PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Knights fall to HBC 70-53 to start season

Photo by Lacey Barke RTR’s Tina Haroldson and Mya Christensen (35) double team a Hills-Beaver Creek opponent during their game on Tuesday. The Knights fell 70-53.

TYLER – The Russell-Tyler-Ruthton girls basketball team couldn’t overcome the size of Hills-Beaver Creek in their opener on Tuesday, as the Knights fell 70-53 to the Patriots.

Hills-Beaver Creek had the height advantage and made it difficult for RTR to put effective shots up. HBC implemented a press breaker that the Knights defense had little problems reading, and RTR trapped the Patriots for a turnover. Mya Christensen met the free-throw line and put the ball in the hoop which temporarily broke the dry spell to earn her team another point. Defense was slow early on for the Knights, and they racked up some preventable fouls because of this. The gap between RTR and HBC was growing further and further as the Patriots ran away with 22 points and the Knights sat at six. Shots were going up but none were meeting their mark until Christensen again meets the basket, this time for two points – this was quickly followed by a bucket from Haroldson. Brooke Thomsen had a good read on a pass which resulted in a steal, and Thomsen then ran the ball back for an easy layup. The basket was warmed up for Jonni Biren who scored another basket and moved the deficit to 29-18. The Knights were better able to catch up with the Patriots offense, and a stronger defensive effort was led, especially through players Morgan Johnson and Biren. The Knights had troubles on defense when HBC looked to drive and let them in the paint for some easy points, but Chloe Hess took the first of many charges that were to occur in the game. The swift comeback dished out by the Knights towards the end of the first half set them at a comfortable trailing distance of 35-29 to start the second half.

The Knights caught up with HBC in the second half when Haroldson drove the ball in for a basket which tied the score 38-38. RTR improved their rebounding and managed to get three shots up before the fourth one tied the game at 40-40. The Knights defense let some preventable fouls slip through which put the Patriots at the free-throw line and set RTR back. However, the Knights don’t let this minor setback keep them from playing aggressively. Biren put the ball in the basket and got right back on defense to take a charge and earn the ball back for her team. Fouls on defense continued to be detrimental to the Knights and they were again trailing behing the Patriots, this time 50-42. Biren took yet another charge, but the Knights didn’t utilize their offensive possession effectively and the ball was controlled by HBC again. RTR was playing a better game towards the end, but the little mistakes that were made set them back, falling by a final of 70-53.