Eagles outlasted in playoff opener

Eddyville’s Rylee Russell led all scorers with 20 points, but the team as a whole was unable to keep up with a potent Lakers offense. (Photos by Nugesse Ghebrendrias)

EDDYVILLE — Despite a ferocious comeback attempt in the second half, the Eddyville Eagles girls basketball team was unable to overcome a double-digit deficit in the first half, losing 54-46 to the Triangle Lake Lakers on Monday.

Six different Eagles got on the score sheet, but Rylee Russell led all scorers with 20 points.

Russell was key in Eddyville’s comeback attempt with 16 points in the second half.

But the first half put the Eagles in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

Triangle Lake utilized a three-headed monster to down the Eagles in the first round of the 1A-3 Mountain West League playoffs. Kiele Riggs scored 10 points, freshman Jenisa Mather had 15 and Natalie Eastburn scored 12 points.

The Lakers opened the game with an 11-point quarter, just a point less than the Eddyville Eagles.

It was a team effort as head coach Joshua Russell implemented a ball movement offense that saw the ball touch a lot of hands. It worked early on as the Eagles were able to find open shots through patient play, but the second quarter spelled doom for the home team.

The Lakers dominated in the second, outscoring Eddyville 15-6.

Triangle Lake used suffocating defense and accurate jump shooting to get on top of Eddyville, but as the game went on, the Lakers stranglehold on the game loosened.

In the third quarter, the Eagles regained their footing, cutting the lead to single digits right out of the gate.

Eddyville turned the tables and outscored Triangle Lake 15-8.

Russell was the catalyst as she scored six points from the field, while also going to the free-throw line three times, scoring three points.

Her nine points were key as she outscored the Lakers by herself. Brianna Lopez added four points in the quarter, as well.

The Eagles had cut the lead, but a 20-point fourth quarter by the Lakers ended any chance at a comeback for the Eagles.

Russell had seven points in the fourth, Hailey Mekemson scored four of her six points in the final quarter, but the Lakers offense was too much for Eddyville to handle down the stretch.

Triangle Lake moves on in the next round of the 1A-3 Mountain West League playoffs.

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