Mistakes doom Medical Lake girls in Deer Park rematch
Medical Lake's Hailey Cheevers (5) defends against Deer Park's Savana Sitton in last Saturday's girl's nonleague basketball game. In the background is the Cards' Cassidy Hagel.
When Medical Lake and Deer Park met in a nonleague girl's basketball game Dec. 6 the Cardinals came roaring out of the gate and rolled to a 41-32 victory.
They did it on the strength of a 14-4 first quarter and led 31-15 at the half before cooling off.
Last Saturday, in the return engagement in Deer Park, it was the Lady Stags' turn and they dealt the Cardinals (1-1 Northeast A, 3-6 overall) a third straight setback, while winning for the first time this season.
"The Deer Park team was just ready to go," Cards' head coach Carey Schwarzer said. "Over 32 minutes they just outhustled us, outworked us on the boards."
While the game went down to the wire, things appeared to be decided when Deer Park earned a 27-23 halftime lead on a 19-14 edge in the second quarter.
"We had too many defensive breakdowns where we left shooters open or missed assignments on help defense," Schwarzer said. "Deer Park did a nice job hitting the open shots," including the game's leading scorer, Zoey Mohr, who scored 18 points and hauled down 16 rebounds.
Cassidy Hagel's 10 points led the Cardinals while Abigail Morrison and Maleeka Wegner each added seven.
The difference this time?
"The first time we played them I thought we had a solid offensive game," Schwarzer said. "This time, in addition to missing some defensive assignments our offensive decision weren't always good."
In the first half the Cardinals were getting open looks at the basket and Schwarzer explained, "We didn't finish."
When Medical Lake got close they turned it over or missed an open player with a pass. "We didn't make good decisions in crunch time," Schwarzer said.
Like the boys, the schedule gets more crucial, and crowded this week. Medical Lake was at Freeman (1-0, 5-3) this past Tuesday and is home Friday at 7:30 p.m. versus Newport (0-2, 7-2) and on the road Saturday, 6 p.m. versus Lakeside (1-0, 8-1).
"We played a tough preseason schedule and had some tough losses," Schwarzer said. "Playing those competitive teams – the Okanogan's, the Brewster's – those games made us tougher and will help us to play more physical inside."
Schwarzer said the takeaway from the loss at Deer Park would be to be careful in close games where a single play early can have potential to maybe be a game changer at the end.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.