ELLINWOOD — In spite of a 12-0 run that gave the Ellinwood High School girls’ basketball team a two-point lead in the third quarter, the Lady Eagles couldn’t keep the pressure going in the final eight minutes..
Ellinwood fell 50-35 to Russell on Friday night in its season opener.
Ellinwood head coach Ryan Mountain said he thought his team showed a lot of promise.
“The girls definitely showed themselves that they’re better than they thought they were,” Mountain said. “I think we showed Ellinwood that we’re better than people thought we were and better than we have been in the past.”
Coming out of the locker room in the second half, it looked as if Russell was going to continue adding to its lead as Madison Beagley hit a layup to put the Lady Broncos up 25-15.
But Ellinwood went on a tear that put the Lady Eagles ahead 27-25.
Blake Wilt, who led the Lady Eagles with 10 points in the game, scored four in the run. Kelsea Ward, a 5-foot-8 junior post player, added four as well.
Sophie Hayes and Rachel Doll each scored two points, with most of the Lady Eagles scoring on fast-break opportunities created by steals.
With two minutes remaining, Mountain worked some substitutes into the game to give the group a rest. The result was the Lady Eagles went cold heading into the fourth quarter.
“I think there was two minutes left, and I was just trying to give them a little bit of a break,” Mountain said. “We got down by four. I can live with four. Then I got the group back in that made the run, and we’re down 10 or 12.
“They needed a break. They deserved a break. They made that run. They made up an eight-point deficit.”
The Lady Eagles were able to keep the game close after the first eight minutes, trailing 9-8 after the first quarter.
However, the Lady Broncos started to put some distance between them and Ellinwood in the second quarter on six points from Beagley, who led the Lady Broncos with a double-double — 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Ellinwood was plagued by turnovers throughout the game, with a number of passes slipping through guards’ fingers or thrown to empty areas.
“What hurt us tonight was our turnovers in the first half,” Mountain said of his team, which had turnover issues throughout last season. “I had us for 14. That may have been on the low side. That puts us right back on our average from last year, which was 28.
“We came out in the second half and made a great run. We only had seven turnovers in the second half.”
The Lady Eagles were able to draw fouls, but they only went 8-for-24 from the free-throw line in the game.
“We’re going to have to do something,” Mountain said. “It’s not like we don’t work on free throws. We rep them every day.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Russell 50, Ellinwood 35
Alex Ptacek 3 2-4 8, Lena Wedel 0 0-0 0, Madison Beagley 9 3-9 21, Savanna Huff 2 2-4 6, Jenna Schulte 3 0-0 6, Kyleigh Kasper 1 0-0 2, Megan Boxberger 1 2-2 5, Caitlyn Craven 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 9-15 50.
Sophie Hayes 2 3-10 7, Oma Thomas 0 0-0 0, Jenna Snell 0 0-0 0, Blake Wilt 4 2-4 10, Rachel Doll 3 0-1 7, Kelsea Ward 3 0-1 6, Brooke Panning 0 3-4 3, Amanda Tucker 1 0-5 2, Tawny Arndt 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 8-24 35.
Russell 9 14 9 18 — 50
Ellinwood 8 7 13 7 — 35
Three-point goals — Russell 1 (Boxberger); Ellinwood 1 (Doll). Total fouls — Ellinwood 19, Russell 18. Fouled out — Panning.