Medical Lake girls’ head basketball coach Carey Schwarzer has a wish she hopes will come true soon.
That her team can put together more minutes like those she saw a glimpse of last week. Because if that hope came to fruition she might see more 2-0 weeks in Northeast A League play, not the 0-2 ones following a loss on the road 51-35 at Newport (4-1 NEA, 8-4 all games) and 51-24 at home to Lakeside (3-1, 9-3).
“In all of our games recently we’ve had minutes, moments where we’ve played great basketball,” Schwarzer said. “But we need to combine those and get more and more of those spurts until we can play one good game.”
But Saturday certainly wasn’t it, unless you slice out a handful of minutes that saw Medical Lake (1-3, 5-7) rally from the 12-0 hole they found themselves in in the first quarter.
“We just didn’t come ready to play,” Schwarzer said. “We didn’t start strong from the opening tip and it was nice that we were able to battle back within one.”
The Eagles raced to a 12-0 lead with just a minute remaining in the first quarter. But the Cardinals got on a roll of their own. Faith Keister hit the first Cardinal points with her field goal with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Becky Troutt nailed a 3 with 15 seconds to play in the opening period. Kelby Wegner’s fade-away 3-pointer trimmed it to 12-8 before three Sabrina Earle free throws made it a 12-11 game.
But back-to-back 3-pointers from Kirsten Kylio and Ashley Cook-Cox fueled a 13-4 Lakeside second quarter run and a 25-15 halftime lead. They’d extend the hot streak through the break and outscored the Cards 13-1 in the third to lead 38-16.
“The first half they hurt us from outside and the second half we didn’t protect the key,” Schwarzer said. “They killed us in the paint with 10 lay-ups and shots right around the basket.”
Earle led the Cards with seven points and Darby Evans added six Saturday versus Lakeside. Cook-Cox’s nine points led a balanced Eagles’ attack where no player hit double-digits.
Tuesday in Schwarzer’s return to her hometown, Newport, where she led her team to the 1999 state 1A title, the Cardinals raced out of the gate and held a 14-8 first quarter lead.
But it was all Grizzlies after that as they outscored the Cardinals 16-9 and led 24-23 at the half. Newport (4-1, 8-4) never let up, holding Medical Lake to 12 second-half points.
Earle’s 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, plus another 10 points, five boards an two steals from Darby Evans led the Cardinals. Courtney Wiese’s 16 and Jolie Frederick with 14 paced the home team. “Darby Evans had a good game against Newport,” Schwarzer said.
The Cardinals started strong, leading 14-8 after the first quarter. “At the end of the first half they started coming back,” Schwarzer said. Newport tossed up a late shot, missed, but Medical Lake missed the box-out and the Grizzlies put up – and in – a shot at the buzzer to lead 24-23. That seemed to change the tone for the rest of the night.
“His halftime talk must have been better than mine,” Schwarzer said of Newport coach Mike Frederick. “We didn’t come out ready to go in the third quarter.”
Medical Lake was “in control” early Schwarzer said. “We turned it on again with about three minutes to go but by that time it was too big of a hole to get out of.”
The Cardinals faced Chewelah (1-3, 4-7) this past Tuesday at home in their lone game of the week and do not play again until a Jan. 15 home contest versus Riverside, part of a four-game home stand.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.