It was a different kind of environment from the last time Medina/Pingree-Buchanan took the Jamestown Civic Center floor five weeks ago.
"It's overly quiet," MPB girls basketball coach Cory Mack said. "You'd much rather play in the evening like you are used to, but you have just got to come and compete."
Mack's squad did just that.
The Thunder topped Strasburg/Zeeland 48-26 the opening game of the 2020 Linton/HMB Jamboree. With the win, MPB improved to 9-4 on the 2019-20 season, while the Clippers fell to 3-10 overall.
"I think we came out and did what we had to do," Mack said of Tuesday's performance.
With the exception of the initial tipoff, the Thunder controlled the rock for the majority of the 32 minutes of play. MPB started shooting early in the first, racking up a 10-0 advantage before Strasburg/Zeeland nabbed a pair of shots from the paint to make it an eight-point game.
It was the only single-digit lead of the game.
Eighth-grader Allison Thomas topped the scoring category for MPB with 18 points, draining 3 early 2-pointers and a pair of free throws. Thomas, a 5-foot-5 guard for Mack, shot five more 2-point buckets in half No. 2. Mack said the young varsity squad member has been an asset and will continue to be into her high school campaign.
"It means good things," Mack said of Thomas' presence in the program. "She's fearless out there, that's what gets her through. She's not worried about anything. She just goes out there and plays and has fun and that's what is huge."
With the help of Thomas' nearly 20 points MPB closed out the first period 21-3 and ended half No. 1 35-13.
Gracie Bohl was recorded as the second-leading scorer for MPB Tuesday afternoon. The 5-foot-6 guard posted a total of 12 points. The senior captain also buried a pair from the foul line, and Mack said the starter isn't afraid to take control of the hardwoods.
"She brings leadership and speed," Mack said of Bohl. "She kind of runs the show for us -- really gets the engine going down the court."
Three more members of Mack's lineup made it into the scoring category with six points each. Ryleigh Martin and Brittany Reister combined for six first-half 2s. Senior captain Megan Moser sank the team's lone 3-pointer. Moser recorded a short 2-point shot and banked a shot from the paint.
"She brings a sense of security," Mack said of the 5-foot-7 guard. "The team looks to her for things and she is unselfish as the day is long. She passes up on a lot of opportunities she could take and she's always looking for someone else instead of herself. That's huge."
Mack's roster boasts only three seniors, but the head coach said under the direction of Moser and Bohl the crew of eighth-graders and freshmen are prepared to face stiff Class B competition headed toward the postseason.
"They bring a lot of leadership," Mack said of the two captains. "They bring a lot of experience and help these young girls with everything that is going on. Those young girls aren't playing young anymore and those two are a big part of that. No matter who we play they are just resilient. They never let down, they never give up, they just always go hard."
MPB will be in action next at Barnes County North Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Strasburg/Zeeland will host Mobridge-Pollock (S.D.) on Friday. The tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Medina/Pingree-Buchanan 48, Strasburg/Zeeland 26
S/Z 3 10 4 9 -- 26
MPB 21 14 3 10 -- 48
MPB -- Allison Thomas 18, Gracie Bohl 12, Megan Moser 6, Ryleigh Martin 6, Brittany Reister 6.
S/Z -- Shelby Vander Vorst 10, Abby Scherr 6, Morgan Huizenga 4, Lilly Haak 3, Kassandra Hulm 3.
Records: Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 9-4, 2-1, Strasburg/Zeeland 3-10, 0-3.