Highland Christian girls rally past Grace

Highland’s Esther Brown, right, fights for a rebound. - Travis Sherer
Highland’s Esther Brown, right, fights for a rebound.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

MARYSVILLE — With the game in doubt, the Lady Knights went on a run when they needed it the most to steal their first Northwest 1B basketball victory.

Highland Christian rode a 9-0 run in the final four minutes of regulation to secure a 27-21 win over Grace Academy, Jan. 4, at the Marysville Boys & Girls Club.

“If we were still in the game, my plan was to press them in the fourth quarter and hopefully get some uncertainty in their guards,” said Knights coach Steve Brown. “And I think that helped.”

The press ended up being the difference-maker for the Knights, who forced a dozen turnovers in the final frame.

“The girls trapped well and didn’t lighten up on their pressure,” said Brown. “I was really proud of their effort.”

Highland grabbed its first conference win of the season, improving its record to 1-2 in Northwest 1B play and 3-3 overall.

The Lady Knights were victims of an aggressive Grace defense in the first half, which helped the Eagles build a 15-9 halftime lead.

Helping Highland stay close was McKenzie Enge, who scored a game-high 13 points, most of them by working for offensive rebounds and putting them back. Enge took over a primary role after Jade Olin suffered an ankle injury a week ago in practice.

“I’m really happy to see her step in for Jade,” said Brown. “We challenged her to do that and she stepped up. She’s exploding to the basket and her defensive intensity has been tremendous.”

Kayla Sytsma added seven points for the Knights, who take on the Marysville Getchell “C” team in a home game at the 10st Street School gym at 6 p.m., Jan. 14.

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