RAINIER — After jumping to a 9-2 lead to start its league-opening game against Rainier, the Adna girls basketball team hit a wall.
For the next quarter and a half, the Pirates would make just one shot, and put four more points on the board, as the Mountaineers' press and ball pressure frustrated Adna’s young guards.
Then, a switch flipped, and led by the energy Natalie Loose provided off the bench and a bounceback effort by sophomore guards Danika Hallom, Kendall Humphrey, and Gaby Guard, the Pirates beat the Mountaineers, 51-42, Wednesday night.
“I told them to roll their shoulders back up, I know you're tired, but keep them up,” Adna coach Chris Bannish said. “It’s part of growing up for us, we’re going to be in big games this year and we can’t show weakness. Our bench helped us, Natalie came in and gave us that energy, we didn’t miss a beat. She was the key to the game and turning it.”
After 11 unforced turnovers in the first half, the Pirates committed just three in the second. After scoring 13 points in the opening half, Adna came back in the third and fourth quarters and scored 38.
It was a tale of two halves Wednesday night for a Pirates squad that relies heavily on its seniors, Brooklyn Loose and Karlee VonMoos, but needs its sophomores to grow up in a hurry if they want to make noise in the Central 2B League.
“My sophomore guards got nervous for the first time,” Bannish said. “We finally got challenged and had to draw up plays out of timeouts. That’s the first time this year where we had to make them count.”
And count they did. Hallom poured in a team-high 19 points, mostly off breakaway layups, and Humphrey and Guard scored seven and five points respectively.
Though Natalie Loose scored just two points, Bannish credited her energy for flipping the game when the Pirates needed them to. Senior VonMoos also scored 14 points to pace the Pirates.
The Pirates will look to keep it rolling against Toledo on Friday while the Mountaineers hope to bounce back on the road against Morton-White Pass in Randle.