MARYSVILLE — The Tomahawk varsity girls basketball team got a rough start to its season, losing to the Arlington Eagles 56-40 on Dec. 4.
The Tomahawks faced off against a team that placed second in the state tournament last year.
The Tomahawks had a more experienced team than their opponents, with the majority of their players being seniors. Most of the Eagles’ roster consisted of sophomores, but some of those players competed as freshmen from last year’s team. The age advantage had no effect for M-P, as they lost by a 16-point deficit.
M-P was ice cold in the beginning. The Eagles’ offense wasted no time scoring buckets, displaying their offensive skills. Within the first quarter, the Tomahawks were down 8-0 before they were able to put numbers on the board.
The Tomahawks began to warm up at the end of the first quarter, with the quarter ending 10-4.
M-P enjoyed a brief rally in the second quarter where the game seemingly could have gone either way. The Tomahawks were able to hold a brief lead, with the score at 17-15.
“They switched their defense on us, and that caught the girls off guard,” the Tomahawks’ Head Coach Julie Martin said. “But when we finally adjusted, it was too little, too late.”
It was the Eagles’ ability to score on defensive plays, and consistent three-point scoring, that ultimately halted the Tomahawks’ temporary success.
The Tomahawks would be playing catch-up, as the Eagles led the remainder of the game. The Tomahawks fell behind 24-17 at the half.
The Tomahawks continued to be outscored after the half as the Eagles continued hitting three-pointers. By the third quarter, the Eagles were leading 43-26.
The Tomahawks experienced some success of their own on offense, and the visiting crowd from their high school was behind the girls every step of the way.
The M-P faithful’s spirit and size seemed to match that of Arlington’s home crowd and band, cheering every shot their team scored.
Martin commended her players’ efforts throughout the match.
They fought hard,” Martin said. “They are fighters.”
The Tomahawks were able to hit three-pointers of their own, showing that they also had the heart and skill to compete at an elite level.
The Tomahawks continued to fight on, trying to keep pace with the Eagles. M-P reduced their point deficit from the third period’s 17 points, to being behind 16 points by the conclusion of the game.
Despite the M-P’s valiant effort, and the encouragement from their supporters, the Tomahawks were outscored and outplayed on both sides of the ball, resulting in their first loss of the season.
Though it was not an ideal start to the season, Martin still sees positive aspects coming out of the first game, such as revealing weaknesses the girls could improve on.
“I feel like we have a lot of things to work on as a team,” Martin said. “Overall, it showed us what we need to do for future games.”
Martin hopes the team’s hard work will pay off in the upcoming season. She hopes her team will continue their tremendous effort and ultimately enjoy the game.
“I just want us to come together and play hard for the 32 minutes,” Martin said.