Federal Way flies over Mt. Rainier
By Gerardo Bolong
Just a shade of on the court inexperience was enough to keep Mt. Rainier from victory In a 4A non league girls basketball season opening 50-42 loss to Federal Way at home on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Trailing 48-36 midway through the final quarter, the young MRHS squad created a final concerted charge at victory.
Mandi Pham converted an inside basket ahead of RaHi-Mya Sumler’s pair of converted free throws.
Sophomore Kiera Reichstein stole the ball and dribble drove more than half the court for a lay up that brought MR within 48-42 with just less than two minutes in regulation.
Opportunities abounded, but points were left out there.
Jazmine Bazille made two free throws with one second left to complete the game scoring.
”Our primary ball handler got in foul trouble early and had to sit,” said Ram head coach Danny Cage. “In the second half we settled down a little more. We have six freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors, and one senior. More game experience will make them better. They did well at not giving up and showed grit. Tonight, Federal Way just outplayed us.”
First quarter action featured frequent turnovers and missed shots as the teams stumbled to an 8-6 Ram lead before the Eagles scored the last 10 points of the quarter plus the first six of the second quarter.
Five consecutive points from Ram junior Ishleen Kaur later kept the Rams within the striking range of 27-20.
Mt. Rainier nearly overcame a 32-21 deficit in the third quarter by changing to a zone defense thereby sealing off the inside for rebounds.
The offense left the first half one-on- one play behind to run a more team oriented passing offense.
Lulu Ricci and Pham orchestrated a 9-0 Ram assault on the Eagles to trail only 32-30 as 2:50 remained in the third quarter.
Federal Way took advantage of Mt. Rainier mistakes to rebuild the lead to 48-36 as the set up for the final minutes of play.
Five-foot, three-inch guard Bethany Camat buzzed around the court for 14 first half points while being a threat on three-balls en route to a game high 20 points for Federal Way.
Pham directed the offense while scoring 10 second half points as part of her 12 points for the Rams.
Freshman Ricci fought hard for 12 MR points - eight in the second half.
Aujanique Star and Kaur supported the MRHS effort at seven points apiece.