Less than 4 minutes into Saturday afternoon's game the Burlington Central girls basketball team found itself down by double figures.
Central never recovered.
Richmond-Burton scored 24 first-quarter points to take a 16-point lead and cruised to a 59-39 Big Northern East victory in Burlington.
"It's something that we keep talking about as a team. We come out with the right energy, but we're not disciplined," Central coach Jenna Real said. "It's a struggle on both ends of the floor right now getting comfortable at the beginning of the game."
Central (8-11, 2-3) committed 8 turnovers in the first quarter, allowing easy transition baskets to fall behind 24-8. R-B (12-6, 5-1) had six layups and went 10-for-15 from the floor in the opening quarter. Richmond's Erin Thomas went 6-for-8 in the quarter, scoring 14 points.
"We've had two games (after Christmas break) where we started out the same way," R-B coach Melanie Hinz said. "Quick points and got up by a lot. It makes it easier for everyone."
Richmond-Burton increased the lead to 21, 37-16, at halftime. Thomas added 8 points in the second quarter. The senior finished with 30 and has scored 87 points in her last three games.
One positive for Central in the first half was its rebounding. Central outrebounded R-B, 23-14, in the first half as Alison Colby and Brenda Thasavong combined for 14 rebounds.
Central made an effort to get the ball inside to the pair in the second half and it worked. Colby and Thavasong each scored 5 points in the third quarter, but Central was unable to cut into the deficit.
Central got within 14 on two occasions in the fourth quarter.
"The plan for the second half was to get the ball to the post players," Real said. "It was effective, but we were too far down at that point to make a comeback."
Colby finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for Central, which won the rebounding battle 48-31. Thavasong added 12 points and 13 rebounds.