The Skyridge girls basketball team came from behind to get a nice win but then fell to a talented team from Canada on consecutive nights in non-region action last week.
The Falcons took a little while to shake off the holiday rust in this one. Both teams were sluggish at the start offensively as the Trojans led just 7-4 at the end of the initial quarter. Both squads warmed up some in the second period, but Morgan still had the advantage at the end of the half 21-16.
The players went toe-to-toe in the third stanza, and the visitors started the final stretch up 33-29. That’s when Skyridge finally got going, outscoring the Trojans 19-4 the rest of the way for a solid victory.
Junior guard Merceius Mili had a fine outing with 22 points, six rebounds and five steals. In her first game back from injury, junior guard Bella Sika produced 10 points and six boards. Senior guard Shae Toole added eight points along with six rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
“We got off to a really slow start and our shots weren’t falling against Morgan,” said Coach Shaylee Nielsen. “The girls came out strong in the second half and each player found ways to impact the game.
“Merceius Mili had a huge second half and scored 19 of her 22 points. Shae Toole had another strong outing overall. It was a special night because it was Bella Sika’s first game back in over a year after an ACL tear,” she said.
Jan. 5: Raymond (Alberta, Canada) 67, Skyridge 52
Sika helped the Falcons to get going in the contest with the Comets, opening with a three-pointer and scoring seven of the 12 points for the Falcons in the first period, after which Raymond led by two points.
The second quarter was a close battle too, and as a result, it was just a one-point difference for the visitors 30-29 heading into the break.
After holding Comet star Delaney Gibb to just two field goals in the first half, she scored 11 points in the third period and 13 in the fourth to lead Raymond to the win. She finished the outing with 31 points.
The Comets had opened up a nine-point margin heading into the concluding quarter and went on to close out the game without looking back.
Sika sparked the home-school effort with 21 points and three rebounds. Tooele had a stellar game with 16 points including two buckets from long distance plus five boards, a pair of assists and six steals.
Senior forward Sadie Buttars added seven points, junior guard Lillian Meyer scored five and sophomore guard Kyah Perkins grabbed eight rebounds while senior guard Jada Smith garnered three.
“Tonight was a good test for us,” Nielsen said. “Raymond is a great team with a phenomenal player in Delaney Gibb. We have three starters out with knee injuries right now, so we are trying to find the right combinations and lineups.”
Sophomore forward Ellah Oeser has been lost for the season after tearing her ACL. Star senior guard Cambree Blackham is still rehabbing the injury that has kept her off the court all season to date but is expected to return soon. A third player is still being evaluated.
“Different players are stepping up and we are fighting through the adversity,” the coach went on. “I was really happy with our effort tonight and the way we competed. We did a good job containing Gibb in the first half but she got going in the second half.
“Bella Sika gave us a big spark offensively tonight,” Nielsen said. “It’s really exciting to have her back in the lineup.”
The Falcons now have an 8-2 record. They have one more non-region game scheduled when Mountain Ridge visits Tuesday (Jan. 9) at 7 p.m. They open Region 3 play Friday (Jan. 12) at Westlake. The varsity girls play at 6 p.m. with the boys immediately following.