LMS eighth-graders winning, sevies struggle

Eighth-grader Jessi Eaton takes the ball down the court on her way to the basket during last Thursday
Eighth-grader Jessi Eaton takes the ball down the court on her way to the basket during last Thursday's basketball game against Valley View Middle School.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

The girls playing basketball at Langley Middle School this year have got numbers, size and speed.

With 20 girls out for the school's seventh-grade team and 13 on a well-seasoned eighth-grade team, the girl Cougars have kept school basketball fever alive into early spring. After going 6-4 as seventh graders last year, the "eighties" are 5-3 so far this season. The seventh grade team, which dropped to 0-7 last year, is still looking for its first win. They've come close this season, losing a tight 11-10 contest to Cedarcrest Middle School, but have yet to finish ahead.

Though the eighth graders suffered a loss last Thursday to Valley View High School, they are looking to close the season out with a winning record. Team Coach John Pyrtek said his team played well together last year and during the off season as part of an AAU squad. The one thing they need now, he said, is good shooting every time they go on the court.

"We have been up and down with our defense," he said.

A consistent producer on the team is Caitie Newman, who is averaging about 15 points per game. Also putting up good numbers is Jessi Eaton, who is scoring about 10 points per game.

On defense, Amanda LaVassar is a top rebounder for the team, as is Britta Madison. Lucy Brennan keeps the ball out of the hands of the opposition by drilling "laser passes" to her teammates, Pyrtek said.

Also bolstering the Cougar front five is Laura Poolman, who went from being a bench play to a Cougar starter.

Pyrtek said his team will work the fast break during the last two games of the season in hopes that it will help them put points on the board. This is one play he is certain his team has mastered.

"I think they've got it," he said.

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