The Eads Girls’ Basketball team had an up-and-down weekend as they lost momentum against Wiley, letting them back in towards the end losing, 53-43, on Thursday night in Eads. By Saturday, however, the Eads girls had rebounded and arrived in Kim ready to compete. They would use a strong first quarter to gain the advantage and then held off the Mustang onslaught in the second half getting a solid road win, 59-37. The Eads girls’ 6-7 record does not reflect the quality of team they are.
Thursday night’s meeting with Wiley showed Eads jumping out to a solid 18-10 lead after the first quarter as sophomore Ally Spady hit for two three balls and another deuce. Kaylee Wilson warmed up with a couple of buckets of her own. Wiley’s senior leader Marisa Vazquez kept Wiley within striking range in the first quarter with a late long ball that was a precursor of things to come for her Panthers.
The second quarter saw Eads’ offense slow down substantially as the Panthers heated up hitting two three balls. Taira Weber led the way with a couple of jumpers and a trey. Wilson continued to carry the Lady Eagles with a couple more jumpers off of nice moves to the bucket. Wiley outscored Eads 14-7 in the second quarter leaving Eads trailing by a single point, 24-23, at the intermission.
The Lady Eagles looked to be ready to put the game away into the third using strong offensive play from Ally Spady and some gutsy rebounding from 5’ 2 Lauren Spady. Eads outscored the Panthers 14-10 in the third and came off the floor with a three-point lead, 37-34.
But Vazquez, who had hit two three balls late in the third was still on fire for the Panthers during the fourth. She gained the lead for Wiley with back-to-back three balls. Eads answered, getting the lead one last time, but then went stone dead cold and did not score again after their initial first three buckets. They got the looks, but would end the game with a dismal, 12% shooting performance behind the arc where they took most of their fourth quarter shots.
Wiley made their free throws down the stretch as Eads had no other option than to foul. They would go 7-for-12 in the final quarter, including a 5-for-6 performance by Weber. The Lady Panthers would win the game from the line and behind Vazquez’s exceptional shooting performance.
Head Coach Trey Eder summed up the disappointing Wiley game, “This was not a very good game for us on the defensive end. We struggled to find energy and the intensity that we had played with on defense the prior games. We missed rotations and left shooters open. With that being said, we still gave ourselves a chance to win in the end taking a lead into the final quarter but could not find the basket in the final couple minutes and Wiley hit their free throws down the stretch.”
Ally Spady led Eads with 14 points, including two 3-balls, and had 5 rebounds. Wilson added 12 points and 3 steals. Morgyn Johnson pulled down 8 boards. The Lady Eagles had a dismal night of shooting going 12% from the 3-point line and 25% from the free throw line.
Wiley had a tremendous performance by Mariana Morales who only scored three points but pulled down 22 rebounds. Weber led all scorers with 19 points, Vazquez nailed 15 points, all coming from three balls, and Kristen Summer kicked in 10 points.
If Thursday was a disappointment for the Lady Eagles, Saturday dawned bright as they made one of their longest treks of the season for a date with the Kim/Branson girls. The Lady Mustangs have a strong tradition of excellence, particularly in their own house.
But this time the Lady Eagles brought their rebounding game down south and it paid off in a big way. Their defense, also, was a key reason they won the game.
Eder was happy with his girls’ performance, “We were able to be good on defense as our defense is key for us to win games. We knew they had good shooters going in and we were able to get out to them on rotations and build an 18-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Offensively, we moved the ball and found open players and knocked down open shots and had a 20-point lead at halftime.”
After the intermission, the Lady Mustangs came out firing, but Eads held them off using the very strong play of Morgyn Johnson and Hadlie Rittgers. It was a physical game, just the kind of game Johnson thrives on as she is a strong girl who can battle with girls who outsize her. Senior Hadlie Rittgers also got in there and battled. She sparked Eads early in the first quarter running the gauntlet with three free throws, two deuces, and a trey.
Both the third and fourth quarters were nearly even as Eads gained a point on the Mustangs after the third, 14-13, and gained another point, 12-11, in the final period. It was a solid second half where Eads held off the Mustangs that should give them some motivation for the rest of the season.
Johnson led all scorers with 19 points, pulled down 7 rebounds and had 4 steals. Lauren Spady had a strong game for Eads with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Rittgers poured in 17 points and had 4 assists. Wilson was also solid with 12 points.
The Girls’ JV had one game over the weekend losing in an exciting game to Wiley, 22-19. Wiley was led by Demi Wollert with 10 points. Cynthia Watson hit for three long balls leading Eads with 9 points. Both Kiya Leonard and Crystal Watson chipped in four apiece.
The Lady Eagles now gear up for two home games this week. They will welcome a struggling but feisty Granada team to the Eagles’ Nest on Tuesday, January 29th. They then face off against the Walsh Lady Eagles (4-8) on Friday.
Photo Credit Wilson Photography
1) Eads junior Morgyn Johnson shoots a jumper while Kim/Branson's Tori Goode defends. Johnson had a big game in the 59-37 win over Kim/Branson on Saturay night scoring 19 points and pulling down 7 rebounds.
2) Eads sophomore guard Ally Spady jumps in and attempts to steal the from Kim/Branson's Tori Goode (#31) while Aston Elliot (#4) and Lauren Spady (#14) look on.