Playing a rival can bring some extra motivation. Add to that the Larkin girls basketball team was still looking for its first win and you hope for a fast start.
The Royals came out Tuesday night fired up and ran out to a 15-2 lead less than 5 minutes into the game against crosstown rival Elgin. Larkin never trailed, led by double figures for all but a couple of minutes in the final three quarters and earned a 53-47 victory, its first of the season.
"It feels good. Finally, hard work pays off," said Royals senior Taylor Lindsey, who finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. "It's a town rivalry so we have to put our best out there and give 120 percent instead of 110."
Lindsey got the Royals (1-7, 1-3 Upstate Eight River) started by scoring the first 4 points of the game. Her 3-point play with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter gave Larkin a 15-2 lead.
The Royals shot 8-of-14 in the first quarter and led 19-7 heading to the second quarter. An Amber McGhee basket with 4:09 remaining in the first half increased the Larkin lead to 15, 25-10.
"The one thing I told the girls was, 'We had to come out with a lot of energy,' " Royals coach Ruben Flores said. "We tried to keep the intensity up."
The Maroons (3-5, 0-2) turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter and shot 6-of-28 (21 percent) from the field in the first half.
"We had a lot of defensive breakdowns," Elgin coach Dr. Nick Bumbales said. "We gave them some easy shots.
"We had to chase them the rest of the night. That made it rough."
Elgin got within 8 twice in the third quarter, but the Royals scored the final 6 points of the third to take a 41-25 lead into the final quarter.
Larkin led 53-40 with 20 seconds remaining before the Maroons scored the final 7 points to make the final score look a little better.
Quixmia Washington led the Royals with 14 points. Rachel Martinez added 8 points and McGhee had 7. Shawndrea Hill had 9 rebounds for the Royals.
Maggie Powers paced the Maroons with 14 points. Jess Ramirez added 7 points and 10 rebounds. Kristin Tayag also had 7 points. Tamara Milosevic finished with 6 points and 8 rebounds.