This archived article was written by: Katie James & Candice Cornaby
Even though the College of Eastern Utah lady Eagles are 0-4 thus far this season, the young team is not making the same mistakes twice and is continuing to come out strong each game.
The weekend of Nov. 5 was an exciting opener for the lady Eagles as they had their first official games of the season. The Eagles first game against Mesa started with a crushing blow to Mesa as the ladies got the tip off and scored. The blows kept coming as the Eagles increased their lead 11-0. However, the Thunderbirds were determined not to give up without a fight. By halftime the Eagles were only in the lead by five.
Coming out after halftime, the T-birds and lady Eagles battled for the rest of the game, each one taking turns going back and forth being in the lead by one. In the end, the T-birds attacked the boards, gaining an offensive rebound and put back that eventually sealed the game for a win for the T-birds 76-73.
Coach Adjalma Becheli discussed some of the major positive points for the first game of the season. “The girls did a good job executing the offense and coming out so strong especially for such a young team. We had a hard time hitting our shots but the girls kept executing everything that the coaches asked them to. Also, we allowed them to have easy shots with free throws which was really crucial to the game.”
The next day the lady Eagles came out strong once again with a nine point lead this time against Pima. The Aztecs attacked the boards and gained back a lead during the first half. The lady Eagles fought back the 11 point lead to within a few points by halftime. Coming out of halftime, the Aztecs shot out with a lead that set the Eagles back. Slowly the Eagles chipped away at the Aztecs lead; however, the Eagles couldn’t keep the Aztecs from obtaining multiple offensive rebounds. The Eagles weren’t going to sit down and take it. The team pulled it together and hit multiple crucial shots at the end of the game to bring it within three points. In the final minutes, the Eagles were down by one and fouled the Aztecs twice, allowing them to gain a five point lead. In the end, the Eagles just didn’t have quite enough time, ending the game with the Aztecs 64-58.
Bruna Diechman, 12, was leading scorer against Pima and Mesa with 15 and 22 points, respectively. Priscila Santos was also a key player on the offensive side for Eagles with 15 and 16 points. Daiana Ferreria added three-solid blocks against Mesa T-Birds.
Last weekend the USU-CEU lady Eagles ventured on a 14-hour road trip to Hobbs, N.M., where they dropped both games to the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds, the no. 8 ranked team in the nation.
Freshman Jasmine Scott of Torrance, Calif., said, “Too long. It was an excruciating trip. The way back was even longer.” Amber Scott added, “I needed every gadget I had: iPod, DS, laptop, and cell phone. I made sure they were all charged up.”
In their first game, the lady Eagles faced off against NMJC on Nov. 12. Starting post Daiana Ferreria gained the tip off and started the Eagles. The fight was on after the first possession because the Thunderbirds have a current undefended record plus have beaten their previous opponents by an average of 40 points. The Eagles were not about to let that happen.
The Eagles struggled early on with scoring and by halftime trailed 26 to 37. Despite hard efforts during the second half, they were too deep in a hole to come out. Their shots the last few minutes were not finding their marks and they lost by 23 points.
Deichmann was the team’s leading scorer with 14 points while Ferreria helped the Eagles out with six rebounds. The N.M. Thunderbirds ended the 40 minutes at 69- 46.
The loss did not deter the ladies as they came out with a determination the following night. They bantered back and forth again with the NMJC T-Birds.
The team faced adversity during the second contest with several players sick and one with a knee injury. This allowed the depth of the team to prove itself as the other players had to step up. By halftime, CEU was only down four, 28-24.
Some unfortunate referee calls in the second half had the lady Eagles trailing by seven. Then the Thunderbirds made their way to the free throw line allowing the lead to lengthen. Despite the lady Eagles’ strong efforts, the Thunderbirds came out victorious a second time 57-46.
Coach Becheli said, “The ladies were determined and ready on Saturday. They executed offense better and played harder. The ladies really grew up during that game.”
Defensive Coordinator Coach Dan Allen also had a positive comment. “The defense was so much better. I was proud how hard the girls played. We put in a new defense that morning and they executed it well.” Again Deichmann scored in double figures with 16 points.
The Eagles can hold their heads high considering the fact that the T-birds opponents are usually blow outs. T-birds often beat other teams by scoring over 100 points, but the Eagles shut them down and kept them under 70.
Following the game, the Eagles took the long trip back on Saturday night. Scott stated, “it was the first time I was happy to be back in Price and in my dorm bed.”The lady Eagles were not able to scrape up some wins in New Mexico and Southern Utah but are practicing hard this week for their games this weekend against the numbr 3 ranked Casper College and 6 ranked North Idaho at the Casper, Wyo. Tournament.