The Lady Raiders opened the 2013-14 season with three nights of contests. LR suffered two injuries and two losses to old rivals Omak and Okanogan on back-to-back nights.
The Lady Raiders played Bridgeport and Almira/Coulee-Hartline in the Dec. 3 Lake Roosevelt Jamboree. LR defeated the Fillies 17-14 and the Warriors by two.
Against Bridgeport, Katelynn Schilling fell to the floor with a knee injury. The crowd fell silent until she was assisted back to the bench by Head Coach Wallace Pleasants and her father. Losing Schilling for an extended period of time would be a big setback for the Lady Raiders. Her injury forced the team to change their planning with no time to practice before the first two games.
The next night, the Lady Raiders hosted the Omak Pioneers. In the early part of the game, the Pioneers and the Lady Raiders played a close game. Then the duo of Marchand and Covington began to score and push the Pioneers ahead.
Keya FastHorse scored a three that was quickly answered by Omak to close the first quarter with the score Omak 17, LR 6.
The Pioneers started the second quarter with a 8-0 run. Then FastHorse went on a hot streak, hitting shots left and right.
Omak did not let up and showed greatly improved play over last season, extending their lead at halftime 34-15.
In the third quarter, the Lady Raiders had trouble with the Omak press, but then regrouped and kept close with Omak for the quarter. FastHorse connected for three three-pointers in the quarter, which ended 51-30, Omak.
Omak's sloppy fourth-quarter play let the Lady Raiders outscore them 17-11.
Tristen Adolph injured her hand but stayed in the game, playing through the pain. The final score was Omak 62, LR 47.
FastHorse was the high point player with 25, including a career-high six three-point shots in the game.
Coach Pleasants said after the game, "We're very young with three freshmen and a lot of our returners did not see many minutes in varsity games last season." When asked how the injuries affected the roster, Coach Pleasants said, "We will need to adjust but bumps and bruises come with the game." Coach Pleasants also stated how, even though it was a loss, he saw many good things and learning experiences that the girls can take with them for later in the season.
The next night the Lady Raiders hosted the preseason number-one in the Caribou Trail League, Okanogan Bulldogs.
The Lady Raiders took an early lead with a Lachelle Bearcub basket. The Bulldogs responded with a basket of their own, which was answered with a three-point shot by FastHorse. At the start of the second quarter the score was Okanogan 15, LR 10.
The Bulldogs' press in the second quarter led to a scoring streak. Freshman Jill Townsend established herself in the paint, scoring at will against the LR defense. Okanogan played with a nine-girl rotation that kep the Bulldogs fresh and on the attack to end the first half 36-14.
After halftime, the Bulldogs' Romero sisters and Cameron Moses hit long shots. Jordyn Boesel and Keanna Egbert played stiff defense, picking up steals for the Bulldogs. Under the basket, the Lady Raiders could not find an answer for Jill Townsend and Jocelyn Moore. At the start of the fourth quarter Okanogan led 58-21.
The Bulldogs subbed in the remaining bench players in the fourth and the 45-point mercy rule came into effect with 2 minutes 10 seconds left in the game. There was some confusion at the end of the game as the Lady Raiders were called for a foul. Ana Baum of Okanogan was going for the basket when she was fouled so Okanogan thought it was a shooting foul. The refs and the Okanogan coach discussed the issue, but with the Lady Raiders lined up for the end-of-game handshake the game was called over with the final score Okanogan 70, LR 25.
"Our defensive effort and our energy level was much better than the night before," Pleasants said. "We are really young and playing three freshmen, so we are focused on getting experience and figuring out what we need to do to be successful."
The Lady Raiders start the season 0-2 and looked to pick up their first win last night against the 1-1 Tigers in Tonasket.
Now the Ladies have the rest of the week to practice and prep for the Entiat Tigers in Entiat starting at 6 p.m.
Coffell 0, Harris 0, Pfizer 4, Hughes 10, Marchand 18, S. Covington 18, Priest 5, Meese 2, Ables 5, Keaton 0. Total 62.
R. Epperson 10, A. Epperson 0, Picard 0, Adolph 2, Dick 5, FastHorse 25, Bearcub 5, Ensminger 0. Total 47.