Defense carried the Sioux Falls Washington girls to a solid Greater Dakota Conference victory Thursday night, as the Warriors upped their record to 4-0 with a 51-33 win over Sioux Falls Lincoln before a good pre-Christmas crowd at the Warrior Gym.

Washington High didn't shoot well but they held the Patriots to 23 percent shooting and beat them on the boards 40-32.

"We really take pride in what we do on the defensive end and I think our kids have really bought into it," said Warrior coach Nate Malchow.

He said the advantage on the boards was solid but they can do better. The team goal is to be a plus ten in rebounding each night. Sophomore post Sydney Koel collected 11 rebounds and junior Ellie Benson had ten. Seniors Denae Veldkamp and Emma Hanson each scored 13 points to lead Washington.

Malchow said the game plan to start the second half was to get the ball to Hanson as she scored seven in the third period as the Warriors extended a 28-19 halftime lead to 39-23 late in the third quarter. It was a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

The Warriors, who will play at Brandon Valley tonight, didn't shoot particularly well and committed 13 turnovers forcing the Pats into 17 miscues. Malchow said, “We were able to knock down some shots. Our goal the first half was to get up and down the court and I thought we did that. We were able to create some looks in transition.”

Lincoln (1-2) tied the game at ten on a three-pointer by Shelby Merritt at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors defended center Cera Ledbetter really hard, “we never got a roll going," said Lincoln coach Lyle Pearson.

The Patriots managed only four field goals after intermission on 17 percent shooting.

Senior Darby Hugunin was one of ten from the floor and scored five points. Ledbetter pace LHS with 11 points while Merritt added nine points off the bench.

Washington junior Ellie Benson sprained her ankle in the second half and will likely sit out today’s contest at Brandon Valley.

After four games Washington's defense is allowing only 27 points a game.

LINCOLN (1-2)

Darby Hugunin 1-13 2-4 5, Sam Munson 0-2 0-0 0, Mica Standing Soldier 0-7 0-0 0, Emilee Pierson 3-9 0-0 6, Cera Ledbetter 4-12 3-4 11, Sydney Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Shelby Merritt 3-4 0-0 9, Lauren Metzger 0-0 0-0 0, Ellie Brecht 1-4 0-0 2, Jill Ricke 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-53 5-8 33.

WASHINGTON (4-0)

Denae Veldkamp 2-12 8-9 13, Hannah Nieman 1-7 0-0 3, Emma Hanson 5-8 0-2 13, Ellie Benson 4-6 0-0 8, Sydney Koel 3-12 1-2 7,, Mickey Zirpel 0-0 0-0 0, Anna Goodhope 0-0 0-0 0, Kelsey Knecht 1-5 0-0 3, Lauren Farritor 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Arrington 0-2 2-4 2, Michaela Mayer 1-4 0-0 2. Totals – 17-56 11-17 51.

Lincoln 10 9 7 7 – 33

Washington 10 18 11 12 – 51

3-pointers – L 4-17 (Hugunin 1-4, Munson 0-2, Standing Soldier 0-3, Pierson 0-1, Merritt 3-4, Brecht 0-2), W 6-21 (Veldkamp 1-4, Nieman 1-4, Benson 3-5, Koel 0-2, Knecht 1-5, Mayer 0-1). Rebounds – L 32 (Hugunin, Standing Soldier 7), W 40 (Benson 10). Fouls – L 18, W 14. Turnovers – L 17, W 13.