One of the most dominant starts to a girls basketball season this area has seen continued on Tuesday night in Des Plaines.
Maine West, entering the Central Suburban North opener with a 45.6 average margin of victory through eight games, cruised to another lopsided triumph, 65-25, over Highland Park.
West improved to 9-0 and 2-0 in the CSL North.
The last time the Warriors' winning margin was as impressive was the undefeated 1988 Class AA state championship team (35-0), which cruised through its first nine games that season with a 44.9 average margin of victory.
Except for a 9-point win over defending Wisconsin state champion Beaver Dam, the Warriors have won all their games by at least 25 points.
"I knew we were going to be good," said Warriors junior Rachel Kent (7 points), who played just 12 minutes on Tuesday along with her four fellow starters. "But this is really good."
The starters looked great in the first quarter, forcing double-digits turnovers and racing to a 10-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Senior Catherine Johnson and sophomore Angela Dugalic each had steals which they converted into layups during the early burst.
Junior Jocelyn Jacobs came off the bench and hit consecutive buckets late in the quarter, including a 3 that made it 27-3. Senior Bianca Mando rebounded her own shot for a layup and Jessica Riedl (6 points) hit a layup for a 32-3 lead after one quarter.
In all, 14 Warriors scored points.
Junior Vanessa Reyes came off the bench to lead the Warriors with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Dugalic scored all 8 of her points in the first quarter while senior Alisa Fallon chipped in 5 points and 5 assists in her limited amount of floor time.
"It's fun to see everyone get in there and play their best," Fallon said. "When all 15 players get to play, it's amazing to watch. I just hope we can keep it going and keep up the wins."
"It's really fun," Kent said. "The starters go out and play really hard and then everybody else gets to play, so that's really helpful for the whole team. We love cheering on everyone. We all get to go through the different defenses and our second and third rotations are just as good."
Senior Allison Pearson hit a pair of 3-pointers while Kent, Jacob, Fallon and Lena Albo each had one.
West coach Kim de Marigny was grateful to be able to pull her starters after the first quarter.
"We've had a few girls who were sick so they played hard out there and then we got them out," she said. "Everyone wants to come in and play hard."
Jacobs took a hard hit in the nose in the second quarter and did not return.
"Hopefully she'll be OK," de Marigny said. "We'll get her checked out and hopefully the nose is not broken. She's a tough player She asked me if she could go back in the game and I said 'probably not.' "
The coach also hopes senior Gabriela Alvarado is able to return from a sprained ankle this weekend.
Senior Marissa Fucarino has enjoyed coming into the game after watching the starters consistently build big leads this season.
"It's nice to have the starters get the job done," she said. "It's a fun experience getting on the floor with this team. We just have a lot of chemistry. We know how each other plays and we are sharp from a lot of practice."
Addie Budnik, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, led Highland Park with 12 points, including the Giants' only points (3-pointer) in the first quarter.
The Warriors return to action on Friday at Deerfield, which dropped a 49-43 decision to Vernon Hill (5-3, 2-0) on Tuesday.
"We work hard in practice," said de Marigny, whose team forced 22 turnovers against Highland Park. "Everybody wants to play hard and we want to even out the levels from one to the other.
"The starters are really trying to execute things now and that's what we want -- to play hard, execute and play good defense."