The two-game winning streak of the East Jefferson Rivals varsity girls basketball team came to a close last Monday as the squad was blown out 50-31 by the Life Christian Eagles at home in Port …
The two-game winning streak of the East Jefferson Rivals varsity girls basketball team came to a close last Monday as the squad was blown out 50-31 by the Life Christian Eagles at home in Port Townsend.
The girls were “just not dialed in the way I expected,” EJ Head Coach Lorraine Rimson said. “We had a few days off recently and it affected our conditioning.”
The Eagles soared to a quick, 7-0 start in the opening period.
On both ends of the court, the Rivals struggled.
Offensively, the squad’s typically precise passing wasn’t there as multiple turnovers were snatched by the Eagles. On defense, multiple open shots allowed and free throws aplenty spelled doom for the home team.
The Eagles secured a 29-14 lead by halftime after a barrage of three-pointers over the Rivals in the second period.
The silver lining for the Rivals was freshman Penina Vailolo’s collection of blocks in the opening half, forcing the Eagles to score from outside.
In the third period, EJ’s senior forward Alyssa Vandenberg found her form in the paint, scoring a couple layups and gaining another four points at the free-throw line. Junior forward Abbie Liske scored two buckets, as well, aiding the Rivals in their highest scoring period of the contest.
But it wasn’t enough.
Going into the fourth period, the Eagles remained perched on top, 42-28. The Rivals tacked on another eight points as Life Christian added three points of their own, with the Eagles earning the 50-31 victory.
Vandenberg led the Rivals in points with 14, Vailolo earned five points, and Liske and Maddy Harris tacked on two buckets each.
“I was disappointed with our lack of focus,” Rimson said.
“We had lots of different things that were good; a couple of times we broke the press.”
While the Rivals weren’t at their best in the matchup, the coach was quick to praise the Eagles’ stellar squad.
“The other team was really good … all five of their players have the ability to dribble and shoot,” Rimson said. “It’s a hard matchup for us because we’re more post-heavy. So, still trying to process it all, but it was not our best outing.”
While the home loss stings, the team’s postseason aspirations still remain as they currently sit as the No. 4 seed in the Nisqually League standings.
“They played hard. They were tired and they dug deep and they played hard, and that’s what I want is for them to always play hard, even if numbers-wise we’re not in it,” Rimson said. “All the girls played hard; all the girls had shining moments and all the girls had some not-quite-so shining moments.”
After regrouping, the EJ girls went on the secure a victory over Vashon Island High School on Friday to secure a spot in the playoffs. The Rivals were scheduled to face Annie Wright School on Tuesday at home in Port Townsend for Senior Night.