Coming back from winter break and a non-conference win against River Ridge, 65-20, the Yelm girls basketball team were adamant on securing a win from Gig Harbor, second in their conference, last Friday night. But the Tornados were unable to bring consistent plays to harvest a win, suffering a loss, 55-33, against the Gig Harbor Tides.
The matchup, while not crucial to the Tornados’ outlook come postseason, comes as a sign that showing up consistently to match ups would be turning point for this team. An early lead by the Tides garnered some burdensome momentum against the Tornados. A spur of miffed plays and unsuccessful turnovers in the fourth would only add to the strain against Yelm.
Head coach Russ Riches said despite the loss, the team is already looking forward to their home game against Capital, a meet at home that looks like a viable win for the girls. Meanwhile, Gig Harbor is set to face off against Peninsula, the number one team in the league.
At this point in league play, it’s important to take each opportunity and possible win that presents itself, Riches said.
“When you play your best, you’re going to beat the teams that you can beat,” Riches said. “The process is just making sure we’re in the top five by the end of the season.”
Junior Maddie Plevyak lead the Tornados against the Tides, securing five field goals with fifteen attempts. Sophomore Bayleigh Harder lead in free throws, with three made, and Kaitlin Jewell rounded out two three-pointers for Yelm.
Talent from Yelm’s bench has also been stepping up over the last couple of weeks. Riches said players such as sophomores Samantha Rohwedder, Arieanna Morgan-Corbin and Lenna Miskimens have been putting valuable time and points up for Yelm.
Rohwedder, who missed most of the first half of the season due to an injury, will likely start against their game against Capital Wednesday, Jan. 9, Riches said. She had some highlight plays Friday night against Gig Harbor, scoring six points, four assists and leading the Tornados in offensive rebounds from her position as a wing.
Riches said having her step up to support her offense and playing a consistently tough defensive position has been important the last couple games.
“Those are things that we just need her to do and she has really performed that task,” he said.
Junior Larissa Sneed has also been giving good performances off the bench, Riches said.
“She rebounds well, she’s been working hard in the middle of the floor,” he said.
The Tornados are looking to secure their second win against the North Thurston Rams during an away game this Friday, Jan. 11.