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Tulalip Heritage outlasts Chief Leschi
TULALIP — Heritage girls Coach Tina Brown is starting to see the results of her endurance heavy practices.
Her lady Hawks outran the Warriors from Chief Leschi for the better part of four quarters in a 45-22 win to kickoff the inaugural Heritage Holiday Classic.
"I love to play man-to-man (defense)," Brown said. "But we just haven't been in good enough shape to do that, but today we looked pretty good. Still got a ways to go, but they looked good."
Brown switched to a 1-2-1 full-court press against Leschi, resulting in a number of turnovers — most notably nine steals in the second quarter. In that quarter, the Hawks outscored the Warriors 17-0 behind strong front court defense from Lateesha Jack and Shaylee Burke.
"Lateesha had a great game today," Brown said. "She did great on both ends."
Jack had four steals in the game to go along with her five points.
It was the first time Heritage had run a 1-2-1 spread, which calls for a lead guard to pressure the inbounds pass and ball handler into either dribbling or passing the ball to a trap at half court.
"We had to try that because I can't play zone, the game is just too slowed down for them," Brown said of her team. "They have to stay moving otherwise they start standing around."
Brown is likely to keep using that formation, as her team was as active as they have been all season, breaking a three-game skid to even its record at 3-3 for the season and forcing an opponent to its first bagel in a quarter.
Leading the way for the Hawks was Burke, who scored a game-high 14 points, followed by senior Candi Villa's 12 points.
The Hawks had to begin the game with just five players — only one regular starter — due to missed practices over the holidays. After the first quarter, however, they were at full strength and owned a 23-5 halftime lead.