Devils Lake got an early start on the New Year’s resolutions coach Scott Privratsky recently outlined for his team.


Devils Lake got an early start on the New Year’s resolutions coach Scott Privratsky recently outlined for his team.
“We want to do four things,” Privratsky said. “We want to start early, we want to rebound better, we want to cut down on our turnovers and we want to play better defense.”
If keeping all resolutions were so easy.
Devils Lake did, at least on this night, as the Firebirds opened on an 18-5 run and cruised to a 76-38 win over visiting Valley City on Tuesday at the Devils Lake Sports Center.
Hannah Elshaug got things rolling for the Firebirds. She scored on a short jumper in the lane with just 10 seconds gone in the contest. The Hi-Liners knotted the game when Mariah Olstad got loose behind the Devils Lake defense and put up an easy shot at 17:32 to tie the game.
Less than one minute later Haley Prozinski matched Elshaug with a short jump shot of her own to give the Firebirds the lead.
It was a harbinger of things to come.
Elshaug proved to be a virtual wrecking crew to the Hi-Liners. She scored a pair of baskets in a span of seven seconds as Devils Lake increased its lead to  7-2.
Elshaug and Prozinski combined to score the first 19 points for the Firebirds, who led 19-7 when Elshaug connected on one of two free throws at 9:24 of the half to put Devils Lake in front 19-7. She finished the half with 18 of her game-high 26 points.
“I was impressed with (Elshaug),” Privratsky said. “She led us in scoring and rebounding (nine), she shot the ball well and did all that in just 20 minutes of playing time (Tuesday).”
Devils Lake held a 46-31 rebounding edge over the Hi-Liners.
Devils Lake held a 39-19 lead at the intermission and wasted little time in salting the win away. The Firebirds used a 12-2 run to start the second half on their way to a 51-21 advantage at 14:44 when Sarah Schafer put back a Mackenzie Wade miss. It was the lone basket of the night for Schafer, who has scored in double figures in each of the previous four games this season.
As far as Privratsky’s resolution of playing better defense, he must be pleased with that, as well.
His Firebirds forced Valley City into 25 turnovers, while commiting just nine turnovers of their own.
“We did what we were expected to do,” said Privratsky, whose team improved to 3-2 on the season. “We were supposed to beat Valley City ... and we did.
“I thought we executed our man offense well,” the Devils Lake coach added. “We got the ball into (Elshaug) and (Prozinski’s) hands and good things happened.”
Steph Mertens joined Elshaug in double figures for the Firebirds. She scored 18 points, while Prozinski finished the game with seven points.
Fifteen players logged playing time for Devils Lake and 10 of those broke into the scoring column.
Valley City (0-5) was led by Mariah Olstad’s 18 points.
Devils Lake was scheduled to play host to Wahpeton on Thursday at the Devils Lake Sports Center. That game has been moved ahead one day and will be played today as part of a doubleheader with the boys team.
The girls game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., while the boys game is slated to get under way at 5:45 p.m.

Valley City (38): Mariah Olstad 18, Haley Larson 8, Jenna Jacob 8, Amanda Tangen 3, Allyson Surh 1.
Devils Lake (76): Hannah Elshaug 26, Steph Mertens 18, Kelley Olson 7, Haley Prozinski 7, Christa Lysne 6, Madison Walford 6, Rachael Tollefson 2, Mikaela Dick 2, Chelsea Kurtz 2, Sarah Schafer 2.

3-pointers: VC 0, Devils Lake 3 (Mertens 2, Olson 1). Rebounds: VC 31 (Allyson Suhr 5), Devils Lake 46 (Elshaug 9). Fouls: VC 10, Devils Lake 14. Fouled out: none. Assists: VC 5 (Jacob 2, Olstad 2), Devils Lake 16 (Mackenzie Wade 6). Steals: VC 9 (Larson 2, Tangen 2), Devils Lake 24 (Mertens 5). Blocks: VC 2 (Jacob 1, Suhr 1), Devils Lake 5 (Prozinski 2, Walford 2). Turnovers: VC 25, Devils Lake 9.

Halftime: Devils Lake 39-19.