FILE PHOTO — Sophomore Rainier guard Kaeley Schultz goes in under the bucket for 2 points in a game earlier this year. 

In their first league matchup this season, the Rainier Mountaineers weren’t messing around. Looking for redemption, the lady Mountaineers hosted Wahkiakum on Thursday, Jan. 2, and bested the Mules 52-44. 

Rainier Head Coach Brandon Eygabroad said the game was something of a redemption matchup for his team, which lost to the Mules last year during both league play and at regionals. 

“We were going into it with those two in the back of our minds,” Eygabroad said. “They went into it a little extra focused.”

The resulting win was big for the team, especially as the Mountaineers came out fast with a 14-4 lead over the Mules in the first quarter. 

“We had probably the best defensive quarter we’ve had all year,” Eygabroad noted. “Flying around, hands up, solid defense all quarter.” 

Senior guard Sophie Beadle — who alongside standout sophomore Kaeley Schultz helped lead the charge against the Mules — led Rainier in scoring. She scored 16 points for the Mountaineers and proved fierce under the net. 

Beadle also tallied seven steals in the game. 

“She set the tone defensively for the game right off the bat,” Eygabroad said. 

Schultz went 4-for-7 on free throws and contributed a total of 10 points. Eygabroad said she had a well-balanced game having snagged 10 rebounds, three steals and three assists. 

Sophomore guards Faith Boesch and Selena Niemi also proved dangerous from beyond the arch. Both tallied three 3-pointers. 

Going into league matchups after a month of non-league play, Rainier should have opportunities aplenty to test their mettle. 

“It’s a competitive league. We’ve made some mistakes with two losses,” Eygabroad said. “Our thing is consistency, which is what we need to focus on. We’ve had good halves, good quarters. But we need to have a good game, night in and night out.” 

Rainier is set to host Morton-White Pass on Thursday, Jan. 9. 

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