EDWARDSVILLE – Metro East Lutheran's girls basketball team is off to a good start in the new year.

The Knights won two of three games at the Calvary Lutheran Tournament over the weekend in Jefferson City, Mo., to take third in the eight-team tournament, then stormed out to a 24-3 lead at quarter time and then 36-4 at halftime en route to a 57-17 Monday night win over Dupo at Hooks Gym.

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The win put the Knights at 6-8 on the season.

“We played really well tonight,” said Knight coach Rob Stock. “We executed our game plan really well, forced a lot of turnovers by them, moved the ball very well offensively and got a lot of good shots.

“I think we're starting to see a lot of good things; I think we're starting to jell as a team and things are starting to come together.”

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MEL's defense has been a strong point of the season thus far, Stock felt. “I think our defense has been pretty good for the most part,” Stock said. “We're making some tweaks and changes here throughout the year, and I think we're starting to see that pay off.

“We're off to a good start in the second half and we want to keep this momentum going; we've got a bunch of tough games coming up with Gillespie and then Lutheran North from St. Louis Thursday and Friday, then we move into the Carrollton Tournament. A lot of good competition is coming up and it's a good time for us to be jelling and move forward.”

The Knights will open the Carrollton Tournament Jan. 21 against Brussels. “Our girls are looking forward to that game,” Stock said.

Sami Kasting led MEL in scoring with 17 points, followed by Ellen Schulte's 10, Ashlee Robinson's eight and Kathryn Butler's six. The Tigers were led by Mariah Jones' four points, with Mackenzie Scheppelman and Cameron Foster each scoring three.

 MEL takes on Gillespie at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at home, then hosts Lutheran North at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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