The Billings West Lady Bears had one of their best offensive games in five seasons, and Billings Skyview coach Karson Kidgell was dutifully impressed Tuesday night.
"West is very good right now," Kidgell said after the Lady Bears defeated his Lady Falcons 80-45 in Eastern AA girls basketball at the Skyview gym. "They seem to be really putting everything together and my hat's off to them. They came to play."
In winning their sixth straight game, the Lady Bears hit the 80-point mark for the first time since they scored 90 against Hardin in the ninth game of the 2003-04 season.
West scored 18 points in the first quarter and then exploded for 34 in the second to have the game in hand by halftime 52-24 and improve to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the Eastern AA.
"It was really important for us to get to 4-0 (in the league)," said West's Janiel Olson, who came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points. "We kind of all just decided as a team in the locker room that we weren't going to let (Skyview) have their win on their home court."
Danielle Muri added 15 points - her sixth consecutive game in double figures - and Cassie Langstraat had 11 for the Lady Bears, who scored the game's first six points and never trailed.
An Erin Thompson 3-pointer got Skyview (1-8, 0-3) within 12-10 late in the first quarter, but West built a double-digit lead early in the second quarter and was never threatened after that.
The second quarter was West's best. The Lady Bears scored on eight of their first nine possessions and made 10 of 15 shots from the floor. They also hit 12 of 17 free throws in the quarter and had just two turnovers in those eight minutes. West shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half, most of it coming from mid-range jumpers, and made 14 of 19 free throws.
West coach Greta Buehler said she hasn't seen a half like that for some time from her team.
"Not scoring-wise, where we were just (making) lots of outside shots," said Beuhler, who is in her fifth season at West. "We have shooters, but we haven't necessarily filled it like that in a while."
Thompson finished with 12 points to lead Skyview, while Amber Meyers had nine and Letesia Left Hand eight.
Lauryn McKay and Jessica Sharbono each had nine rebounds to lead West to a 49-33 edge in that department.
West plays host to Butte (6-3, 1-1) on Friday, while Skyview plays host to Great Falls CMR (7-1, 2-0), the only other unbeaten team in the Eastern AA.