The Thunder Mountain High School girl’s basketball team held visiting JDHS to just eight points over the final eight minutes of play on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Falcons they had left themselves in a deep hole in the prior 24 minutes and fell just short of their first-ever conference win against the cross-town rival Crimson Bears 49-41.
The Crimson Bears won on both courts over the weekend, hosting and vanquishing the Falcons at JDHS on Saturday by the score of 61-44
“I was hoping for a different result in the sense that we came out with a little more intensity, energy and fire,” TMHS head coach Tanya Nizich said. “We lacked that for the first three quarters. We have to understand that it can just be too late sometimes to decide to all come together in the fourth quarter.”
A full court press by the Crimson Bears and aggressive half court defense by the Falcons made Friday’s contest a free throw event.
JDHS led 11-8 after one period of play and TMHS led in fouls 8-7.
“Our energy was key,” JDHS head coach Dee Boster said. “We talked about it being a team sport and playing like we practice and they did. Their confidence and energy was amazing tonight.”
Esra Siddeek had 10 of her game high 22 points in the second period, including scores on three straight trips down court and the Crimson Bears held a 27-13 lead at the half. Both teams had 10 fouls apiece.
“With all the fouls it turns into a free-throw shooting contest,” Nizich said. “And we definitely were not hitting our free throws and they were. That is where the biggest hole came from.”
The Crimson Bears pushed the lead to 41-23 starting the final period and seemed like they would coast into the locker room. Instead, the Falcons girls went on a run of their own, scoring 12 straight points and exchanging physical play from end line to end line.
“They just wanted to lay it out there,” Nizich said. “I gave them a few words and a little piece of my mind. They took things upon themselves to want to prove to them and everybody watching that they can, if they want to, if they have enough drive and fire, do whatever they want to on the court and get it done.”
The Crimson Bears subbed Brakes back into the ball game for more speed and she hit two free throws with 28 seconds remaining for a 48-41 advantage. Fouled on the next possession Brakes hit the game’s final point.
“It was nice to get some games,” Nizich said. “Now we can look at some game situations and change things down the road.”
The Crimson Bears lost Gabi Fenumiai to a practice injury and the team was down according to head coach Dee Boster.
“We knew if we didn’t out hustle them they would beat us,” Boster said. “And I thought we outhustled them. We had kids diving on the floor. We talked after that good teams like Thunder Mountain will not just stop and die. It was good for us to see that it could happen.”
Brakes and Nicole George scored five points for JDHS on Friday, Sierra Tagaban, Kymberlee Kelly and Kaitlin Fagerstrom four each, T Jae Garcia and Kayla Balovich two apiece, and Rachelle Roldan one. Shayla Reeves led the Falcons with 11, Michaela Demmert added nine, Jonelle Staveland seven, Shale Kibby and Eyerus Tingley six apiece, and Emily Winters two. The Falcons were 10-20 from the charity stripe, JDHS was 15-31.
The Crimson Bears jumped out to an early 12 to zero lead in the first period on Saturday and never looked back. The Falcons played the Crimson Bears even in the second period, scoring 15 points to head into the break trailing just 29-19. In the second half the Falcons out scored the Crimson Bears in the third stanza to cut the lead to 42-31 for the final period of play. Staveland hit seven of her team high 17 in the final period but Siddeek answered with eight of her game high 20 in the stanza.
Siddeek again led all JD scorers on Saturday with 20 points, Staveland led the Falcons with 17.