Elma’s girls would not allow Aberdeen’s offense to get things going on Dec. 5 as a barrage of steals led them to a comfortable 61-22 road basketball win against the Bobcats. The Eagles also defeated the Tarriers later that week.
The Eagles kept their record perfect at 4-0 with the win while Aberdeen is still looking for its first victory of the year with a record that sits at 0-3.
To overcome Elma’s advantage in size, the Bobcats came out in a 3-2 zone and attempted to play up-tempo to neutralize Elma’s bigs. This proved to be ineffective as Jalyn Sackrider still got looks inside and the Eagles got their hands in passing lanes to take control of the momentum in the opening minutes.
Sackrider led the team with 18 points and added 12 rebounds but the transition offense really helped Elma secure the victory.
Aberdeen had 26 turnovers and gave up points in transition that helped the Eagles take a 21-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Eagles head coach Lisa Johnson said she liked what she saw from her defense but was not always satisfied with the way her team finished at the rim.
“Our emphasis is always defense. That’s what feeds our whole game,” she said. “We were getting the stops but we weren’t converting them for the first few minutes, but we came out with great energy.”
Elma’s energetic defense continued to stymie the Bobcat offense as sloppy passing kept the Cats from ever finding a rhythm.
Aberdeen didn’t have a double-digit quarter of scoring until the fourth where it managed to reach 10 points. Angel Jones scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bobcats in scoring.
Scoring was at a premium for the Bobcats but so were the rebounds. Elma outrebounded the Bobcats 43-18 and regularly got up multiple shot attempts on one possession.
Johnson said she expected to win the rebounding war.
“With a couple of 6-footers, I would hope we would dominate the glass,” she said.
Molly Johnston rebounded well but also made a significant scoring contribution with 14 points. Quin Mikel was right behind her with 12 points of her own.
Aberdeen head coach John Yonich said he’s still trying to learn about the competition he’ll face in the league but gave credit to Elma for executing its game plan.
“Elma is a good club. They’re very aggressive,” he said. “They blew us off the court and they have a nice offense. That’s a team that’s been together for a while and you can see that.”
As the Bobcats look to get comfortable in their offense, Reagan Glanz figures to be a big part of the game plan. The guard only had seven points but was one of the main ball-handlers for her team and helped set up the offense when the team played in its half court sets.
Aberdeen hosts rival Hoquiam on Thursday. On Friday, Elma will take on Tempelstowe of Australia.
“We need to get better at rebounding, we need better execution on offense,” Johnson said. “We also need to work on finishing around the rim.”
Eagles 56, Tarriers 33
Kayli Johnson’s long-range shooting sparked a third-quarter run as Elma topped Charles Wright Academy in a non-league game on Dec. 9 at Elma.
Johnson nailed four 3-pointers in the third period as the Eagles extended a four-point halftime lead to 15 at the three-quarter mark. She wound up with 18 points — all on 3-point baskets.
Sackrider added 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots for Elma. Kali Rambo handed out five assists.
Coach Lisa Johnson, who said her team came out “very flat,” was happy with its second-half showing.
“The best thing about this team is how balanced we are,” Johnson said. “We can have a different leading scorer every night.”
Elma 21 15 11 14 — 61
Aberdeen 5 4 3 10 — 22
Elma (61) — Sackrider 18, Bieker 6, Burgher, Olson 3, Bol, Mikel 12, Johnston 14, Rambo 8. FG — 24-71 (.338). FT — 13-21.
Aberdeen (22) — Orona, Glanz 7, Walsh 1, Goldman, Pruett 2, Chum, Heikkila 2, Krenz, Tageant 2, Jones 8. FG — 7-31 (.225) FT — 6-12.
C. Wright 9 5 8 11 — 33
Elma 8 10 19 19 — 56
Charles Wright (33) — Julian 10, Pikes 6, Hanly 13, Recasner 2, Leith 2, Brown. FG — n/a. FT — 2-18.
Elma (56) — Sackrider 14, Bieker 7, Burgher 2, Olson 3, Bol, Johnson 18, Mikel 6, Johnston 4, Rambo 2. FG — 22-38 (.579). FT — 5-8.