Mankato West has high aspirations this girls basketball season and burst from the gates with a 91-60 victory over Owatonna Saturday. The Scarlets, who return many players from a 20-win team, converted early turnovers into lights-out, three-point shooting and an 18-4 lead just minutes into the game.

No. 14 ranked West hit their first six or seven threes and had eight in the first half while holding a 52-31 lead at the break. They led by as many as 27 in the first half. The Huskies prevented the game from getting to running time. They also reached a point total they only achieved once all of last season. OHS returns four starters from last season.

Calie Schumann hit four treys in the first half and ended with 22 points for Mankato West. Bri Stoltzman scored 19 of her 29 points in the first half. West played without All Conference player Lani Schoper who is still recovering from knee surgery but will join the team soon.

OHS had three players in double figures. Sara Anderson 14 points and hit a trio of threes. Lexi Mendenhall added 13 points, several rebounds and at least two blocked shots. She was named the TPS Insurance Player of the Game. All Conference returner Sarah Kingland scored ten points and had multiple rebounds.

Owatonna goes to Northfield Tuesday, December 3. Their home opener is Thursday, December 5 against Rochester Century.

West reached the Section 2AAA semifinals last season and toughened up their schedule this season, adding defending AAA champ Minneapolis DeLaSalle. The Scarlets host No. 8 Red Wing December 3.

The girls basketball season starts Tuesday, November 26 for several local teams. No. 13-AA Medford hosts JWP, No. 12-A Blooming Prairie is at United South Central, and Triton goes to Schaeffer Academy. NRHEG opened their season wit a 71-44 win on Thursday, November 21.