus far this season.
"We are playing a little better basketball than we have seen," White said.
Harmony Grove started the game off with an early lead, thanks to a bucket from senior forward Lexa Carpenter to put the team up 2-0 in the first. After a missed 3-pointer and a turnover by Ouachita, sophomore guard Kristen Dempsey hit the game’s first 3-pointer to put the Lady Cardinals up 5-0 early. But the run was short-lived as the Lady Warriors got into the game with a 3-ball of their own, cutting the early deficit to 5-3.
Then the beatdown began. Led by three straight successful 3-pointers from Lauren Dempsey, with one assisted from Kristen Dempsey, the Lady Cardinals found themselves with a big 17-3 lead still in the first quarter. Harmony Grove started the game by making its first five 3-pointers in the win. With a 17-6 lead after one, the Lady Cardinals continued to put up big numbers in the second quarter, jumping out to a 30-18 halftime lead. Lauren Dempsey added nine more points to her already impressive game resume in the second quarter on three more 3-pointers.
After scoring a lot in the first half, the scoring was less lively for both teams in the second with the Lady Cardinals outscoring Ouachita 22-16 in the half. The Lady Warriors cut Harmony Grove's lead down to 12 in the third quarter but could not stop the hot shooting from the Dempsey sisters or from senior guard Laura Britt as the Lady Cardinals rolled to another big win, this one a 52-34 final.
Lauren Dempsey led all scorers with a career high 21 points on seven made 3-pointers. Kristen Dempsey followed with 14 while three others added five each.
"When you come out and you are making shots, you can build a lead like we did," White said. "We are moving the ball and getting it to the open shooters and when you make those shots and put points on the board it makes a big difference."
After starting the game off making nearly 83 percent from the field, the Lady Cardinals finished the night making 19 of 57 from the floor including 9 of 23 from beyond the arc. Harmony Grove outrebounded the Lady Warriors 34 to 25 in the win. Both teams committed 14 turnovers in the contest which is down significantly for the Lady Cardinals.
While White's team is off to a hot start, he feels that there are still key things to work on once the team gets back from the holiday break.
"We have got to be more consistent," White said. "We still make some immature basketball plays. We have got to grow and learn from experience."
The Lady Cardinals will take the floor again on Nov. 27 when they tip off against Bauxite in the opening round of the Harmony Grove Invitational Tournament. The Lady Miners won the tournament last year. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
*Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, in The Saline Courier. A small selection of local stories is available online, but for full access to content, subscribe to our print or e-edition.