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Lady Rangers score season's first win


Estacada comes off of a tough home loss for its first win in 11 games

by: NEWS PHOTO: LOREN NIBBE - Junior guard Mackenzie Gipple drives down the court as a Cascade defender looks on. Rebounding is an important part of basketball, as any coach knows. That applies to specific plays, and to the team as a whole.

The Estacada High School Lady Rangers learned some important lessons about rebounding over the past week, and have earned their first win of the 2012-13 season as a result. But to make that happen, they first had to rebound from a devastating home loss against Cascade.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the Cascade Cougars came to Estacada and were ready to play.

At the outset, it was a very close contest. Lady Ranger Natalie Stroup, a sophomore, tied the score 5-5 with a free throw shot.

Cascade opened up a lead with a series of fast breaks and rebounds to take a 16-9 lead at the end of the first period. That increased to 28-14 at halftime.

The Lady Rangers started the second half with a scoring drought, with frustration and fatigue starting to show, and many missed shots to go around.

EHS senior Molly Kammeyer eventually snapped the scoreless streak with a pair of free throws, but that was not enough to surmount Cascade’s relentless onslaught.

Kammeyer was the leading scorer for the Lady Rangers, with 7 points. Senior Madison Haga scored 5.

Overall, the Lady Rangers made about 20 percent of their shots from the field and 50 percent of their free throws in the 63-25 loss.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” coach Jon Erickson said. “Good teams will exploit that, and we paid the price.”

There’s also the fact that Cascade was coming off of a very successful 2011-12 season, where the Cougars boasted a 21-7 record. Most of that squad returned for this season.

It was quite a different story when the Lady Rangers traveled to Scappoose for a Friday, Dec. 7, game. A last-second free throw by Haga gave Estacada a 35-34 win, its first in 11 games.

“That was much improved for us,” Erickson said. “That burden has been lifted.”

Stroup led the pack with 10 points, and Haga contributed 7. Senior Sam Hammonds and Stroup also racked up several rebounds between them.

In the practices following the Cascade loss, the team focused on its shooting and eliminating turnovers, and saw that come to fruition against Scappoose.

“I think it’s started to pay off,” Erickson said.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, the Lady Rangers will host a team from Australia. That will be followed by a Tuesday, Dec. 18, trip to Elmira.

Erickson said the game against Elmira will be good preparation for the Seaside Tournament, which is set for Dec. 20-22. He adds that the team is determined to go into Christmas break with a few more wins and a wave of momentum.