The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Lady Broncos finish 2-1 in first week of District Tournament


Last updated 2/15/2018 at Noon

DISTRICTS. During the Lady Broncos second game of the District Tournament against St. George’s on Feb. 8, Rachel Nygren blows past a defender to the paint to put up a shot for the LRS team. The Lady Broncos won their first outing of the tournament against Springdale, before falling to St. George’s and then bouncing back to defeat Wilbur-Creston during Districts at West Valley High School. -Journal photo by Katelin Davidson

With the regular season behind them, the Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Lady Broncos basketball team moved into the District Tournament at West Valley High School.

The Lady Broncos opened tournament play on Feb. 6 with a 59-30 win against Springdale. Two nights later, LRS suffered a 52-16 loss against St. George’s in the quarterfinals.

On Feb. 10, the Lady Broncos bounced back from defeat with a 46-24 win against Wilbur-Creston, eliminating the Lady Wildcats from the tournament.

With LRS one loss away from elimination, Head Coach Steve Wellsandt said the objective for the Lady Broncos is to survive the next two rounds and hopefully advance to the third-place game.

The Lady Broncos put forth a strong offensive performance against Springdale, even with the absences of point guards Peyton Curtis and Linnea Schafer, who are recovering from injuries.

LRS jumped to an early lead, outscoring the Lady Chargers 11-6 in the first quarter. The Lady Broncos continued their offensive momentum, adding 19 points in the second quarter to lead 30-17 at halftime.

Wellsandt said LRS played defensively as well, as they outscored Springdale 17-2 in the final eight minutes.

Eliza Galbreath was the leading scorer with 16 points. Lacey Miller scored in the double digits with 15 points, as did Julia Klein, who finished the evening with 11 points.

Tessa O’Brien recorded four points and Brinley Moore added three points. Abby Gering and Alisha Baker rounded out the Lady Broncos’ scoring with two points each.

Wellsandt said he was pleased with the team’s strong offense and defense against the Lady Chargers throughout the game. He was also impressed with athletes contributing at least two points to the team’s point total.

LRS felt the absence of Curtis, Schafer and Aaliyah Yaeger in their quarterfinal game against St. George’s. Wellsandt said the Lady Broncos were unable to mount a solid offense as Lady Dragons only allowed them two points in the first quarter.

The Lady Broncos continued to struggle on offense against pressure from St. George’s. LRS managed to hold St. George’s to nine points during the fourth quarter.

O’Brien led the Lady Broncos’ scoring with six points while Brooke Koch added four points during the game. Galbreath, Klein and Miller recorded two points each.

Wellsandt said one of the bright spots from the game was how LRS’s defense kept a top-ranked team like St. George’s to 52 points.

Against Wilbur-Creston, Wellsandt said the Lady Broncos started the game slow, with the Lady Wildcats outscoring them 10-6 in the first quarter.

The Lady Broncos rallied in the second quarter to take a 18-14 lead after the first half.

LRS started to pull away in the second half by outscoring the Lady Wildcats 14-10 in the third quarter. The Lady Broncos’ secured the lead in the fourth quarter by shutting out WC.

Wellsandt said Klein had her strongest performance of the season, scoring a career best 24 points and recording 14 rebounds.

While the absences of Curtis and Schafer have left gaps in the Lady Broncos’ lineup, Wellsandt said Klein is one of the players who have come off the bench and filled different roles on the court.

Miller added five points to the team’s score while Gering had four points. Galbreath had four points and recorded 10 rebounds. Yaeger scored three points while O’Brien and Koch added two points each.

Wellsandt said players like Koch, Gering and Yaeger are playing well when they are provided the opportunity to come off the bench.

Curtis also returned to the court for the first time since her injury and scored two points. Wellsandt said he brought Curtis into the game for a few minutes in order to help her “get some of the rust off.”

He noted Curtis was a little timid when she first stepped back on the court, but after a few minutes of playing she started to be comfortable.

As for Schafer’s status, Wellsandt said he is unsure if she will be eligible to play in the Asotin game.

The Lady Broncos continued District Tournament play against Asotin in a loser-out game on Feb. 13 at West Valley High School.

LRS was 1-1 against the Lady Panthers during the regular season with Asotin winning the first game, 59-47 on Dec. 2. The Lady Broncos defeated the Lady Panthers, 54-26, on Jan. 27.

Although the win against Asotin is still fresh in his mind, Wellsandt said the team cannot take anything for granted when they face the Lady Panthers for the third time. He noted the Lady Broncos have a good chance to defeat the Lady Panthers if they have good defense like in the previous game against Asotin.

Wellsandt said Adrienne Washington is one of the Asotin players the Lady Broncos will need focus on covering during the game.

If the Lady Broncos defeat the Lady Panthers, they will advance to the consolation semifinals and play the loser of the Davenport-Liberty semifinal game on Feb. 15.

If LRS wins the consolation semifinal game, they would advance the third-place game on Feb. 17.


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