In a key league matchup for the R.A. Long girls’ basketball team, conditioning paid off.
Columbia River hit five 3-pointers and jumped to a quick 18-9 lead in the first quarter but the Lumberjills never gave in, rallying back to force overtime, where they survived 53-48 at Joe Moses Court on Tuesday.
Before the start of the game R.A. Long senior Eastyn Reeves was honored for eclipsing 1,000 career points. She joins RAL grad Sarah Luedke as the only two Lumberjills to accomplish the milestone. Luedke accomplished the feat in January, 2015.
“It’s really cool. I’ve worked so hard for it,” Reeves said. “I’ve put in so much time and it was just a fun night, especially getting the win too.”
Knowing the scoring ability of Reeves, the Chieftains countered with a box- and-1 defense, seeking to limit and restrict Reeves from even touching the ball. Reeves hit her first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, but Columbia River senior Erin Baker, who scored a game-high 24 points, responded with four 3-pointers of her own in the first quarter.
While the Chieftains were draining 3s, the Lumberjills were struggling to make shots inside the paint in the opening frame. The second quarter brought a shift in momentum.
The Jills chipped away at the Chieftains lead, R.A. Long playing crisper and focused as the game progressed.
“We had unforced turnovers, hurried shots and they buried us with 3-pointers in the first,” Karnoski said. “The second half, though, we played about as flawless of basketball as we could play.”
The Jills outrebounded Columbia River by 15 in the second half to scrape their way back into it.
“Bobbi Clark and Rayana (Randall) got a lot of the rebounds for us in the second half, and that allowed us to push the ball more,” Reeves said.
The Jills had a three-point lead with only seconds left in the fourth but a costly foul allowed Baker to hit three free throws to tie the game at 45. Baker banked-in a 3-pointer to put the Chieftains up early in overtime, but that was all River would get.
The Jills scored the final eight points in overtime to improve to 3-2 in league play and 9-3 overall.
“I gave them a good chewing out for the foul, and then they bank in the 3 pointer,” Karnoski said. “But from that point on we dominated and got Eastyn to the foul line.”
The Lumberjills will travel to rival Mark Morris on Friday for the first of two Civil War games this season.