Though the Lady Tigers lost to the American Christian Eagles on Tuesday, they beat the Weed Cougars on Friday evening, putting them in good spirits for the holiday break, said coach Jim Rinne.
“The girls played extremely well during the first half [on Tuesday],” Rinne said, but we slowed down in the second half. We also got in some foul trouble, with one young lady  [on the Eagles] throwing up three threes in the second half that all went in... we had real good defense two of those times, but those threes really make a difference.”
The leading scorer on Tuesday was Katie McIntyre with 14 points, followed by Annie Van Ert with four, Allie Belzer with three, and Jamie Kirch, Jessica Hatten and Clara Weld with two points each.
“We’ve shown a lot of effort and progress... our team is exceptionally young. This was one of the rare cases where the better team lost,” Rinne said of the game that ended with a score of 27-36.
“We had a few good shooters on the bench, and that’s not gonna win us a lot of games... we scored better on Tuesday than we did the week before, but you just never know how the game will go.”
Friday’s 41 to 38 win against the Lady Cougars got the girls in the holiday spirit, Rinne said.
“Anytime we come up with double figures in the second half is good,” he said of the Tiger’s 13 points in the fourth quarter.
“One girl [on the Weed team] made a hoop at the buzzer, but it really didn’t do any good because we were ahead by five.”
McIntyre was the leading scorer on Friday, with 22 points. Kirch was right behind her with 11, while Taylor Mitchell, Van Ert and Ashley Waite each made two points. Weld and Remi Ewens also made one point each.
“We did a lot of neat things defensively,” Rinne said. “The kids are all really playing... we’re not big, and we really have to scramble around and get the ball down the court as fast as we can because of the height disadvantage.
“We’re excited to leave the December effort with a win, and we’re feeling good. We have a record of three and seven now, but two of those games were real close, so we could be at 50 percent. We’re playing really good basketball, and we continue to improve.”
The Lady Tigers’ next game is on Jan. 12 against Mercy High School at home. The extra week of practice after everyone comes back from winter break will be an advantage before beginning league play, Rinne said.
“We have a rule, if the girls are in town, they should come to practice,” Rinne said, explaining that practices will be held Monday through Thursday this week before the holidays.
Rinne also commented that he’s excited to have three new players on the roster, including Maria Gutierrez, who has been out with an illness; Elayna Vigil, who just began at DHS and is awaiting her CIF clearance; and Krystal Palmer, who played last year and has been too ill to play this season.
“We’ll have 12 young ladies that are excited to play. We’ll have the ability to put in subs so we can keep fresh legs out on the court. All 12 are really neat ladies,” Rinne said.
“There are two tough teams in the league, but it’s going to be a real race for third place.”