March 6, 2014 —
“We started playing tougher, got our energy up, got some deflections and turned the momentum and energy around.”
Russell turned the ball over six times during the run that turned in to 13 points.
“I was really happy with our pressure,” Easterling said. “We got out of it when we needed to and we rotated out of it at times. Our zone really ignited the 17-0 run. We’ve fed off our defense all year long. We have to play good defense to win and we know that.”
Junior Megan Stickler would score 12 points and Haley Hall would add 11. East’s reserves combined for 14 points, nine coming from Bayes.
“The bench came through,” Easterling said. “They gave us some quality minutes and got some points. I was impressed with Ashley. She doesn’t usually score that many but she played with a lot of confidence tonight. All of them came in knew exactly what they were supposed to do.”
One area Easterling hopes to change before Frida night’s Championship game is the rebounding numbers. East was outrebounded by eight 33-25.
“We’re not the most physical team around,” Easterling said. “We just had to battle and box out and fight. …We’ll have to do better than that on the glass tomorrow night.”
Russell (21-12) was led by Carter and Maggie Jachimczuk, who each scored nine points.
The 16th Region Championship will be played Friday night at 7 p.m.