By Jaime Lackey
The five seniors on the Grace Academy girls' basketball team have set their expectations for this season so high that a 20-point win isn't always enough to make them happy.
With a 57-37 victory over Copper Basin on Tuesday at Grace, the defending District 5-A champions improved to 9-0 in the league, but the Lady Golden Eagles weren't satisfied.
"We got the job done, but it wasn't pretty," senior Kyndall Blake said. "We beat them by 20 points, and we still went to the locker room disappointed with our level of play. That shows how much we've grown and matured."
Although they never got into their rhythm on offense, the Lady Golden Eagles played well enough on defense that it didn't matter. Copper Basin struggled against the press, and Grace's Christin Moss and Erica Elleman combined for 18 steals as the Lady Cougars committed 36 turnovers.
"I was scared at first because I usually get called for a lot of fouls," Elleman said. "But I love playing out there with her. We work really well together."
Several Grace starters did get in foul trouble, as Copper Basin reached the bonus midway through the first quarter. But the Lady Eagles' 14-5 lead at the end of the period ensured they wouldn't have to come from behind for a win as they did in the teams' first meeting.
"It certainly wasn't our best performance, but we had kids give a lot of effort," Grace coach Les Compton said. "We pressured them successfully, and that was a lot of the difference. We just didn't play well on offense. Some of that was them, and some of it was us."
Grace (21-4) has benefited from balanced scoring all season, and junior Diana Patrick came off the bench Tuesday to lead the Lady Golden Eagles with 12 points. Blake finished with 11, and Elleman totaled 10.
"We've had different people lead our team every night," Compton said. "It's not like there's one girl that if you can stop her, you can stop us."
Copper Basin's Lindsey Monteith led all scorers with 15 points.
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