February 8, 2012 | LXXI, No. 45

Lady Raiders dealt tough loss, then rebound

The Lady Raiders enter the last week of the regular season with a win-loss record of 12-6 overall and 8-2 in league play, including last week’s heart breaker at Brewster Tuesday night and a blowout win at Manson on Thursday.

At Manson, the Lady Raiders jumped out to another fast start for a halftime lead of 36-6.

In the second half, the girls hit the cruise control and scored another 26 points, holding the Trojans scoreless in the third quarter.

All 10 girls at the game scored, with Keya Fasthorse and Johnny McCraigie leading the Ladies with 13 points each.

The Lady Raiders went into Manson with the bitter taste of Tuesday’s loss to Brewster still hanging in their mouths.

Brewster came into the game with sole possession of the number-one position in the Central Washington North. If the Lady Raiders could beat them at Brewster, they would share first, with this season’s tiebreaker on their side.

In the first quarter, the Bears came out with a press and grabbed an early lead on the hot hands of Becky Taylor, who ended up with 23 points.

Down at the end of the first, 18-8, the Lady Raiders started back into the game with a 21-point second quarter that included back-to-back three pointers by Dominique Pleasants.

With the surge, the Ladies closed the lead going into halftime with the score LR 29 Brewster 35. With the Bears’ halftime adjustments, their press held the Lady Raiders to only eight points for the third quarter.

But LR held the Bears to only 12 points, giving Brewster a 47-37 lead and the Raiders a chance.

At the start of the fourth, the Bears jumped out ahead. It appeared LR would hang back and concede the defeat until a switch was flipped and the Lady Raiders came roaring back into the game.

Stout defense and good, high-percentage shots closed the gap back to six points, then four, then finally just two with less than 30 seconds left.

LR drove down with the ball and the chance for the tie. Instead, the guards set up the offense to try for a trey with time running out for the win.

The shot missed and the Bears held on to come out the victors 58-56.

Raider Head Coach Wallace Pleasants said it was a “coach’s decision not to call the timeout. Roweena (Antone) was posted up to take the shot, and I thought the point guards saw what I saw. I also didn’t call the timeout because that would also give Brewster a chance to set up a different defense that could have taken the opportunity away from us.”

The Lady Raiders have only two regular season contests left, including last night’s game at Oroville, where LR earlier in the season won 58-50 only after surving a fourth-quarter comeback.

The Lady Raiders close out the season tomorrow, with Senior Night at Gailord Nelson Gym against the Fillies of Bridgeport, whom the Lady Raiders defeated in a 58-15 blowout Jan. 17.

The JV will also be playing in Coulee Dam due to a middle school game starting at 5 p.m. The JV will be playing at 3:30, and the varsity at 6:30. Coach Pleasants likes the change as it makes it easier for parents to watch the games — everybody in one place makes it safer for spectators. He hopes there will be enough positive feedback that next season every home game will be like tomorrow night’s lineup.

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