The Eagles ladies continued their high-flying ways with a matched set of victories: 58-24 over Elgin on Friday, Jan. 11, followed by a 56-36 victory at Wallowa the following day.
Friday’s game saw the Eagles take command right out of the gate. Coach Lance Homan said it was good to play at home again after playing four consecutive away games on the west side of the state.
The lady Eagles forced Elgin into 38 turnovers. Sabrina Albee again had a terrific game, leading with 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. Haley Miller put up 11 points, eight boards and four steals.
Madelyn Nelson started her weekend nicely with 10 points, six steals, four rebounds and two assists. At one point in the game, Nelson scored six points in about 30 seconds with two steals and another bucket off a pass from an Albee steal, which helped put the momentum in the Eagles’ favor.
“This was a good win against a very young and athletic team,” Homan said.
The following game against Wallowa turned into anything but a cakewalk for the ladies. Coach Homan said that the Eagles didn’t shoot the ball well and had uncharacteristic turnovers, which he attributed to Wallowa’s defense.
“I thought our girls played extremely hard and played through some adversity that they hadn’t seen in quite some time,” Homan said. He noted that Emma Hite had a tremendous game, making key shots and free throws at crucial times.
Albee ended with 17 points, five rebounds and three steals. Nelson continued her stellar play with eight points and nine steals.
Homan also noted the play of Natalie Gorham and a solid effort from senior point guard, Emma Hite, with 14 points. Haley Miller rang in with with 10.
“Wallowa is a tough place to play, they have a great crowd and the girls play extremely hard,” Homan said.
Wallowa girls coach David Howe also said the game was much closer than the final score indicated. He noted the Cougs did some good things, but still have improvement needed. He added that his squad actually made more field goals than Joseph, but turnovers and fouls led to the team’s demise.
“Joseph has a real nice team and should make a deep run at the state tournament,” Howe said.
The boys had their troubles against Elgin, although they prevailed in the end, 60-45.
The Eagles gave up an early 11-0 lead to let Elgin back in the game by halftime, with the score 26-25. The determined Huskies eventually took the lead at 37-35 after a technical foul that saw Coach Olan Fulfer pull the offender.
At the time of the technical foul, Fulfer pulled the team together. After the meeting, Hadley Miller scored key buckets on the inside and others made crucial foul shots and forced a number of Huskie turnovers. The Eagles won going away.
“We hit our 15 points per quarter, and I had four guys in double digits,” Coach Fulfer said. “We still need to find the consistency that we’re lacking ... We’re good for half a game and we take quarters off.”
Chase Murray led the Eagles with 15 points while Tyler Homan pitched in with 14. Kade Kilgore had an even dozen, Mason Ferre zipped in 10 points and Miller had seven.
The week left the boys with a 2-1 league record and 9-6 overall. They next play at home versus Powder Valley on Jan. 18.