Eagles breeze past Mustangs

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Rematch with George Washington on tap

By Dan Johnson

With many players on the Dakota Ridge girls basketball team seeing their first significant playoff minutes, you had to wonder if nerves would be an issue.

A 25-0 run in the first half answered any questions about postseason jitters as the No. 5 Eagles routed the No. 12 Mustangs of Mountain Range 54-24 Feb. 25 at Dakota Ridge High School.

The win propels the Eagles (14-10) into a second round rematch against No. 4 George Washington in the Alice Barron Region. The Patriots beat the Eagles earlier in the season in a nonleague game.

"We're definitely looking forward to it," said sophomore forward, Brooke Orcutt, who scored eight points against Mountain Range. "We were talking about how we're not the same team we were the first time we played them. It's an opportunity for us to come out and show them that we're ready to play and that we've changed from the first game."

A big part of that change for the Eagles has been on the defensive end. Their intensity helped fuel their first half offensive charge as their press created 13 first half turnovers.

"We've improved a lot on defense," Orcutt said. "It saves our butt a few times (Feb. 25). That's where we get our energy from and it gets the crowd excited and helps everyone get into the game."

The Eagles went from a 4-2 lead to a 29-2 advantage midway through the second quarter. Most of the baskets came off fast break opportunities, while Jaime Brandhorst and Janelle Baal each knocked down a 3-pointer.

Sarah Fine scored consecutive layups to punctuate the run, giving the Eagles a 27-point lead.

Dakota Ridge's intensity waned a little in the third quarter, but they rebounded in the fourth, outscoring Mountain Range 16-9.

Brandhorst led Dakota Ridge with 13 points.

The only negative coming out of the Mountain Range game was a left ankle injury to senior Elisa Schauer. Schauer had the ankle taped and iced and was walking around on crutches after the game. Her status for Feb. 27 is uncertain.