Lady Raiders extend win streak
Liberty Bells' Erin Knight contends with Riley Epperson implementing the Lady Raider full court press. - Scott Hunter photo
The Lady Raiders defeated Liberty Bell and Riverside Christian to extend their current win streak to four games last week.
The wins help Lake Roosevelt secure second place in the Central Washington 2B North, with a 9-8 overall win-loss record and a 7-2 record in league play, with a chance to tie for the top spot.
On their home court Feb. 7, the Lady Raiders frustrated Liberty Bell's offense in the first half. The Mt. Lions scored only two points in the first quarter and managed only eight for the first half. LR scored 26 in the first half and held on to the lead through the rest of the game.
Bringing the ball down was difficult for the Mt. Lions, with the Lady Raiders playing a full-court press for most of the game. It took an average of 15 seconds for the Mt. Lions to bring the ball across half court. This greatly contributed to the offensive woes for Liberty Bell.
The Lady Raiders scored another 24 points in the second half to the Mt. Lions' 14 to win the game by the final of 50-22.
"This game was different in that we maintained our focus longer and had more patience on offense than in past games," Coach Wallace Pleasants said. "Really liked the way Marque Wilson gave us a spark on defense with her aggressive play; we hope it becomes contagious with the rest of the team."
Riley Epperson led the team in scoring with 18 points. Alana Epperson was the next highest with 11.
The next day, the Lady Raiders travelled south to Yakima to take on the struggling Riverside Christian Crusaders.
The Crusaders did not roll over for the Lady Raiders. At the end of the first half, the Lady Raiders found themselves behind 26-21.
In the second half, the Lady Raider defense stiffened, allowing the Crusaders only eight points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth. "Defensive adjustment in the 4th quarter allowed us to pressure the ball better," Pleasants noted.
He was also pleased that the offense had come alive and the Lady Raiders closed the gap to three at the end of the third.
"We ran our zone sets better with extra passes freed up the driving lanes," the coach said.
The Lady Raiders scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to cap the come-from-behind win at 46-43.
Riley Epperson was again the high-point player with 19. Lachelle Bearcub scored 11 points.
Pleasants wants to see the Lady Raiders continue with the consistency on offense by hitting the gaps with the quick girls in the backcourt to open up opportunities for Bearcub and others in the front court.
This week, the Lady Raiders wrap up the regular season with two games. The first was last night in Oroville against the North-leading Hornets. An LR win would create a tie atop the North.
On Friday the Lady Raiders host the Fillies of Bridgeport at Gailord Nelson Gym for Senior Night starting at 6 p.m. The Fillies have lost their last two games to Oroville (50-28) and Kittitas (54-51).
Lake Roosevelt - R. Epperson 18, A. Epperson 11, Picard 0, Adolph 4, Wilson 2, Bearcub 10, Ensminger 4, Matheson 0, Semmens 1
Liberty Bell - Phillips 2, Fitzmaurice 3, Knight 6, Romero 0, Williams 2, Stoothoff 2, Dammann 0, McMillian 5, Bakke 2.
Lake Roosevelt - Riley Epperson 19, Lachelle Bearcub 11, A. Epperson 9, Semmens 4, Ensminger 2, Adolph 1, Wilson 0, Matheson 0.
Riverside Christian - Victoria Fulton 14, Anna Kissel 13, Grove 7, Samuelson 5, Vance 3, Bazilme 1, Gray 0, Mains 0, Haney 0.