Cara “Moon” Ursin scored a game-high 28 points as homestanding Destrehan defeated Chalmette 80-40 in a Class 5A first-round girls basketball playoff game Thursday night.

“It always feels good winning that first game, knowing you get one more practice,” Ursin said. “And (that) means work hard and coming back even stronger the next game.”

The Owls hung in for the first four minutes before Destrehan took control. The Wildcats led 6-5 but, ended the opening period on an 18-3 run. They went to a full-court press defense right from the start, which bogged down and frustrated Chalmette. The Owls never established a rhythm offensively.

“We’ve been a slow starting team,” Destrehan coach Angi Butler said. “But we’ve learned really quick that if we press from the get-go. ... Then we get us going.”

Destrehan switched to a more conventional defense in the second quarter but still achieved similar results. The Wildcats denied Chalmette any easy paths to the basket and frequently stole passes to create fast break opportunities. When they had to set up in full-court offense in the first half, they utilized the extra pass to find open teammates.

Destrehan led 43-12 at halftime. “That’s what we like,” said Butler. “We have girls who are extremely talented, who can put their shots up against the board when they need to. So (our goal) is to handle the ball and keep it away from them.”

Chalmette did some offense going in the second half. They put up 11 points in the third quarter but still trailed 58-23.

It was hard to point out anything negative about Destrehan’s victory, but Butler did see something she did not like.

“I hated that my subs struggled,” she said. “We ran a lot of new plays yesterday ... so we’ll go over those again tomorrow.”

Destrehan will play the Ouachita Parish-Thibodaux winner next.