It took 11/2 quarters for the Helias Lady Crusaders to get going Thursday night.
But when they got going, they got gone.
Helias outscored Father Tolton 12-4 in the final 3:30 of the first half as the Lady Crusaders went on to post a 56-39 victory against the Lady Blazers at Rackers Fieldhouse.
"We knew those last few minutes of the first half were going to be important and they came out and did what we wanted them to do," Helias coach Alan Lepper said.
The sluggish tone was set on the game's first possession. Helias won the opening tip, then missed a pair of 3-pointers, getting the offensive rebound each time before Ellie Rockers hit a layup to send the Lady Crusaders to the defensive end for the first time at the 6:25 mark.
Neither team could do much offensively in the first quarter as they went a combined 6-of-25 from the field.
"We wanted to come out a little bit quicker than that," Lepper said. "But it says something about our girls that they came back and got it done."
The Lady Blazers had the Lady Crusaders a bit flummoxed with their zone defense in the quarter, which ended with the game tied at 8.
"It surprised us when they came out in a zone because we hadn't seen that out of them this season," Lepper said. "We were just off a little bit."
A basket by Maddie McCullough with 3:35 left before halftime pulled Tolton into a tie at 14. Lindsey Byers then hit back-to-back baskets to spark the Lady Crusaders' late run.
Rockers hit a short jumper at the buzzer off an assist by Meagan Engelbrecht to give Helias a 26-18 advantage at intermission. Rockers had 10 points in the quarter, hitting all five of her shots from the field.
"Ellie is going to get her points," Lepper said.
Helias led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, that coming at 36-24 on a 3-pointer by Engelbrecht.
"She's a gamer, she was gimpy going into the game," Lepper said. "When she gets her outside shot going, it's another arrow in our quiver."
Helias took a 39-30 lead into the final quarter.
Sophie Elfrink paced Tolton (0-4) with 12 points, while Amber Wright pulled down 10 rebounds.
Rockers hit her first 10 shots Thursday night and finished with a game-high 22 points. Engelbrecht and Byers both added nine. Rockers and Engelbrecht had eight rebounds each, while Byers had seven.
Helias (3-0) is back in action tonight at Ozark. The Lady Crusaders are the No. 1 seed in next week's Sullivan Tournament, opening against Cuba at 4 p.m. Monday.
In Thursday night's JV game, Helias defeated Tolton 54-26. Madisyn Hood finished with 10 points for the Lady Crusaders.
In the freshman game Thursday, Helias defeated Tolton 54-12, as Ella Meyer finished with 12 points.