Trying to get healthy as a team and play better defense are the goals this weekend as the Boulder City girls basketball team begins the second half of its season.
The Lady Eagles travel tonight to play at 5 p.m. at Desert Pines and return home Friday night against Moapa Valley, also at 5 p.m.
The Lady Eagles, 9-5 overall and 3-0 in the Sunrise League, will be playing for first place since there are currently four undefeated teams in the league. Desert Pines is 4-10 overall, but is 2-0 in the league. Virgin Valley (6-4, 3-0) and Chaparral (8-4, 2-0) also are unbeaten.
Moapa Valley, Friday’s league opponent, is 3-5 and 0-3.
Boulder City is trying to recover from a tough road trip over the holiday break that saw the Lady Eagles go 2-2 in four games in the Murrieta Valley Nighthawk Classic in California, all while losing guard Katlyn Daly for several games because of a sprained right ankle.
Daly is expected back in the lineup and to play a full game against Desert Pines.
“We are getting healthy again slowly but surely,” head coach Paul Dosch said. “In the final game in California we played better defense and the girls were also playing better defense as we ended our league schedule before the holidays. The second half of the season we have to go out and play our best defensively and that will put us in a position to win a lot of games. The girls need to work together to reach our overall goals.”
The Lady Eagles will attempt to defend their Sunrise League championship and return to the region and state tournaments.
But they must get healthy.
“I am almost there,” Daly said. “I played a little in California and I feel better now and I will be fine as we play our league schedule. We have set a lot of goals as a team and we all need to keep working hard to achieve them all. We will overcome, because it must be done.”
Earlier in the season shooting guard Alyssa Ybarra went down with a left knee injury, but she has recovered. She was selected to the Nighthawk Classic all-tournament team.
“First, Alyssa and now Katlyn, but luckily neither injury was too serious and they were both able to come back and play shortly afterward,” Dosch said. “Alyssa is doing fine now, and Katlyn has been playing only to get her some minutes and bring her along.”
Daly injured her ankle in practice before the road trip to Murrieta and missed the first two games. She recovered enough to play eight minutes in the third game and a full quarter in the fourth game.
The Lady Eagles lost in the first round 61-38 to Rosary (Calif.). Junior forward Megan Morton led the Lady Eagles with 11 points. Morton scored 12 in the second game, a 47-31 win against Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Ybarra scored 16 points and Sariah Gneiting grabbed eight rebounds and scored 6 points.
“It’s was probably Sariah’s best game of the year,” Dosch said. “She battled under the boards for eight rebounds and scored six on the offensive end. It was a very good performance.”
Boulder City lost its third game of the tournament 55-33 to Valley View (Calif.) as Morton scored 11 points and Ybarra added 9. It marked Daly’s return and she scored 2 points in her eight minutes of scattered play.
“We got her some playing time so she could start to get back on her feet and build her strength,” Dosch said. “But we got outworked and outplayed as a team by Valley View. But in the final game, our defense really came around and played well.”
In the fourth game, Boulder City defeated Redlands East Valley (Calif.) 50-47 as Sam Hanson and Rylee Dosch took turns guarding Nicole Ruhl, the top player from Redlands who scorched the Lady Eagles the prior year with 24 points. But Hanson and Dosch limited her to 6 points as the Lady Eagles won the close game.
Boulder City made 16 of 19 free throws. Hanson scored 8 points while Morton led the team with 21 points, and Ybarra added 8.