Eagle girls battle back to win tourney
Win streak now five games
The Brady girls basketball team has learned what it takes to win when dealing with the ups and downs and the momentum swings of a ball game.
In both of their games in the Brady Holiday Tournament, the Eagles came from behind and showed they have composure to overcome adversity.
Brady was down early in its 50-39 win over Eustis-Farnam Friday night and also trailed before beating Wauneta-Palisade 37-34 for the championship.
Eagles take down Knights
Eustis-Farnam tried a new game plan in the teams’ first matchup this season. The Knights tried running on the Eagles and it worked early on.
They managed to score 14 points on Brady in the first quarter and trailed only by two, 16-14.
“Those girls did a good job of trying to push it on us,” head coach Lance Arterburn said. “That’s something they hadn’t done in the past.”
Eustis-Farnam stuck to its tactics in the second quarter putting up 13 more points. Melissa Johnson hit a half-court shot as the horn sounded to give the Knights a 27-25 lead at intermission.
Brady, although trailing and lacking momentum, remained positive, Arterburn said.
“The great thing about this group is they knew two quarters had yet to be played,” Arterburn said. “We made some adjustments at half and the girls carried them out.”
In the third quarter Brady limited the Knights to four points and captured the 35-31 lead by forcing turnovers and making open shots, Arterburn said.
That experience of close-game victories propelled Brady to a 15-point third quarter and an 11-point win over a quality team.
“I’m proud of how these girls stuck together and remained confident,” Arterburn said. “Games that come down to the last few plays are character-builders.”
Josie Palmer led seven Eagle scorers with 14 points while the Knights’ high scorer was Johnson with 13.
Scoring by quarters:
EAGLE SCORERS: Josie Palmer 14, Madison Elliott 13, Tara Callahan 10, Valerie Most 4, Autumn Hild 4, Carissa Rayburn 3, Jamie Norton 2.
Brady rides past Broncos
The Eagles stuck together in a close game again in the championship and pulled out a 37-34 win in a battle against Wauneta-Palisade.
Brady started the game trailing by seven, 11-4.
While the Broncos were extending their lead to eight before the half, the Eagles were trying to find success on offense.
“We really struggled shooting in the first half,” head coach Lance Arterburn said.
Brady trailed 21-13 in what looked to be a low-scoring game.
There wasn’t any rhythm in the offense, Arterburn added.
The Eagles went to a solid man-to-man defense in the second half to slow Wa-Pa down and that gave them a chance to win the game.
“Wa-Pa hit five threes in the first half against our zone,” he said.
So the girls came out in a press to counter the Broncos’ outside shooting.
It worked as Wa-Pa scored just seven points in the third quarter and six in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Brady’s post players stepped up and did a better job of getting offensive position and scoring, Arterburn said.
The Eagles outscored the Broncos 24-13 in the second half on their way to a rematch victory.
Arterburn said the key to the win was the girls’ effort and pride in the team’s defense.
Adding that the girls understand when shots aren’t falling, the will to play defense grows even more important.
“Playing good defense will keep you in games,” Arterburn said.
Josie Palmer led the Eagles balanced attack with nine points.
Scoring by quarters:
EAGLE SCORERS: Josie Palmer 9, Tara Callahan 8, Autumn Hild 8, Valerie Most 4, Madison Elliott 4, Carissa Rayburn 2, Alexis Mann 2.