MILTON-FREEWATER - DeSales' girls basketball team topped Mac-Hi for the second time in as many Tuesday-night court battles, handily conquering the Pioneers 59-9.
The win moves the Irish to 2-0 on the season and drops the Pioneers to 0-6 in preseason action.
"I liked the intensity," said DeSales coach Tim Duncan. "We hadn't played in a week and we came out strong. I was happy."
Irish senior Erin Giusti led with 20 points while junior Annie Higgins had the only 3-pointer on the board for the night.
DeSales opened quickly, with Giusti hitting two in the first minute for a fast 4-0 lead.
Mac-Hi's Kaitlin Erm answered with two of her own to close the gap to 4-2 - and it wouldn't get closer, despite early Irish struggles on the floor.
"We weren't shooting very well," Duncan said. "We were getting a lot of looks inside but not a lot on the perimeter, but it came out OK once we got through that."
Giusti went on her own 6-0 run to power the lead to 9-4 before teammate Abby Crowley posted four and Giusti nailed another field goal, putting the game effectively out of reach for the Pioneers at 14-4.
The Pioneers didn't score again until late in the second quarter when Eloiza Meza went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to end the half at 32-6.
"Eloiza is a fighter," said Mac-Hi coach Casey Richards. "No matter how tired she is, she always kicks in the extra 10 percent."
Throughout the night, Meza continued to push the Irish, trying to force turnovers and get the team moving.
Meza went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line on the night.
But the Irish girls were too much for Meza, one of three seniors on the young team under a new coach, and the big first-half hole ballooned in the third quarter.
Giusti posted four of the Irish's nine points in the third, while Mac-Hi failed to score on 11 attempts. The Pioneers also had six fouls and sent four Irish to the free-throw line in the eight-minute quarter.
The Irish opened the fourth with another 4-0 run, but Mac-Hi found net again for the first time in 10 minutes off a Michelle Ureno field goal, then ended their scoring with just over two minutes to play when Meza hit another free throw for a 57-9 deficit.
A flurry of turnovers and steals later and DeSales' Chantel Blanc ended the game hitting 2-of-3 free throws for the 59-9 victory.
"We definitely need to work on our conditioning and keeping up with them on the court, and keeping the pressure on," Richards said. "We had a full-court pressure going early, which worked out pretty good, but it tired the girls out."
The Pioneers started all three of their seniors, a sophomore and a freshman.
Meza is a leader on the floor, Richards said.
"She's the kind of player I really want the younger girls to look up to," she said. "I want them to learn from her."
Mac-Hi has several more games before opening its league schedule in January.
"They need to condition and I'm hoping to come out and surprise people," Richards said. "They did a good job, they just need to work on strength."
It will also give other Pioneers' starters a chance to get healthy. Three of Richards' leaders were sidelined with injury, she said.
The Irish open their league schedule this weekend with road games against Tri-Cities Prep and Liberty Christian.
"It should be some good basketball," Duncan said. "Prep is well-coached and they do a good job and Liberty Christian traditionally has good basketball teams. We're excited."
Both of the Irish's preseason wins came against Mac-Hi. They outscored the Pioneers 106-20.
"We'll keep playing defense like we have, going full court and pushing the ball off. We'll keep control," Duncan said. "We don't need to change anything major, just make some tweaks."
DeSales 59, Mac-Hi 9
DESALES (59) - Giusti 9-16 2-7 20, Higgins 2-7 1-2 6, B. Lyons 1-4 0-0 2, Zander 1-3 0-0 2, Blanc 1-4 2-3 4, Buley 1-4 0-4 2, Moberg 0-3 1-2 1, Konen 1-5 2-2 4, Ferrel 1-3 0-0 2, Wujek 3-4 0-0 6, Crowley 3-8 0-1 6, A. Lyons 2-2 0-1 4. Team 25-63 8-22 59.
Mac-Hi (9) - Meza 0-7 3-4 3, Erm 1-7 0-0 2, Vaughn 1-6 0-0 2, Ureno 1-6 0-0 2, Brannan 0-2 0-0 0, Wells 0-1 0-0 0, Riedel 0-1 0-0 0, McElrath 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 3-35 3-6 9.
DeSales 16 16 9 18 - 59
Mac-Hi 4 1 0 3 - 9
3-point goals - DeS 1 (Higgins). Total fouls - DeS 17, Mac-Hi 14. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - DeS 37 (Crowley 7), Mac-Hi 17 (Vaughn 6). Turnovers - DeS 22, Mac-Hi 34. Assists - DeS 20 (Higgins 5), Mac-Hi 3 (Meza 2).