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Highland Christian falls to Tulalip Heritage
ARLINGTON — The Highland Christian Lady Knights showed their competitive spirit when they faced off against the Tulalip Heritage Hawks, but fell short, losing 57-44 on Jan. 14.
Inexperience gave the Lady Knights trouble. “We’re like a brand new outfit here,” the Knights’ Head Coach Steve Brown said. “Three of these kids have never played before.”
Sophomore forward Chloe Brown had a great game, leading in scoring, totaling 27 points. “She’s averaging 25 points a game, but it makes it easy for the opposing team to isolate her,” Coach Brown said.
Chloe Brown made every effort to score off of missed shots ands the rebounds, and was a threat at the free-throw line, sinking seven out of 10 shots.
Though Chloe Brown is usually the lead scorer, Coach Brown was pleased with the scoring distribution at Tuesday’s game.
“We spread out our scoring,” Coach Brown said. “We usually don’t get a whole lot of other players scoring.”
Senior Brooke Hernandez was the second highest scorer, and also had some defensive highlights. The Knights were able to win the last quarter on defense with Hernandez swatting two balls in a row. “She had four blocks in the game,” Coach Brown said. “She really turned on and helped us win that fourth quarter.”
Eighth-grade guard Alaina Hayward was the only scorer to hit three-pointers, collecting two.
The first quarter started with the Knights scoring first, courtesy of two free-throws by Brown. The Knights made good passes but could not connect on scoring opportunities, often aiming too high and having the ball bounce off the backboard.
Hayward scored a three-pointer, but she and Brown were the Knights’ only scorers for the first quarter.
The Knights tried to stop Tulalip’s offense, but their defense wasn’t enough, as the Lady Hawks found their mark.
The Knights trailed the Hawks 16-9 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was much the same, with the Knights unable to keep pace with the Hawks. The Hawks scored 19, whereas the Knights only scored eight. The Knights trailed 35-17 at halftime.
After halftime, the Knights were outscored 15-9, but had a rally of sorts in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps with the benefit of less-experienced Tulalip players taking the court, the Knights outscored the Hawks 15-7 in the final quarter. More Knights were able to score in the second half, but Chloe Brown and Hernandez still were the top scorers.
The Knights’ offense not only showed up, but their defense executed as well, holding the Hawks to only single digits in the fourth quarter. “We switched our defense and that helped,” Coach Brown said.
Coach Brown hopes as the Knights diversify their shots, it will make for a stronger season. “What I see that is encouraging is that shots are coming from everyone,” Coach Brown said. “I’m encouraged we’re actually swinging the ball and getting outside shots.”
Coach Brown’s outlook on the season is that the Knights still have a chance to make the playoffs. “We just want to learn the game well and teach a good work ethic,” he said. “This is the step we have to have if we want to contend for the playoffs,”
“We’ve only played three league games and were playing a whole bunch of league games at the end of January,” he added.
The overall inexperience of the current season’s roster is the main obstacle the Knights are facing.
“We’ve been in the playoffs for many years, and it was just recently that we lost quite a few seniors a couple years ago,” Coach Brown said. “So we’re rebuilding.”
As of Jan. 18, Highland Christian was 0-3 in the league and 3-6 overall.