Lady Eagles sweep Providence Christian in back to back games

Lady Eagles sweep Providence Christian in back to back games

Friday evening, after a long week of classes, the Emmaus Lady Eagles stepped onto the court against Providence Christian. In a rematch of Thursday night's game, the Eagles were looking to validate their victory. However, the Eagles seemed almost too confident in their previous victory, and struggled to play a consistent game.

The Lady Eagles started well in the first quarter, with Tiffany Williams (Freshman #44) hitting an early jumper off an assist by Marissa Kerttula (Freshman #23). But their play was slow, and they gave up several opportunities for easy points which would have been crucial had the Eagles' been playing a tougher opponent. Luckily for the Eagles, the Pilots were only able to score one jump shot in the first 8 minutes of the quarter, and the Eagles were able to gain a lead within that time through a 3-pointer each by Nakiah Kimble (Junior #1) and Madison Laib (Junior #24), and a couple of lay-ups by Lydia Rose (Freshman #12). A fouls by the Lady Eagles allowed the Pilots scoring opportunities from the free throw line, ending the quarter at a score of 16-7

The beginning of the second quarter saw a brief show of higher defensive intensity from the Lady Eagles, and a nice shot block from Williams, but a couple of hard-earned lay-ups by the Pilots and missed shot by the Eagles seemed to make the team jittery. At the 8:22 mark, the Pilots were within 5 points of the Lady Eagles, 16-11. Though their play was still inconsistent on both ends of the court, the Eagles managed to hold the Pilots to a single lay-up for the rest of the half, while making a few good offensive plays themselves. Kaila Shock (Freshman #25) earned a 3-point play, Williams made a shot in the paint, and Rose swished a three off a pass from Rachel West on the inside (Junior #25).

In an effort to raise the intensity of his team, Coach Graw had his players come out in a high pressure full-court press in the second half. The Lady Eagles started the quarter well offensively by forcing a turnover and Williams making a good pass to Shock down low for an easy bucket.
Better defensive play led to two turnovers by Providence on the Eagles' side of the court and easy lay-ups to place the Eagles at 32-18. The Lady Eagles began to make good on the easy plays with which they had struggled in the first half, allowing them to gain a significant lead on the Pilots. A late 3-pointer by West, left the score at 43-22 in the third quarter. While the Eagles still struggled to out-rebound the Pilots, the made 10 steals in the third quarter, showing a defensive improvement since the first half.

Both teams struggled to score early on in the final quarter, missing both lay-ups and jump shots. Eventually, a good offensive possession by the Eagles allowed West to make a jumper with a little more than 7 minutes remaining. The Lady Eagles showed more patience on the offense, leading to another jump shot from Kerttula. A strong drive to the middle of the paint by West earned another basket, and a nice pass from Emma Kerttula (Freshman #5) allowed Nicole Gordon (Freshman #21) to score. West finished the game off with another 3-pointer and made free throws, ending the game with a score of 56-31.

Though the Eagles were able to come out on top in this game, it was obvious that their play was sub-standard. While the Eagles caused many turnovers in the second half of the game, the Pilots out-rebounded them by four. Having another game the next day, Coach Graw said: "We have to come out more ready tomorrow than we were today."

Rachel West led the Eagles from the bench with 12 points and four rebounds, followed by Tiffany Williams with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 steals, and Kaila Shock with 10 points and 3 rebounds.