Ethan’s defensive prowess was on display at the Hanson Classic.

It pressed, trapped and jumped into passing lanes to disrupt Faulkton Area’s offensive rhythm on Monday at the Corn Palace. It sparked a second-quarter run and held the Trojans in check as its own offense took time to find its footing after halftime.

The Class B No. 3 Rustlers (8-0) stayed perfect on the season, taking down Faulkton Area, 54-30.

“I think we were ready to play and our defense was solid, especially the first half it helped us build a lead,” Ethan coach Tom Young said. “I think everyone that played contributed. We’re really well-balanced. This is kind of the midpoint of the year and it showed some of the things we need to work on, but I’m happy where we’re at right now.”

Part of Young’s happiness stems from Ethan’s defense. After trading turnovers early, Ethan started to get to the rim, but the Trojans (7-2) couldn’t figure out the Rustlers’ zone. Faulkton finished with 19 giveaways and shot 33.3 percent from the field in the loss.

Maddie Miiller recorded four steals, while Hannah Bartscher and Cameryn Logan each added three.

“We played a box and we did our 3-2 zone, and that always works for us,” Bartscher said.

After Brooke Niederbaumer, who had five points, scored to open the second quarter, Ethan went on a 12-0 run to pull ahead 30-12. Logan and Bartscher combined to score 10 of the 12 points, capitalizing on fastbreak chances and open looks at the rim.

“It seems like there’s always kind of periods of momentum,” Young said. “I think most of those are created by when you get three or four stops and the defense gets some run outs.”

Bartscher celebrated her 16th birthday by scoring a game-high 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting to go with five rebounds. Logan finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Rustlers shot 45.5 percent from the field, including 56.5 percent in the first half. With a 33-14 lead in hand at halftime, they started slow after the break. Strong defense allowed it to overcome the shooting slump and 15 turnovers, as it kept a 42-20 lead after the third.

Faulkton never scored more than 10 points in a quarter. Peyton Melius and Morgan Melius finished with nine and eight points, respectively, but no Trojans reached double figures.

“We try to be really active in our zone,” Young said. “We try to play it a little different than most. Active and make sure we’re doing closeouts and a lot of man-to-man principles.”

Ava Lingemann had six of her nine points in the fourth quarter, pushing Ethan to a 26-point advantage. Maddie Miiller finished with 10 points and six boards.

“I feel like we just kept our poise and kept going,” Bartscher said. “We didn’t let the lead get to us. We kept (going) and didn’t give up.”

Ethan travels to Menno today. Faulkton Area travels to Aberdeen Christian today.

Ethan 54, Faulkton Area 30

Ethan (8-0): Jessica Bartscher 1-4 0-0 3, Maddie Miiller 5-7 0-2 10, Hannah Bartscher 5-6 4-4 15, Erica Storm 0-1 0-0 0, Cameryn Logan 4-12 4-4 12, Ava Lingemann 3-7 2-3 9, Lexi Lingemann 1-4 0-0 3, Carly VanRoekel 1-2 0-0 0, Maddy Bartscher 0-1 0-0 0, Shawntel Hohn 0-0 0-0 0, Ryanna Clauson 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Myers 0-0 0-0 0, Cheyanne Sonne 0-0 0-0 0. Team totals: 20-44 10-13 54.

Faulkton Area (7-2): Abby Vetch 1-6 2-2 4, Peyton Melius 4-7 1-5 9, Taylor Machtemes 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Melius 3-11 2-2 8, Brooke Niederbaumer 2-3 0-0 5, Mckenzie Hustead 1-1 0-0 2, Isabel Aesoph 0-2 0-0 0, Emili Quinn 0-0 0-0 0, Shayna Heitmann 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Gutenkauf 0-0 0-0 0, Teralyn Cramer 0-2 0-0 0, Kayla Senn 0-2 0-0 0, Jori Melius 1-1 0-0 2. Team totals: 12-36 5-9 30.

E 18 33 42 54

FA 10 14 20 30

3-pointers: E 4-15 (J. Bartscher 1-2, H. Bartscher 1-2, A. Lingemann 1-2, L. Lingemann 1-4, Miiller 0-1, Logan 0-3, Storm 0-1); FA 1-8 (Hustead 1-1, M. Melius 0-3, P. Melius 0-2, Aesoph 0-1, Cramer 0-1). Rebounds: E 28 (Logan 7, H. Bartscher 6); FA 24 (P. Melius 7). Assists: E 7; FA 7. Steals: E 13 (Miiller 4, H. Bartscher 3, Logan 3); FA 10 (P. Melius 2, M. Melius 2). Turnovers: E 15, FA 19. Total fouls: E 10; FA 10.