BETHALTO - Civic Memorial hosted Triad in conference girls basketball action on Friday night, and a packed gym greeted both teams.

With vocal support behind them, and a litany of talent to turn to, CM kept Triad at an arm’s length from the outset, winning 63-49.

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The hosts got out on the right foot with a big first quarter, jumping out to a 14-point lead after the opening stanza. Starting out strong is something head coach Mike Arbuthnot wanted to see from his team Friday night.

“I think we came out with a lot more energy,” said Arbuthnot following the game. “Avery (Combes, senior guard) did such a good job on (Triad) leading scorer (Erica Boyce), we gave her a lot of attention, and (Combes) did an outstanding job on her.”

Not just reliant on their senior leader, the Eagles had two big nights from Isabelle Edwards and Marley Ogden, who both contributed 20 points in the victory.

“Belle Edwards and Marley Ogden stepped up for us coming off the bench,” said Arbuthnot. “It’s a big benefit to have a nice bench, to be honest, it’s hard to figure out who we want to start.”

A good problem for any coaching staff to have, especially in conference play, bouncing back from a tough loss in tournament action to Teutopolis last weekend.

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“We’ve got a group of kids that on any given night can come out and do the things that (Edwards and Ogden) were able to do tonight.”

The visiting Knights were led by Erica Boyce with 17 points, including five three-pointers, and Makenna Witham who notched 14 points, six of which from the free throw line.

To their credit, Triad made a game of it in the second half, outscoring CM in the last two quarters, but couldn’t erase the deficit before the final buzzer.

Triad gets the weekend off before taking on Granite City back in Troy on Monday evening.

For the Eagles, it’s their 22nd win on the season, “A good one to build on”, said Mike Arbuthnot, as CM quickly turns their attention to tough opposition in Edwardsville on Saturday.

When this Eagles team is on their game, they’re playing up-tempo, scoring in transition, and scoring in bunches, as they were able to on Friday night.

“We scored 63 tonight, and we’ve had some games where we’re scoring in the 70s, and that’s the way we want to play. It was nice that we were able to find the open people out there tonight, get them to distribute the ball, and share the wealth in scoring.”

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