T-Birds winning streak cut short
By Donnie Moore - Staff Reporter
The Lady Thunderbirds suffered a huge loss to Centralia, last week at home, 70-46, ending a three-game winning streak.
Not only were egos bruised, the team's playoff hopes may have been damaged.
Highline got off to a great start, going up 21-11 after the first quarter. That however, was the highlight of the game, because in the second quarter the team only scored two points.
Highline was dominated by the Trailblazers in every stat from field goal percentage - where the T-Birds only managed 28 percent to Centralia's 45 percent - to being out-rebounded as their opponents took 47 to the T-Birds' 41.
"Every game is a challenge for us, so we just have to bring it every single time," said Head Coach Damien Crump. "We had just won a game and I think we took this team for granted even though I told them not to. They were a very good team and we did not bring the same energy as the other three games."
"That game is behind us and we already talked about it and we are moving forward. We are just going to keep playing tough and try to get this next one," he said.
His players got the message, too.
"The Centralia game was disappointing but it's behind us. We're ready for the next game," Highline guard Aileen Kaye said.
Though this was one of the worst played games with Highline suffering from poor shooting, turnovers and foul trouble, Sharon Ajayi still led Highline with 14 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out. Kanani Kremers added other 10 points.
"We have to play as a unit," Crump said. "Last game, we didn't have enough assists. We did not play as a team, so we have to regroup and focus. The last three games we won, we had good assists, we rebounded, basically just playing as a team. Sometimes when you get success, people start to play out of the system, and we need to just stay in the system and play as a team."
This loss leaves the Thunderbirds tied in third place in the NWAC West Division with Centralia with a record of 4-3 in conference play and 8-12 on the season.
"I just think we had three tough games. Playing against Lower Columbia, who never loses at home and have been the top team for the last few years and to beat them on their home court was such a big accomplishment. I think that once [we] did that [we] lost some of [our] edge. So, we have to keep that edge and that chip on our shoulder, "Crump said.
In order to make the playoffs the T-Birds have to remain in the top four in their conference. They are currently in that fourth spot just a game ahead of Tacoma.
The Thunderbirds looked for some redemption as they traveled to South Puget Sound yesterday. The Clippers currently sit atop the NWAC West Division. The results of last night's game were not available at press time.
Highline takes on Tacoma this Saturday, Feb. 10, at home at noon.