LE MARS -- A big first quarter paved the path to victory for the Gehlen girls basketball team against Spalding Catholic on Tuesday, final score 50-20.
The Lady Jays took control of the non-conference game right off the bat and jumped to a 25-3 lead in the first quarter.
"We jumped out real fast, real quick, ran the floor extremely well and made our shots early," Gehlen coach Marty Kurth said. "We were able to put pressure on them and jumped up to a big lead."
Things slowed down a little bit in the second stanza, but the Jays were able to add to Gehlen's commanding lead and took a 32-8 lead into the locker room.
Although the outcome of the game was almost certain at this point, Gehlen never let the Spartans gain any ground on them and continued to dictate the pace on the floor.
Outscoring Spalding 11-8 in the third period, the Jays took a 43-16 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.
Coach Kurth's team played hard until the final buzzer and held the Spartans to four points while scoring seven themselves, resulting in the final score.
"Everybody got to play tonight and everybody played pretty well. Even the reserves stayed aggressive. It was just one of those nights for us. Everything kind of fell into place," Kurth said.
By the end of the night, a total of 10 players had contributed points to Gehlen's win.
"That's good to see, especially going down the road if something should happen and we need one of the girls to step up. It was good for them to gain a little confidence," Kurth said.
Hannah Sitzmann led scoring for her team with 11 points, followed by Elizabeth Bates with eight and Katelin Langel with seven.
Baily Wiltgen had a team-high seven rebounds. Alison Schnepf, Morgan Whitehead and Emily Pratt each grabbed five boards for the Jays.
With the win, Gehlen sits at a record of 13-4.
They will host War Eagle Conference rival MMC on Friday.
"This is the time of the year when you want to play your best ball. I don't think we've played our best basketball yet but we're hoping to get there," Kurth said.