A thrilling 65-63 win over visiting defending girls state champion Owyhee highlighted the weekend for the Eureka Lady Vandals.
“It was certainly more exciting than I wanted it to be,” said Vandals coach Travis Gallagher.
“We did really well in the first half shooting the ball, 45 percent. Played well as a team, limited our turnovers and built a 40-26 lead, and felt real good at the time about where we were sitting.”
The third quarter was about even in scoring, with Eureka maintaining a 56-44 lead. But the fourth quarter saw the Braves going on a full scale warpath.
Gallagher noted, “We had kept them from using their normal get-the-rebound-and-cherry-pick play. They did it some, but in the fourth quarter it was their two main players, Maycee McKinney and Kaylani Smart, who started taking the ball to the hoop and my girls were being lazy on defense and were not stopping the lanes. They kept driving on us, we kept fouling and putting them at the free throw line. Also, from the floor, they were making shots and we were not, only 20 percent.”
The Braves went on a 19-9 run that quarter and made it nervous time for the Eureka fans.
Gallagher said Angelica Townsend made two free throws with 40 seconds for a four point lead. Owyhee did make a final layup, but time then expired.
Morgan Thomas was high point for the Vandals with 23 points. Cody Gibbs and Townsend each tallied 11 points.
“Mikayla Talbot really stepped up for us,” Gallagher said. “She had 16 rebounds, 10 offensive boards. The first time in a bunch of years, we’ve been able to get rebounds.”
On Friday night, the opening game of the league season, Carlin couldn’t put a full team on the floor and had to forfeit the game.
Gallagher said, “They were down to only five players before Christmas, and one got hurt the night before at Owyhee and had to sit out. I was going to do a four-on-four scrimmage, but we decided not to do that. I think Carlin has forfeited the remainder of their season.”
Just one game for the Lady Vandals (2-0, 11-3) this week. They travel to Wells for a meeting with the Leopards (0-1, 11-7). “They’ll be a fast and solid team, and we’ll match up to them pretty well, Gallagher said. “Their Sammie Stumpf is a good outside shooter along with Keegan Laughlin who is the team rebound leader. We’ll have to do a good job to keep her scoring down.”
Eureka beat the Leopards twice last year.