LE MARS, Iowa | The offense wasn’t quite on track, but Le Mars made up for that with a stifling defensive performance in its girls basketball season opener here Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs, No. 5 in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Class 4A ratings, didn’t allow a basket until early in the third quarter of a 55-12 rout of Hinton.

Le Mars, in fact, pitched a shutout until midway through the second quarter and when its offense did find its rhythm, looked like a team capable of putting up points in a hurry.

“Offensively we didn’t shoot the ball great and part of that was what Hinton was doing defensively,” Le Mars Coach Judd Kopperud said. “They were playing zone and really packing it in on us so it was tough for us to get some of those touches inside you like to get.

“The threes we had were wide open and were great looks and great shots. The funny part about basketball is if those shots go in, instead of a 23-point lead at halftime it’s probably a 33-point lead. Any coach will tell you when you’re shooting the ball everything just kind of rolls.”

As it was, the Bulldogs made 20 of 53 shots (38 percent) and had three players reach double figures. They led 14-0 after one quarter and had a 16-0 lead before Hinton finally scored on a free throw with 3:57 remaining in the half.

By intermission, Le Mars had mounted a 26-3 cushion despite shooting 10-for-29 from the field. The ‘Dogs picked it up a bit in the second half, leading 42-8 after three quarters and a continuous clocked kicked in early in the fourth.

“We got some nice post touches right away in the second half and that was really good to see,” Kopperud said. “Offensively it will come but you can’t complain about what we did defensively. They didn’t a field goal in the first half. We really take pride in what we do defensively, it was fun to play real solid defense like that.”

Sidney Baumgartner led Le Mars with 15 points and Jenn Schneider added 13, the two combining to make six 3-pointers. Junior Madison Dreckman, a returning all-stater, struggled from the field but finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Hinton (0-2) got its first basket at the 5:50 mark of the third quarter when El’Lee Kroll made a conventional 3-point play. The Blackhawks attempted only 24 shots and made three. Bryce Klein pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

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