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Falcon girls drop league opener

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After losing two starting players to injury, the Skyridge girls basketball team struggled last week, falling in the final non-region game and then in the initial Region 3 contest.

Jan. 9: Mountain Ridge 50, Skyridge 39

The Falcons had a tough time getting going in this game as they absorbed the loss of yet another top contributor. The Sentinels started hot and led 15-5 by the end of the first quarter, wideningthe margin to 32-17 by the break.

Skyridge recovered somewhat in the second half, playing even in the third quarter and outscoring the visitors down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the earlier deficit.

Senior guard Shae Toole led the effort with 12 points including a pair of treys, three rebounds, four assists and five steals in an inspired outing from her. Junior guard Lillian Meyer netted nine points on three triples and also grabbed three boards.

Junior guard Bella Sika and senior forward Sadie Buttars added seven points apiece. Sophomore forward Ariane Moea’i collected three rebounds.

“Mountain Ridge is a good, young team,” said Coach Shaylee Nielsen. “We’re trying to get used to playing with each other after losing another player and adding one.

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“We had some good moments in this game, but we looked out of sorts a lot of the time,” she continued. “I’m confident that our team will get better through adversity, and we will start to become more cohesive as a unit the more they get to play together.”

Jan. 12: Westlake 50, Skyridge 35

The story was similar against the Thunder. The Falcons only found the net once in the first quarter and were trailing 9-23 at the break. They returned from the locker room with vigor in the third period and matched Westlake at 15 points apiece, but they were never able to reduce the home team’s advantage.

Sika netted a team-high eight points with three boards, a couple of steals and a block. Toole recorded six points, three rebounds, two assists and seven steals as she played tough on defense. Meyer tallied six points with five boards and two steals.

“Westlake is a great team this year that plays solid team defense,” Nielsen said. “They didn’t allow us to get in a rhythm in the first half and we had a hard time scoring.

“We got ourselves in a hole and made some good runs in the second half, but it wasn’t enough,” the coach went on. “We have to be more efficient on the offensive end and put four quarters together.

“On the positive side, Portia Hugh was a huge spark for us off the bench in the game. She made some big effort plays and energized our defense,” Nielsen concluded.

The Falcons now have an 8-4, 0-1 record and will continue Region 3 play this week at Lone Peak Tuesday (Jan. 16). They will host Lehi on Friday (Jan. 19). For both contests, the varsity girls play at 6 p.m. with the boys immediately following.

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