By WESLEY REMMER
It was a party in every sense of the word in the King’s West gymnasium Wednesday night as the Lady Warriors (4-4) routed the Rainier Christian Mustangs, 65-21.
Senior Megan Spence celebrated her birthday by blowing out candles and the competition in yet another all-star performance. She shot 10-of-12 from the field in route to 23 points, 10 rebounds and six steals in an all-around dominating birthday performance.
“Megan’s an outstanding, gifted basketball player,” said coach Brian Hanley. “She makes everyone look better, including the coaches.”
Spence kick-started the squad early, both in the low post and on the perimeter, as the Lady Warriors charged to an 18-2 lead after one quarter and never looked back. The 65 points was a season-high in a game which the offense never let off the accelerator. The team looked fluid, loose and confident.
“Nobody was selfish, but nobody was hesitant,” Hanley said. “The whole system is starting to work.”
The offensive performance, however, was sparked by the team’s scrappy defense. Rainier Christian had more turnovers than points, never scored more than eight points in a single quarter and didn’t have a scorer in double-digits.
In addition to Spence’s six steals, junior point guard Irene “Flash” Moore had eight and senior Megan Morris added five. Hanley attributed the forced turnovers to hard work.
“They played hard all 32 minutes, and there was no let down and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “When you work hard, good things are gonna happen.”
Despite the dominating performance, Hanley believes the defense still has work to do.
“We had a few breakdowns on the defensive end,” he added.
The breakdowns, Hanley believes, will diminish as the younger players gain more experience in the system.
“We can gamble a bit in our schemes because we know there is help behind us,” said Hanley, adding that the attack-oriented defense relies on the players’ ability to trust one another.
“The younger players have to have faith that we’ll have their back,” he said.
It is up to seniors like Spence and Morris, who are the vocal leaders and the team’s top two scorers, to pave the way for the younger players. Hanley emphasized that good leadership generates positive results.
“Our seniors led before, after and during the game,” he said. “The girls really came through.”
Hanley was visibly excited about the win, but doesn’t want his team to sit on the victory.
“The must-win games are ahead of us. Tonight was one of those,” he said.
The Lady Warriors will look to carry their momentum into the upcoming stretch of divisional games. The team played at Seattle Lutheran last night, but results were unavailable at press time.
King’s West boys hoops
The boys didn’t fair as well, dropping their game 64-41 to Rainier Christian. The Warriors (1-7) hung around in the first half, but couldn’t keep up with the bigger RC team.
Sophomore guard Chase Estes, one of the team’s young players on the upswing, led the Warriors with 16 points.
“Athletically, he’s gifted. But he’s very young,” coach Jesse Reeves said.
But the Mustangs were simply too tall and athletic for the developing, young Warrior team to beat. Reeves, however, wasn’t deterred with the loss.
“They played hard and that’s what matters most,” he said optimistically.
After falling behind 47-25 after three quarters, KW played a strong fourth period to keep the game respectable.
Junior Drew McCullough added nine points for the Warriors, who joined the girls on the road against Seattle Lutheran last night.