Macy Guebert understands the importance of getting off to a fast start, both offensively and defensively.
The senior guard scored 10 first-half points while Eastview's defense was limiting Forest Lake to three baskets when the Lightning built an 11-point lead en route to a 48-38 victory Wednesday in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Williams Arena.
"Getting off to a fast start is huge," said Guebert, who finished with a game-high 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. "You want to set the tone right away. Let everybody know you're here and ready to play."
Guebert's second three-pointer and eighth point of the first half gave No. 5-ranked Eastview a 17-8 lead. The Lightning defense had only allowed one basket at that point. The lead widened to 24-13 at the half.
The difference between the two teams — defending champion Eastview (25-5) making its eighth consecutive state tournament appearance and Forest Lake (24-6) making its fourth in program history — was evident from the outset. The Rangers went 3-for-17 from the floor, and 0-for-8 beyond the arc, in the first half.
"I would argue it's more important to set the tone defensively than it is offensively," Guebert said. "You want to get the other team out of sync."
Junior forward Brynn Schwanz added 14 points for the Lightning, seeded third. Schwanz and Guebert both went 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
No. 9-ranked Forest Lake pulled within 28-21 early in the second half but couldn't get closer. Abigail Groeneweg led the Rangers with 13 points.
"We've had our ups and downs this season,'' Guebert said, "but we're playing our best basketball of the year right now."