By Greg Gielczyk

MANISTEE — Defense is something the Ludington girls basketball team takes great pride in, and the Orioles were on their game from the start against Manistee on Friday night.

Looking to extend its winning streak to eight in a row, the Orioles limited the Chippewas to just three points in the first quarter and barely allowed them to reach double figures in rolling to a lopsided 58-16 win.

“That’s the game plan,” Orioles head coach Warren Stowe said. “We always want to start fast, and talked about the girls bringing the juice. And from the beginning, we did that.

“When you play a team that packs it in on us like that, which is one of the things I would do because of our bigs, we have to work a little harder to get shots.

“But, we worked hard and we got the shots. That was great to see. I think we did okay taking care of the basketball. It’s hard because we’re getting a lot of layups in transition, and then there’s a time when we shouldn’t push it, and we just throw it out of bounds.

“It’s kind of that double-edged sword … you want them to play fast, and you want them to be quick. You just trust them to make the right decision.”

Just how often the Orioles made the wrong decision remained after the final stats were totaled, but they didn’t produce many errant plays against the Chippewas.

Ludington raced out to a 13-0 lead to start the game, and never let the Chippewas get back in it. The Orioles did it with a balanced attack on offense, with five different players getting in the scoring column. The Orioles led, 15-3 at the end of one.

Olivia Lynn scored six points and RyAnn Rohrer four as the Orioles roared into the half with a commanding 30-5 lead. It was 50-12 after three periods.

Keelyn Laird, Lynn and Rohrer combined to score 36 points on the night.

“To get that from your front court, that makes life really easy for the guards,” said Stowe. “The guards really work hard against the zone to get them the ball.

“Those three are scoring the points, but a lot of credit goes to Karli Mesyar, Rylee Stone, Jocelyn Austin and Abi Bandstra for getting them the ball.”

Rohrer finished the game with 14 points to lead the Orioles. Lynn contributed 12 and Laird added 10.

Ludington improved its record to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in the conference. The Orioles will be at home on Tuesday, Feb. 8 against Traverse City West in a non-conference game.