Words: Giana Han
On Friday, Feb. 28, the Lady Eagles won their first playoff game of the year against the Long Reach Lightning, 49-26.
The Lady Eagles are now 3-0 against Long Reach, but this win was much more decisive than the previous 34-31 and 56-44 wins.
“They played us to overtime twice, so that was something that mentally we kind of had to overcome, that this team could definitely beat us and I thought that made us come out harder,” said coach Robert Macheel.
Junior Anna Mitchell put the first points on the board for the Lady Eagles with a foul shot. After that, the Lady Eagles never lost their lead. They were up at the half by 14 points, 26-12.
“I think the first half was the high point of our game and where we extended the lead the most,” said Mitchell who scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half. “Our offense was disciplined, as well as our defense.”
The scoring was wide-spread, with eight players putting up points. Junior Kimmy Eads had nine points for the night, and seniors Brittany Anderson and Sara Downing had seven and six points, respectively. However, defense was also key.
“Long Reach has a really strong point guard who is always difficult to guard,” said Mitchell.
“I thought Sara did a great job defending number one [the point guard] the whole game. She’s a great player, and Sara did great defending her shots,” said Macheel.
Outrebounding the Lightning, the Lady Eagles had 34 rebounds for the night. Mitchell contributed eight, and Eads had ten.
The game ended in a 49-26 victory for the Lady Eagles. From here, they look to improve in order to get ready for the next playoff game.
“[We need to work on] just stopping the middle penetration,” stated Mitchell. “Long Reach got lots of easy buckets from us not stopping them in the middle. That’s how they scored most of their points.”
“We’re playing a great team next in Poly, and so they’re very big and well-coached, so we’ll have to play as a team defensively, especially boxing out and making sure we’re fronting the post because they have a couple very good inside players,” said Macheel.