Mount Baker’s young girls’ basketball team is beginning to show that it isn’t all Emily & Emily, but it cost the high-scoring Mountaineers a low-scoring loss.
The Mounties (7-2) had a luckless draw in Lynden Christian’s Cloud 9 Christmas Tournament. The 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 29, start seemed to contribute to Baker’s 48-40 loss to Cascade Christian (7-1) in a match-up of Class 1A teams with tall stars and high state tournament hopes.
“I just don’t think we were really awake,” said Baker coach Brenda Ellis, whose team is off to its best start in her 10 years as coach. “We were out hustled. We were just flat today.”
Senior Emily Yost and junior Emily Brandland came in averaging 51 points with a whopping 408 points between the two experienced 5-foot-10 power players. That had been about two-thirds of the offense for Baker, which averaged 69 points in its first eight games.
Against taller Cascade Christian, however, the two 5-foot-10 standouts were limited to a combined 20 points and 17 rebounds with consistent double-teaming by the four or five Cougars as tall or taller.
Freshman forward McKenzie Yost, who shot 4 for 4, and senior guard Brittany Call each scored eight points from the perimeter to keep Baker in the game.
But the Cougars’ methodical style forced the normally fast-moving Mounties to play a frustrating half-court game. With Baker leading 35-33 at the end of the third quarter, that tactic eventually proved fatal for the Mounties when the Cougars went on a 13-0 run with five different scorers.
Baker didn’t score in the fourth quarter until nearly six minutes had elapsed, and then it took an NBA-length desperation 3-pointer by Brandland – the Mounties’ only three-pointer.
By that time, the Cougars had the game well in hand, thanks especially to game highs of 15 points and 12 rebounds by quick 6-foot-1 senior post Savannah Hunter and 12 points by sophomore guard Tristen Coltom.
“I think (in the long run) it was good to have that (situation) happen to us,” said Emily Yost. “We need to rely on more than two players. We just had an off-day shooting (18 for 48, even though the Yost sisters went 8 for 9 combined).
“It was good to see each one of our players grow,” the fourth-year regular. “But Number 12 (Hunter) was really aggressive.”
Ellis was impressed with the poise and unselfishness displayed by Emily Yost, who intends to play on the small college level, especially since Baker’s lone loss had been to Class 3A Ferndale.
“I was proud of Emily Yost,” the coach said. “She got frustrated but did very well to give up the ball and not force shots.”
“Emily’s fantastic,” Brandland said. “She’s not selfish at all. And Brittany Call and McKenzie Yost stepped up today.”
Junior guard Kylee Engholm remained optimistic going into the Mounties’ second morning tournament game, an 11:30 a.m. match-up with Bellevue Christian on Tuesday.
“We have a lot of good shooters,” said Engholm, who was held to two points but came in with three double-figure games.
“Yes, we have other kids who can score,” said Ellis, whose team is 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. “And we’ll have (senior guard) Emmy Cline back for our next league game on Jan. 6 (at Blaine).”
Cascade Christian 48, Mount Baker 40