The Cardinals (9-3 overall) established themselves early, jumping out to a 10-point lead en route to an 18-10 advantage after the first quarter, as Patricia Adair and Kelly Gaffney chipped in 6 points each.
Although St. Hubert's (7-4 overall) rallied to take a 27-26 lead early in the third quarter, Dougherty remained composed on offense and continued to frazzle the Bambies with a ball hawking defense.
"We had nothing to lose," said Dougherty junior Maureen Dolphin, who played superbly with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven steals.
"I'm on cloud nine," Dougherty's first-year coach, Rich Kirk, said with a smile. "There wasn't a girl out there that didn't work. Every girl on the court for us deserved a game ball."
Although St. Hubert's stars Katie Curry (8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals) and Chris Lardon (9 points, 20 rebounds) gave Dougherty a tough time inside, the Cards overcame an obvious size disadvantage with fullcourt presses and halfcourt traps.
The outside shooting of Gaffney (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Adair (9 points) enabled Dougherty to outscore the Bambies 16-4 in the third quarter and ensure the victory.
In another Catholic North opener Tuesday, visiting Archbishop Ryan (4-6 overall) was upended, 58-44, by Bishop McDevitt, the two-time defending league champion.
"We hustled and played hard," Ryan coach Kathy Beisel said, "but in the first half, we couldn't hit anything."
Senior point guard Genie Rogers topped Ryan with 10 points, while Jenny McGowan (15 points) and Ro Magarity (12) paced McDevitt.
Little Flower may not have surprised coach Sid Chuse with its 62-51 homecourt victory over Cardinal O'Hara on Tuesday, but the Sentinels' Catholic League South Division debut is sure to open the eyes of some coaches.
"I expected to beat O'Hara," Chuse said. "I thought we had the edge in talent, although (O'Hara) will be a better team later in the season. I have to be pleased to win the opener, but I expect us to get better, too."
The Sentinels' backcourt will need very little improvement. Against O'Hara, guards Debbie Lynn and Tracy Harmon combined for 44 points.
Lynn scored a game-high 24 points and Harmon finished with 20, as Little Flower destroyed the Lady Lions' fullcourt press. The Sentinels thrived on their steals, converting numerous layups early to forge a 28-14 lead at halftime.
With the victory over O'Hara, a perennial playoff contender, Little Flower improved to 7-4 overall and eclipsed the Sentinels' win total (6-14) of a year ago.
Nazareth Academy, smarting from a horrendous foul-shooting performance in a holiday tournament appearance last week, took advantage of its free-throw opportunities Tuesday.
The host Pandas (4-3 overall), with Debbie Williams sinking 12 of 15 foul shots, opened their Catholic Academies League campaign by defeating Merion Mercy Academy, 51-43.
"We missed 18 foul shots against Little Flower" in the Holy Family Christmas Tournament, said Nazareth coach MaryJo Kelly. "That was the first time we shot that poorly from the free-throw line, and I was hoping it wouldn't affect us down the road."
Apparently Williams had little trouble starting anew, as the junior shooting guard drilled 8 of 10 foul shots in the fourth quarter against Merion and finished with a game-high 22 points.
"What can you say about Debbie?" Kelly said. "She played a great game and came through in the clutch with the foul shots."
Nazareth also got a strong inside game from senior center Karen Smith, who scored 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Marybeth Saggiomo chipped in 11 points, and fellow senior Liza Zaborowski played superbly on defense and snared six rebounds.