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Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles completed an undefeated run through the first half of Olympic League play by beating Port Townsend 54-33 Tuesday night.
The Roughriders were led by Mariah Frazier, who scored a game-high 13 points despite the odds being stacked against her in a few different ways.
Frazier was playing her first game since Port Angeles beat Sequim on Dec. 21.
Riders coach Michael Poindexter said she was also battling illness, along with starting point guard Maddy Hinrichs and Krista Johnson. (Johnson didn’t even suit up.)
Frazier, a 5-foot-7 post player, also had a size disadvantage against Port Townsend frontcourt starters Codi Hallinan (6-2) and Gabby Hossack (6-0).
Most of Frazier’s points came by attacking the hoop, and she also helped Port Angeles control the offensive and defensive boards.
“Mariah played great,” Poindexter said.
“She brings heart [to our team]. She’s gritty. She’s a battler. She’s a fighter.”
Both teams were playing their first games since the last weekend of December, and Poindexter said it was obvious.
“I wasn’t prepared for the impact the layoff had on us,” he said.
“I think it had an impact on both of us. I’m sure that [Port Townsend coach] Randy [Maag] would tell you his kids were [affected].”
Maag didn’t reference the long layoff, but noted that the Redskins seemed off.
“We didn’t play well,” he said.
“We didn’t have energy. I don’t know where we were [mentally]. We were flat-footed and we didn’t rebound.
“We were just soft.”
Poindexter was pleased with his team’s work on the glass.
“I’m happy with one thing: rebounding,” he said.
“We hit the boards pretty well.”
Poindexter added that the experience of facing W.F. West, which was even taller than Port Townsend, over Christmas break paid dividends on Wednesday night.
The Redskins, led by speedy point guard Jewel Johnson, managed to get Port Angeles to abandon its full-court press defense early in the game.
“We had matchup problems on the press,” Poindexter said.
“I don’t think we were prepared for their speed. We’ve never had that many press breakdowns all season.”
Port Townsend, which entered the game with only three losses by a total seven points, played the Riders fairly even in the opening quarter.
Frazier sank two free throws with 17 seconds left to give Port Angeles a 15-13 lead going into the second period.
But the Redskins’ offense struggled the rest of the game, scoring just eight points in the second and six in both third and fourth quarters.
“One of the things they do a great job of is, from top to bottom, they all play hard,” Maag said of the Riders. “They wore us down.
“And I always say that missed shots take your energy away. We had a lot of missed lay-ins.”
It didn’t help that Port Townsend was missing a key player.
Irina Lyons, who is out for a few weeks with a hip ailment, fills a role for the Redskins similar to what Frazier brings to the Riders.
“She’s our emotional leader. She’s important for us, and not just for what she does on the court,” Maag said.
“We really missed her.”
Johnson led Port Townsend with 12 points.
“Jewel’s still one of the best in the league, in my opinion,” Maag said.
Hallinan scored 10 and Hossack finished with eight.
Poindexter was pleased with how the Riders played in the second half, when they outscored the Redskins 26-12.
“We tried to do a little less, and do it better,” Poindexter said.
Macy Walker scored 12 points for Port Angeles, despite spending most of the first half on the bench after being whistled for three fouls in the game’s first five minutes.
“I really liked the way Macy bounced back from early foul trouble,” Poindexter said.
“I saw a lot of maturity from her in this game.”
Bailee Jones and Payton Lee added eight and six points, respectively.
The Riders (8-0, 8-3) look to continue their Olympic League dominance at North Mason on Friday.
Also on Friday, Port Townsend (4-4, 8-4) looks to avenge one of its close losses on the road against Kingston.
The Buccaneers beat the Redskins 47-45 last month.
Port Angeles 54,
Port Townsend 33
Port Townsend 13 8 6 6— 33
Port Angeles 15 13 12 14— 54
Port Townsend (33)
Johnson 12, Rubio 1, Rutenbeck 2, Hossack 8, Hallinan 10.
Port Angeles (54)
Frazier 13, Hinrichs 4, Northern 5, Walker 12, Jones 8, Lee 6, Jeffers 5, Hofer 2.