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The Empire Lady Bulldogs weren’t just looking to win Friday, they were looking to make a statement.
Thanks to strong pressure defense and a barrage of 3-pointers by Kaelyn Allensworth, they did just that in their season opener.
The junior guard dropped in 12 treys and racked up 41 points as Empire torched visiting Geronimo, 84-17.
“We really wanted to show everyone in the area what we are capable of doing,” Empire coach ___Jason__ Allensworth said. “I still want more inside production and a more balanced attack, but we shot really well and we did a good job with aggressive defense.”
The Lady Bulldogs took control early, jumping out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter, and kept their foot on the gas the whole way. As the game went on, Empire’s shooting only got better, especially from beyond the arc. The Lady Bulldogs hit 14-of-29 shots from 3-point range, including 7-of-9 in the second half.
“We went into halftime and I told them we better not have any letdown,” said Allensworth, whose team was up 38-5 at the break. “From the top of our bench to the bottom of our bench, we really had good effort.”
Kaelyn Allensworth had six steals, one rebound and one assist to go along with her 41 points, while junior guard Melaina Yearby had 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Freshman guard Sherre Dewey had an impressive debut, coming off the bench to record 14 points, five steals and three rebounds.
“She is going to help out a lot as far as guard play goes,” Allensworth said of Dewey. “She’s an all-around great player with great work ethic.”
The 84 points dwarfs last-seasons season-high of 61 points in a game and only adds to the Lady Bulldogs’ expectation and confidence.
“That’s exactly how the girls wanted to start the season,” Allensworth said. “It also kind of let the area know we are coming out to play some ball.”