SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA — The Washington Lady Blue Lion varsity basketball team spent part of its holiday in Arizona for the Cactus Jam Tournament.
The tournament was held at Scottsdale Christian Academy in the city of Scottsdale.
Washington placed second in the four-team affair.
“We feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix and participate in the 20th annual Cactus Jam,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “This was a trip our kids were very fortunate to experience and I know it will be something that they talk about for years.
“For a few of our kids, this was the first time they have been on an airplane and many of them had never been to Arizona,” Leach explained. “The girls were able to explore Sedona, tour the Arizona State University campus, and many other unique places around the Phoenix area. A huge thank you to everyone who donated towards this trip. Lady Lion Basketball is extremely grateful for your kind donations!
“Traveling to play in an event like the Cactus Jam — against teams from another country (Canada) and across the country (Alaska) — your preparation and approach is a lot different than back home,” Leach said. “We didn’t have the opportunity to scout or watch film on any of the teams we played so we just had to focus on ourselves and stick with game goals we know we have to hit every game.
“Another thing to make things interesting was playing morning games and adjusting to the time change. All in all, it was a great experience for our kids,” Leach said. “They had to face new challenges. It exposed our kids to different competition, and ultimately gave them the opportunity to travel and create life-long memories.”
For the Lady Lions, the tournament began with a game against Riverside from British Columbia on Friday, Dec. 27.
Riverside won this game, 62-50.
Washington senior Shawna Conger poured in a game-high 34 points with nine two-point baskets, four three-point buckets and four free throws.
Senior Halli Wall scored seven points, hitting one three-point shot.
Freshman Kendall Dye scored five points, while sophomore Aaralyne Estep and freshman Natalie Woods both had two points.
The Lady Lions led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Riverside held a 27-21 lead at halftime.
Riverside won the third quarter, 14-9 to extend their lead to 41-30.
Both teams saved their best offensive output for the fourth quarter, with Riverside scoring 21 to Washington’s 20.
For Riverside, Franscine Basiga led with 17 points and Sammy Shields scored 16.
On Saturday, Dec. 28, Washington played Service High School from Anchorage, Alaska.
Washington won this game, 53-21.
Shawna Conger led Washington with 13 points.
Natalie Woods scored 10 points and Halli Wall scored nine.
Aaralyne Estep scored six points, while a trio of players — freshman Kaelin Pfeifer, Kendall Dye and sophomore Jeleeya Tyree-Smith — each scored four points.
Senior Abby Tackage scored two points and freshman Megan Sever scored one.
Washington led 11-5 at the end of the first quarter and 26-11 at halftime.
After three quarters of play, Washington was in front, 44-17.
Washington completed tournament play with a 58-34 win over Monsignor McCoy from Medicine Hat, Alberta on Monday, Dec. 30.
Conger led a trio in double figures for Washington with 17 points.
Tyree-Smith scored 11 points and Dye had 10 points.
Wall scored six points, Estep and Pfeifer both had four points and freshman Allie Mongold, Tackage and Woods each scored two points.
Washington rolled out to an 18-6 lead after the first quarter.
The Lady Lions held a 35-17 lead at halftime.
Washington was in control, 50-28 after three quarters of action.
Riverside won the tournament with a 62-22 win over Service, Alaska.
“Our first game was definitely the toughest,” Leach said. “Riverside out-matched us in size and had a few very talented guards. We seemed to have lost our focus during the third quarter of this game and we were giving up too much dribble penetration. Our help-side defense wasn’t there when we needed it the most.”
Shawna Conger had an excellent offensive game, Leach said, scoring a career-high of 34 points.
“Our last two games were a great experience for a lot of our younger kids to get solid minutes,” Leach said. “I think throughout this trip we learned a lot about each other and our team. We know going into the second half of the season what we need to focus on and the level of intensity we need to compete at to be where we want to be come February.”
Washington (7-4 overall) is at home today at noon taking on Unioto.
Riverside, BC 62, Washington 50
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 13 8 9 20 — 50
RBC 12 15 14 21 — 62
WASHINGTON — Allie Mongold 0-0-0; Aaralyne Estep 1-0-2; Kendall Dye 2-1-5; Abby Tackage 0-0-0; Natalie Woods 1-0-2; Halli Wall 2 (1)-0-7; Shawna Conger 9 (4)-4-34; Megan Sever 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (5)-5-50. Free throw shooting: 5 of 11 for 45 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 4; Wall.
RIVERSIDE BRITISH COLUMBIA — Venica Davignon 2 (1)-0-7; Jane McKinnon 1-1-3; Franscine Basiga 3 (3)-2-17; Lucy Caldwell 1-0-2; Sammy Shields 2 (4)-0-16; Brooke Kendal 3-2-8; Maria Kim 1-3-5; Alexa Kinniard 2-0-4. TOTALS — 15 (8)-8-62. Free throw shooting: 8 of 14 for 57 percent. Three-point field goals: Sheilds, 4; Basiga, 3; Davignon.
Washington 53, Service, Alaska 21
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 11 15 18 7 — 53
S 5 6 6 4 — 21
WASHINGTON — Allie Mongold 0-0-0; Aaralyne Estep 3-0-6; Kaelin Pfeifer 1-2-4; Kendall Dye 1-2-4; Jeleeya Tyree-Smith 2-0-4; Abby Tackage 1-0-2; Natalie Woods 4-2-10; Halli Wall 3-3-9; Shawna Conger 0 (3)-4-13; Megan Sever 0-1-1. TOTALS — 15 (3)-14-53. Free throw shooting: 14 of 28 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 3.
SERVICE, ALASKA — Crotcher 2-0-4; Stoddard 0 (1)-0-3; Hopson 0-2-2; Quitugua-Banks 0-0-0; Moss 1-2-4; Robarcho 0-0-0; Campbell 0-0-0; Noethlin 0-0-0; Pawcio 1-0-2; Felli 2-2-6. TOTALS — 6 (1)-6-21. Free throw shooting: 6 of 11 for 55 percent. Three-point field goal: Stoddard.
Washington 58, Monsignor McCoy 34
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 18 17 15 8 — 58
MMc 6 11 11 6 — 34
WASHINGTON — Allie Mongold 1-0-2; Aaralyne Estep 2-0-4; Kaelin Pfeifer 2-0-4; Kendall Dye 3-4-10; Jeleeya Tyree-Smith 4 (1)-0-11; Abby Tackage 1-0-2; Natalie Woods 1-0-2; Halli Wall 3-0-6; Shawna Conger 7 (1)-0-17; Megan Sever 0-0-0. TOTALS — 23 (2)-4-58. Free throw shooting: 4 of 6 for 67 percent. Three-point field goals: Tyree-Smith, Conger.
MONSIGNOR McCOY — Claire Hott 1 (1)-2-7; Megan Morrison 0-3-3; Poni Myarsok 0-0-0; Reese Bourassa 0-0-0; Amy Getz 0-0-0-; Makayla Clarke 0-0-0; Hailey Hoffart 1-0-2; Trinity Shika 0-0-0; Brooklyn Schafer 2 (2)-0-10; Paige Gerl 0-0-0; Emily Klein 0-2-2; Jaden Brown 1 (1)-5-10; Libby Bourassa 0-0-0. TOTALS — 5 (4)-12-34. Free throw shooting: 12 of 19 for 63 percent. Three-point field goals: Schafer, 2; Hott, Brown.