Suzanne Tennant
West Seattle’s Charli Elliott #10, shoots during Wednesday’s game against Cleveland. Cleveland overpowered the Wildcats by a score of 61 to 36.

SLIDESHOW: West Seattle Wildcat ladies lose to Cleveland 61-36

By Jeremy Martin

So far this season, the West Seattle girl’s basketball team has seen just about everything. The Wildcats have faced teams with size, teams with speed, teams that run and teams that bang.

At every turn during Thursday night’s clash with Cleveland High school, the Wildcats would need to cull from that extensive experience bank as the speed, aggressiveness and veteran know how of the visiting Eagles proved to be a challenge like none other.

In the end Cleveland was just too much to handle as the visitors controlled the tempo from wire to wire, coming away with a 61-36 victory.

It took until the third quarter and a 19 point deficit, but the Wildcats finally found an edge, coming out of half time with some fire.

The opening minutes of the third saw West Seattle go on a 5-1 run, pick up a couple of steals and hit the glass with a passion that had been lacking during the first 16 minutes of play.

Much of the resurgence can be credited to patience, taking care of the ball and not getting flustered by the press.

Despite putting up a fight, the hole dug in the first half proved to be far too much to bear, as did Cleveland’s constant pressure on both ends of the court.

Throughout the night, the game seemed to be Cleveland’s to lose. This was never more apparent than late in the third quarter, with the shot clock winding down, and

Viking senior guard Myzhanique Ladd dribbling through double coverage twenty feet from the rim. Without even looking, ladd tossed up a prayer that splashed through the rim, netting three of her game high 19 points.

But there were still plenty of highlights for the host Wildcats as well.

Trailing 13-6 with less than five seconds remaining in the first quarter, a tightly guarded Lexi Ioane forced the ball over midcourt, drove toward the three point arc and lofted up a shot as time expired. The triple hit nothing but net and breathed some hope into the large contingent of West Seattle fans who had, up until that point been seen their team scrambling just to keep up with the Vikings.

The shot was the first of two three pointers from Ione who would go on to finish with 11 points and 7 rebounds.

What could have been a momentum shifting play by Ioane, was instead merely a bright spot amidst an otherwise difficult night as Cleveland would open the second quarter with a 17-3 outburst, busting the game apart.

The Wildcats would go into the half time locker room trailing 34-15, and looking for answers on how to break the Vikings smothering full court press.
A press that helped to record 17 total steals for a Cleveland team that coerced West Seattle into several forced shots and errant passes.

Despite the score, not all the defense was played by the Vikings as West Seattle junior guard Charli Elliott had a game high six steals. She would also pull down a game high 12 rebounds.

Sophomore center Lydia Giomi netted another double double, registering 11 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow sophomore Gabby Sarver had 7 points for the Wildcats.

Besides Ladd, the Vikings also got double digits out of Makayla Roper who finished with 16 points and five steals. Joyce Harrell had 9 rebounds for Cleveland.

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