By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
KIRKLAND — If the Glacier Peak girls basketball team had a weakness in the 2012-13 season, it was inconsistent production from the offense.
In Friday’s 63-43 victory over Roosevelt in the Rebel Challenge at Juanita High School, it appeared the Grizzlies have figured out how to turn a weakness into a strength.
Glacier Peak had three players score in double figures — they didn’t have a single player average in double figures a season ago — led by senior Taylor Baird, who finished with 19.
“We can put up some points,” Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill said. “We’ve got a lot of weapons.”
The two biggest weapons in both height and on-court production are Baird and fellow senior post Nicole Fausey. Fausey added 12 points to go along with Baird’s 19 and together they opened up opportunities for the other players to score.
“My posts are playing fantastic,” Hill said. “They draw a lot of attention it kind of really opens up the field for everyone else (to score). Sadie (Mensing) has been doing fantastic for us because those posts get so much attention. She just finds herself in the right spot at the right time.”
Mensing was the Grizzlies third player in double figures, finishing with 10.
The Grizzlies chose their shots wisely and methodically continued to build a bigger lead. By halftime Glacier Peak was up 32-19.
“Because I know so much defense is going to collapse on our I posts, I try to tell them, ‘Be patient, don’t force it. Rotate the ball around a little bit and make the defense have to come out,’” Hill said.
Not only are the Grizzlies balanced, but they are deep. All 10 players who dressed played and no matter who was on the court the team never seemed to miss a beat. Starting point guard Sarah Smith missed the game due to injury, but sophomore Natalie Rasmussen insured the Grizzlies wouldn’t suffer a drop off. She finished with three points, but accounted for several more by finding open teammates for easy baskets.
“She’s a very controlled and very smart player who doesn’t turn the ball over,” Hill said. “If you don’t turn the ball over it gives you more opportunities to score.
Rasmussen isn’t the only underclassman contributing to the team’s success. Freshmen Samantha Fatkin and Paisley Johnson are also seeing significant minutes and producing.
“Sam and Paisley are already playing high-level varsity basketball,” Hill said. “I think on most teams they would already be starting. We’re just a really deep team. We go 11 deep and all 11 are able to play.”
Johnson finished with seven points, including a 3, while Fatkin didn’t score.
Defensively, the Grizzlies used the nonleague game to work on a full-court press they had yet to run in their previous six games this season. The pressure created several turnovers, but also resulted in a few more easy baskets for Roosevelt than Hill would have liked to have seen.
“We know our bread and butter is to kind of make people beat us from the outside, to contest all shots and get lots of rebounding,” Hill said. “We also know there is going to be a time where we’re going to have to change it up. We’re going to have to try and get some buckets without giving up buckets. Today we wanted to see what we could do.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Juanita H.S.
Roosevelt—Izzy Mason 8, Serena Toney 6, Hannah Swanson 12, Lucy Morrill 0, Julia Mirick 4, Brenna Christensen 4, Jo Jo Huletz 9, Kaya Dumas 0. Glacier Peak—Taylor Baird 19, Sadie Mensing 10, Natalie Rasmussen 3, Kaela Collins 0, Victoria Goudreau 4, Sawyer Manning 0, Kianna Garner 8, Samantha Fatkin 0, Paisley Johnson 7, Nicole Fausey 12. 3-point goals—Toney 2, Huletz 1, Rasmussen 1, Johnson 1. Records—Roosevelt 1-7 overall. Glacier Peak 7-0.