The Lady Raiders shed a cloud of early-season defeats quickly by defeating the Tonasket Tigers on Dec. 4, 60-36, then besting undefeated Entiat at the last second Monday night.
The Tonasket game started slow with the first points scored at 6:30 in the first quarter. Tonasket defense was strong and came up with points as the score at the end of the first quarter was LR 16, Tigers 14.
The game stayed close in the second quarter as the Tigers took advantage of LR miscues for a halftime score of LR 30, Tonasket 27.
In the second half, the Lady Raiders exploded on offense and held the Tigers to only nine points.
At the end of the third quarter, Keya Fasthorse came off the floor after being slammed down by a Tonasket defender when going for an easy lay-in. Shortly afterwards Tonasket scored their final points of the game when Devan Utt threw up a shot from the NBA three-point line at the buzzer.
Danielle Laramie scored 20 points as a consistent weapon for the Lady Raiders.
Katelynn Schilling was the number-two scorer with 10 points and, importantly, grabbed nine rebounds. Schilling was harried by the Tonasket defenders and fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Head Coach Wallace Pleasants said he liked the improvements he saw in the guard play.
“Against Tonasket we had a lot more effort and hustle from the girls than we saw at Okanogan,” he said. “We are still working on the rotation. Defensively, we improved in this game because of our ability to shift Hailey Chaney and Johnnie McCraigie around, giving us more options.”
The Lady Raiders continued to improve on Monday night as they defeated Entiat 54-52.
The Tigers came in undefeated and played impressive basketball taking leads and capitalizing on LRs mistakes. No one had a clear advantage at the end of the first, with the score LR 11, Entiat 10.
In the second it was still a tit-for-tat game, with LR tying it up at the half with an Alana Epperson three pointer to make it 26 all.
In the third, with LR beginning to get in foul trouble, the Ladies began to fall behind as the Tigers made free throws for a 43-39 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Raiders fought back in the fourth with Schilling sinking a bucket to end the cold shooting streak. Then Chaney got hot and scored four points quickly.
With less than two minutes left, the game turned into a nail biter as the Tiger shooters remained hot, hitting jump shots to keep the Lady Raiders just out of reach.
Then Schilling put up four points to put the Ladies within a hair’s breadth of the Tigers before fouling out. Again, the Tiger shooters put them ahead, but with 52 seconds left, LR tied it up at 52.
With 11 seconds left, the inbound Raider pass went to Danielle Laramie, who shot from outside the key; the ball rolled out. McCraigie grabbed the rebound and put the ball back up; it bounced and rolled out. Then Laramie stormed up to grab the rebound, collected herself, then shot the easy backboard shot to win the game at the final buzzer.
Pleasants liked how the girls continued to show more hustle and effort.
He told the girls after the Okanogan game, “Either you hustle or you sit.”
Cruz 6, Cleman 4, Jackson 0, Dellinger 12, Tyus 3, Goudeau 0, A. Johnson 2, Cholmonbeley 0, Frazier 0, Utt 8.
R. Epperson 4, Sam 8, Chaney 7, Palmer 0, Wilson 0, Fasthorse 9, McCraigie 0, Laramie 20, Stanczak 2, A. Epperson 0, Schilling 10.