The Knights went on a short scoring run to start Tuesday's game, but the Le Mars Community Schools' boys basketball team shook off the rust, took the lead by the end of the first quarter and held on.
The Bulldogs won 61-53.
Going into the season opener with Unity, there were some unknowns for the Bulldogs, who graduated several key players last year.
"We didn't know what we had going into this," Irwin said. "We knew we had some guys that were fairly athletic and fairly quick; we had a few guys that had a little experience. But tonight we got a lot of experience and we got a good basis to build off of."
The 'Dogs had a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 15-11, and they kept that distance through halftime, with a score of 28-24.
LCS upped it a notch in the third quarter, taking a 10 point lead 46-36, adding on 15 more points before the final buzzer.
Irwin said he saw the Bulldogs' game get a little shaky toward the end.
While they were up by 12 at one point, they allowed Unity to cut it down to five several times.
"We missed some free throws and then we just didn't take care of the basketball very well. We turned it over too many times," Irwin said. "To our credit, we did battle back and were able to hold them off."
Le Mars had 17 turnovers but the Bulldog defense forced Unity into 23.
Leading scorers for LCS were senior Gabe Rahn with 16 points and junior Jake Irwin with 14.
Rahn grabbed seven boards and sophomore Tyler Borchers had five.
Jake Irwin had four assists and senior Parker Rolfes had two assists plus five steals.
The 'Dogs were 19-for-31 from the free throw line.
Coach Irwin saw the LCS ball club doing some good things on the hardwood Tuesday.
"We got an idea of what our strengths are and we've got to build on them," he said. "We'll take a win on the road any time."
LCS will travel again next Tuesday to play Spirit Lake at Spirit Lake.