ELMA — The first game of 2013 brought something old and something enjoyably new for Elma’s boys.
For the Eagle girls, it was simply more of the same.
After nearly squandering a 19-point halftime lead, Elma’s boys regrouped to record their first victory by topping Rainier, 46-35, in an Evergreen 1A League basketball game Wednesday at Elma.
The Eagle girls easily remained unbeaten in league with a 60-31 rout in the second half of the co-ed doubleheader.
BOYS Eagles 46, Mountaineers 35
The third-quarter curse, a season-long malady, again struck the Eagles on Wednesday. This time, however, they were able to survive it.
Relentlessly pounding the offensive glass, Chance Bremer scored 11 points in the first half to help stake the Eagles to a seemingly comfortable 28-9 bulge at intermission.
Committing 17 of their 27 turnovers in the second half, however, the hosts did not score again until the final minute of the third quarter. With Zack Froembling tallying 10 points in the third period, the Mountaineers closed the deficit to six after three and were down by only two (35-33) when Todd Eygabroad hit from the left elbow at the 4:51 mark of the final stanza.
Elma’s Kevin Farr responded by making two free throws. Then Bremer drove for a layin, Levi Horton made one of two foul shots and Tyson Nauman converted a long lead pass from Farr for a 42-33 advantage with three minutes left.
The Eagles (1-2, 1-9) wound up scoring 11 of the game’s final 13 points.
Elma coach Marvin Prince said his team’s lack of familiarity with a large halftime lead showed in its third-quarter play.
“Credit to (Rainier), they came out hard in the second half and we came out flat,” Prince said. “Down the stretch, we showed some maturity. Good for our kids, they needed that.”
Bremer and junior guard Ryan Collin shared team scoring honors with 13 points apiece. The former also pulled down 15 rebounds.
Sophomore post Joe Wilson had seven rebounds for Elma.
Froembling led all scorers with 15 points.
GIRLS Eagles 60, Mountaineers 31
Extended only by rival Montesano in league play thus far, Elma (4-0, 9-3) again took care of business early.
Senior post Megan Finger needed less than five minutes to reach double figures, scoring 13 of her team’s opening 15 points. Bedeviling the Mounties with their press, the Eagles forced 12 turnovers in the first quarter alone in blasting out to a 21-5 advantage at the first break.
The Eagles seemed to lose a little of their offensive fire when they called off the press in the second quarter. Limiting Rainier to six field goals, they nevertheless retained a comfortable lead throughout.
“I’m thrilled with the way we played,” Elma coach Lisa Johnson said. “We’re putting together three solid quarters of basketball, working on four. We’re hitting our stride heading into four more weeks of basketball.”
Although cooling off considerably in the final three quarters, the 6-foot Finger finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots.
She was the lone player from either side in double figures, as 10 Eagles divided the scoring.
Miranda McDonald added eight points. Izzy Cristelli, who collected seven rebounds and four steals, was commended by Johnson for her reserve work.
Rainier’s Ashley Honaker scored eight of her team-high nine points in the fourth quarter.
Both Elma teams make the short trip to Rochester for a co-ed doubleheader on Friday.
Rain 4 5 15 11 — 35 Elma 13 15 2 16 — 46
Rainier (35) — Froembling 15, Dragt 4, Evans 2, McCann 2, Carlson. Eygabroad 7, Bell 5, Shaw, Taylor, Ducharme. FG — 13-50 (.260). FT — 5-10.
Elma (46) — Collin 13, Farr 3, Horton 7, Bremer 13, Wilson 2, Stevens 2, Nauman 5, Osgood, Davis 1. FG — 17-45 (.378). FT — 9-15.
Rain 5 6 8 12 — 31 Elma 21 9 8 22 — 60
Rainier (31) — Mortlock 2, Turcott, Kelsey Eygabroad 8, Honaker 9, Brown 2, Thomas 7, Naumann 2, Kayla Eygabroad, Dungan 1. FG — 6-56 (.107). FT — 19-26.
Elma (60) — Goldsmith 7, McDonald 8, Finger 19, Pacheco, Smythe, Farrar 5, Wollen 5, Malmstrom 2, Cristelli 1, M. Thompson 6, Cooper 5, A. Thompson 2. FG — 20-52 (.385). FT — 15-29.