MOSES LAKE — On an Eastmont baseline drive, Jamie Loera recovered to block the shot, saved the ball from going out of bounds and fired an outlet pass to Alexya Sandmann for two points.
It's those type of sequences that separate Moses Lake from most teams. Offensively when things aren't going well, the defense delivers for an easy basket.
Although the offense was uneven for almost the entirety of the game, Moses Lake stifled Eastmont on the defensive end and won comfortably 42-25.
“I don't want to idolize our defense, although holding them to 25 is a good defensive effort,” head coach Matt Strophy said. “At the same time, we missed some switches, we missed some rotations and so we gave up offensive rebounds so it was not a satisfying game on either end for us because our expectations are higher and after the Central Valley game we had four great practices and I felt like when we came out here we didn't play like we practiced.”
The defensive disruption was there from the start as the Wildcats began the game with five turnovers in a row and did not attempt a shot until there was under four minutes left in the first quarter.
However, Moses Lake was only able to build an 8-0 lead.
Abby Rathbun scored five straight points — a three-point play and an elbow jumper — to get the Chiefs rolling. Rathbun finished with seven of her nine points in the first quarter.
Eastmont got as close as five points in the first half after a Kalea Bokma three-pointer, 18-13.
Loera answered with her own three-pointer, an assist to Sandmann and a step-through scoop shot as time expired in the first half. A personal 7-0 run that swelled the lead to 12 points.
“Stepping up for the team, it makes everyone a little relieved,” said Loera, who scored a game-high 13 points. “Having that momentum going into the third quarter, it's good to have that at the end of th second quarter.”
Moses Lake took its largest lead in the third quarter after Rathbun curled to the hoop for a lay-up, 29-13.
But a 7-5 quarter in favor of the Chiefs kept the Wildcats somewhat still in the game.
Despite the lack of scoring, Moses Lake held Eastmont scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and built a 21-point lead.
“It's about consistency and we've got to find that,” Strophy said. “We've got to find the consistency, which will help our rhythm and then we'll turn into a better team.”
Score by quarters
ML — Jamie Loera 13, Abby Rathbun 9, Jessica Olson 6, Morgan Yamane 4, Taylor Stevens 3, Alexya Sandmann 2, Maggie Strom 2, Charity Talo 2, Ellie Mayo 1
Eastmont — Emily Dufour 10, Kalea Bokma 5, Maddy Chandler 4, Skye Wilson 2, Haley Johnson 2
Moses Lake 56, West Valley 46
MOSES LAKE — Jamie Loera scored 17 points, leading Moses Lake past West Valley 56-46.
The Chiefs trailed at half, but rallied to outscore the Rams 33-22 in the second half.
Abby Rathbun and Jessica Olson added 15 and 14 points, respectively.