On Friday the whole Tarrier basketball crew took the ferry across the sound to take on the Vashon Pirates. After struggling throughout conference play last year, these ladies were ready to take on the Nisqually league as a stronger and more connected unit. The first quarter moved slowly, but strong, and the Tarriers were off to a 9-4 start. Then the Hanly sisters and RubyJoy Pikes started to find a rhythm in their scoring during the second quarter, taking a 23-10 lead into the locker room.
At the half the girls looked to maintain their defensive pressure to keep the Pirates at bay. The Tarriers came out hot outscoring their opponent 15-4 in the third quarter. Despite a light scoring final quarter, the girls held strong to earn their first league win. The Tarriers took down the Pirates 43-20. Grace Hanly led all three scorers with 19 points, 4 steals and 3 assists for the night. Julia Hanly put in 13 points of her own along with 2 steals and 4 assists, and once again RubyJoy had a great double-double with 11 points 17 rebounds and 5 steals for the night.
The JV girls also took a turn to face the Pirates. They put in the first 7 points for the game then fell behind by 1. By the second quarter they had their full bench ready, but still trailed at the half by 6. With a pep talk from Coach Armstrong, the girls brought themselves back into the game only behind by 2 after three quarters. The girls kept the game close, but could not rally to get the win. They fell to the Pirates 25-28. Brenna Sclair led the squad with 9 points. Taiya Melsness had 6 points (to include being 4/5 from the free throw line). Cindy Li fought to put in 4 points, Alyssa Recasner had 3 points, Cheyenne Zhang smiled bright for 2 and Hadassa Pritchett added 1 from the free throw line.
Both squads had limited rest after catching the late ferry back. On Saturday they returned home for their final non-league battle against the Northwest Christian Navigators from Lacey.
With sickness plaguing the team, the girls would need to fight hard to stay strong and healthy and have enough players to last throughout the match. Again, the first quarter was slow, despite great scoring from Grace Hanly behind the line. RubyJoy Pikes and Aliyah Recasner battled to get rebounds and some put backs to keep the scoring difference alive. By halftime, the Tarriers had a strong 21-5 lead over the Navigators.
The girls came out of halftime feeling great, and ready to finish out the game strong. Grace Hanly had a good third quarter, and along with scoring from Aliyah Recasner and Brenna Sclair the Tarriers extended the lead 32-5. Nothing could slow down the Tarriers, and despite foul trouble for RubyJoy Pikes the game would be another solid win for these girls. The final score was 43-9.
Once again, Grace Hanly led scorers with 19 points. RubyJoy Pikes had 10 points. Starting this weekend in place of Lexi, Aliyah Recasner had 6 points. Julia Hanly put in a quiet 4 points. Junior Brenna Sclair had her first 2 varsity points for the season, and Erica Julian put in a buzzer beating layup for 2.
Up next, the JV girls had a tall task ahead of them. Three players had limited quarters, having played in the varsity game, leaving the squad with just 3 players who had all four quarters available. They were also facing a team that had a full bench available to use and rotate through. These girls had to work hard to maintain their composure and to stay out of foul trouble.
Alyssa Recasner got the squad started with her four points coming in the first quarter to help give the Tarriers a lead. In the second quarter, Cindy Li worked hard to drive toward the basket, drawing fouls off the defense to get her free throw shooting started early. Between Cindy and Hadassa Pritchett, the JV girls improved upon the half going into the locker room ahead 9-4.
The key focus at halftime was for the girls to stay calm, to remember their plays and to continue to look for the drive to the basket. Knowing that they would need to play the fourth quarter with just 4 players, the Tarriers looked to further their lead in the third quarter, however, the Navigators also came out strong. Despite impressive free throw shooting from Cindy and Brenna, plus a layup from Taiya Melsness, the Tarriers only had a 3 point lead heading into the decisive fourth quarter.
Playing in the fourth quarter, Cindy, Hadassa, Taiya and Cheyenne had to adapt to a simple box defense and an altered plan for offense. The girls held their poise, and Cindy continued to drive to get shots from the free throw line. The crowd was certainly behind these girls as they held on. The Navigators put their strong players in, but our girls held on stronger and kept the three point lead to get the win at home.
Cindy Li led all scorers with 14 points, going 6/11 at the free throw line. Taiya Melsness and Alyssa Recasner put in 4 each, and Brenna Sclair and Hadassa Pritchett each added two from the free throw line. Way to go Tarriers!