The La Salle Falcons continued tough in girls basketball last week, launching their 2014 Tri-Valley Conference league season with convincing wins over 10th-ranked Gladstone (48-30) and North Marion (73-37).

Friday’s win over the Huskies was the third-ranked Falcons’ seventh win in a row and their 13th win in 14 games this winter. The Jan. 21 game with Gladstone was one of the lowest scoring games of the season for the Gladiators (10-6, 1-1).

Leading 24-18 at halftime, the Falcons put the Gladiators away in the second half, when they held Gladstone to just 12 points.

The Gladiators were a lukewarm 13-of-45 (29 percent) from the field.

Senior wings Sterling Swift (14 points) and Morgan McSmith (14 points) headed up the offensive effort for La Salle, as eight Falcons contributed points to the winning tally.

Aleah Goodman sparked the Falcon offense with six assists.

Katie Buerk (11 rebounds) led La Salle to a 38-30 advantage on the backboards.

Junior playmaker Molly Webster (13 points) was the only Gladstone player to score more than four points.

“Our key to breaking open the game was withstanding the physical presence of Gladstone, and being committed to sprinting the floor as a team in transition,” said La Salle coach Kelli Wedin. “This really made a difference for us midway through the third quarter.”

The Falcons had a balanced attack in last Friday’s game with the Huskies, led by Andrea Novak (14 points), Mattie Portash (13 points), Swift (11 points) and Aleah Goodman (11 points).

It was a 14-point game, with La Salle up 33-19 at halftime. And the Falcons put the Huskies away in the third period, when they stretched their advantage to 50-27.

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