Lacey – It’s not out of the ordinary to have 15 lead changes during a girls basketball game. It’s also common to see teams enjoy a 20-point advantage.
The rarity occurs when both those situations happen in the same contest as River Ridge beat visiting Black Hills, 78-60, in a 2A Evergreen Conference game Friday night.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before,” Hawks coach Jackie Robinson said. “The girls just made shots when they needed to.”
That they did – especially in the second half when the Hawks’ backcourt tandem of Jazzlynn Brewster and MaKenna Schultz took turns one-upping each other on the offensive end.
Brewster scored 24 points, freshman Schultz chipped in 23 and River Ridge shot a blistering 64 percent from the field in the second half to turn a tight contest into a convincing victory.
“The girls just didn’t want to lose tonight,” Robinson said. “This was a total team effort. Everyone contributed to this win.”
Trailing by six points at the intermission, the Hawks turned to Brewster and Schultz in the third quarter to take control of the contest. Both delivered, combining to score 22 of River Ridge’s 24 points in the quarter to help the Hawks pull away.
“Everything was just clicking for us in the second half,” Brewster said. “MaKenna was just amazing.”
The same sentiment could be applied to Brewster.
The junior’s lone miscue in the half was airballing a 3-pointer late in the third quarter. Even that was quickly rectified as the misfire was corralled by teammate Rebecca Stevenson and rotated back to Brewster, who made a deep 3 as the shot clock expired.
“Shooters should keep shooting, right?” Brewster said, smiling. “I just wanted to forget about the airball.”
Lead change No. 15 came on Schultz’s third 3-pointer of the game, which gave the Hawks (6-2 overall, 3-1 league) a 45-44 lead with 21/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Wolves (7-2, 2-2) were able to tie the game at 47, but fell victim to a 13-0 run.
The lead ballooned to 20 points on three occasions, the last at 74-54 with 21/2 minutes to play.
“I think they were a little embarrassed with how we played against Chehalis and wanted to have a strong showing,” Robinson said about his squad.
The Hawks lost at W.F. West on Dec. 11, 57-24. They’ve rebounded nicely, with back-to-back conference wins, including a 74-51 victory over Centralia on Tuesday when Brewster scored a season-high 30.
“When we play up tempo we’re hard to defend,” Brewster said.
A frantically-paced first half featured seven ties and seven lead changes before Black Hills closed out the second quarter to take a 35-29 advantage into the locker room.
Nicole Nurmi scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the first half for the Wolves.
Black Hills also received 11 points from Sarah McGee and nine points each from Hope Mortensen and Sydney Sauls.
Savannah McGill added 11 points while Morgan Bernethy scored nine for the Hawks.
River Ridge 83, Black Hills 59: Brad Wallace scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the first half to power the Hawks to a lopsided victory over the visiting Wolves.
Leading 38-31 at the half, River Ridge pulled away during the third quarter by hitting six 3-pointers, getting three from Jason Kananin and a pair from Wallace, to take a 63-42 lead into the fourth.
A dunk by Jacob Burgess, who paced Black Hills with 21 points, closed the deficit to 67-53 with 51/2 minutes remaining in the game, but the Wolves went cold from there, making one field goal over the next five minutes.
Kananin finished with 14 points, while teammate Michael Rader added 10.
Josh Newell scored eight points for Black Hills.