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

By Jeremy Burnham

Lady Broncos split season's first two games


Last updated 12/12/2019 at 12:05pm

Brandon Cline/The Ritzville Journal

Eliza Galbreath rips away an offensive rebound in the Lady Broncos' 62-46 win against the Riverside Rams on Dec. 7. Galbreath finished the game with 27 points, leading all scorers.

Lind-Ritzville/Sprague girls basketball head coach Steve Wellsandt was anxious to see his 2019-20 team in action. After seeing his team play three games in five days, he is looking at a team that is 2-1 and playing strong.

The Broncos opened the season with a loss on the road to Columbia Burbank 46-35 on Friday before returning home to beat Riverside 62-46 in their home opener on Saturday. On Tuesday, LRS defeated Oakesdale on the road 49-47.

Wellsandt wasn't very happy with how his team played on Friday, and he says he let his players know that.

Wellsandt preaches teamwork and he felt his squad didn't play together in the loss against CB.

"We're not going to win unless we play together," Wellsandt said. "We have to play together ... A team that plays together can beat a more talented team that doesn't."

Offensively, the Broncos struggled to get anything going. Only two players, Dakota Killian (11 points) and Janaye Wilkie (12 points) managed double digits.

Saturday was a different story.

Wilkie opened the scoring with a three pointer on the Broncos' opening possession. The Rams then went on a 6-0 run as the Broncos went cold. LRS would not score again until after the halfway point of the quarter when Killian made a layup on a fast break with 4:50 remaining.

Eliza Galbreath re-took the lead for the Broncos with a pair of free throws to go up 12-11 with 1:50 remaining. Riverside responded with a 3, but Killian and Galbreath scored back to back baskets to end the first quarter with a 16-14 lead.

The second quarter started back and forth but LRS started to pull away in the closing minutes of the half.

With two minutes remaining, Wilkie pulled in a defensive rebound and found a streaking Galbreath for a fast-break layup to give LRS its first two-possession lead of the game, 26-22. Galbreath followed that up by drawing a foul and sinking one of two free-throws and scoring on the next possession to extend the Bronco lead to 29-22. LRS defense would hold and Galbreath would score again on a mid-range jumper. Killian scored at the buzzer to give the Broncos a 33-24 halftime lead.

Wellsandt emphasizes defense and said he preached that at halftime. His team responded by not allowing Riverside to score again until seven minutes into the third quarter.

Galbreath–who had 15 points in the first half–opened the second half with back-to-back baskets to put LRS up 37-24.

Wilkie had a SportsCenter Top-10 worthy play midway through the third with a layup in traffic. The ball went in and she drew the foul. After she sank the free throw, LRS was up 40-24.

Near the end of the third quarter, Galbreath faced a triple team. She fell to the ground tangled with three defenders. While getting up, she got shoved by Riverside's Xianna Pablos while the ball was already on the other side of the court. It brought a Riverside fast break to a halt and Galbreath sunk both technical foul free-throws to give LRS a 46-27 lead.

Galbreath finished with 27 points. Killian and Wilkie finished with 15 apiece.

"Eliza was a beast tonight," Wellsandt said. "She's doing what she's capable of doing. If she plays every minute like that, she can be the best athlete on the floor."

Wellsandt said he was pleased with the defensive effort, especially in the third quarter.

"We need to play defense like that every night," Wellsandt said. "If we can play defense like that every night, we will be in the hunt."

On Tuesday, LRS used a big third quarter--in which they held Oaksdale to three points-- to beat Knighthawks. Wilkie scored 15 points and Galbreath added 13. The Broncos return home on Thursday for their league opener against Upper Columbia Academy.


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