By Michael Ragovin
The La Jolla Country Day girls basketball team lost to Etiwanda High School, 64-49, on Jan. 12. The game was actually much closer than the score indicates. With 4:22 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Etiwanda Eagles lead, 51-49.
The game began very closely contested. Etiwanda scored the first four points on a jumper and a lay-in. Kelsey Plum broke the ice for the Country Day Torreys with a jumper from the free-throw line.
With three minutes left in the period, Plum hit a three-pointer followed by a driving lay-in at the 2:22 mark to knot the score at 9.
A minute later, Plum intercepted an Eagles’ pass, missed the lay-in, was fouled and converted the two free-throws.
Etiwanda followed with a two-point jumper and the score was tied 11-11 with 1:30 left in the first period. Plum made another driving lay-in and Etiwanda made a two-point jumper from above the free-throw line to end the first quarter scoring with the Torreys leading 16-13.
Etiwanda stole the ball and went in for a lay-in to start the second period. After being fouled, Sabrina Callahan converted both free- throws to make the score Torreys 18, Eagles 15. A baseline drive by Etiwanda, a driving lay-in by Brianne Yasukochi, and a lay-in by Callahan off a beautiful assist from Yasukochi, made the score 22-17 — Country Day ahead with 5 minutes left in the second quarter.
Maybe the play of the game came when Plum drove the baseline and switched hands under the basket to make the score 24-17. Callahan then hit a three-ball from deep in the corner. The first half ended with Plum making two free-throws and Callahan had two driving lay-ins. Etiwanda ended a 3:28 second scoring drought with a two-pointer, ending the first half with the Torreys ahead 33-22.
The Eagles came out in the third period with a very tight trapping defense. Two players defended Plum almost every time she had the ball.
A two-point jumper by Etiwanda opened the scoring followed by a lay-in and a three-pointer making the score 33-29 Torreys. Plum put Country Day on the board with a lay-in at the 5:25 mark. Etiwanda answered with a three-pointer and the score was 35-32. At this point the game slipped away from the Torreys. Etiwanda out scored Country Day 23-6 in the third quarter and took a 45-39 lead into the fourth period.
The Eagles held The Torreys to 10 points in the final period. However, it was a very close game until there was 4:22 left in the fourth period with the score 51-49, Etiwanda ahead. From this point Etiwanda went on a 13-0 run for a final score 64-49.
Country Day Coach Terri Bamford commented on the difference between the first and second halves.
“Give Etiwanda credit, their defensive intensity picked up, and we struggled scoring. Their shots went in and the momentum changed. Sometimes that happens in a game.”
When the Eagles upped their defense a couple of notches, this caused turnovers, poor shots and poor shot selection for the Torreys. It has been said that if you want to get your offense going, play better defense.