With a younger group of players joining the Hudson’s Bay girls basketball team this season, the older, more experienced Eagles core has harped on bringing energy from the opening tip.
“One of the things we focus on, especially being a younger team than last year, is coming out with energy,” senior Aniyah Hampton said. “A lot of the time, we come out slow and then pick it up. … One of our key (points of) emphasis to come out strong and continue the whole way, so we don’t have to worry about playing catch up.”
Consider Friday’s 64-34 win against Prairie an encouraging sign that the Eagles are embracing the challenge. Bay took control of the game early and continued to hound Prairie throughout the 30-point rout.
“Energy is so important, and the more energy you have, it’s kind of intimidating to the other team,” Hudson’s Bay junior Mahaila Harrison said. “That’s something that is really important to us, and when we have good energy, we always play really well together. That’s what we did.”
Harrison and Hampton were at the forefront of the Bay’s surge with 19 points apiece. The two combined to score the Eagles’ first 12 points on a 12-0 run, eight of which came directly from steals leading to easy baskets.
By the end of the first quarter, the Eagles had already built a 20-6 advantage and led 36-14 at halftime.
The third quarter started much like the first with three straight baskets in the paint from Promise Bond, Paytin Ballard and Hampton. The latter, fittingly, was set up by a Harrison steal.
“I think it was a big turning point tonight. (Energy) was definitely a big thing for us,” Harrison said. “We are a really young team so we have to work with the younger girls to get them prepared.”
Youth is a theme for both teams entering the 2021-22 season. Prairie, three seasons removed from winning the Class 3A state title in 2019, graduated six seniors in the spring.
Bay, meanwhile, graduated a senior class including Jaydia Martin, now playing at Eastern Washington.
“It just shows, don’t count us out,” Hampton said of the win. “Just because we lost a couple starters, we’re still the same team, we’re still returning league champs and right back in it. We’re ready to go again (and) make a state run.”
Alysia Fraly led Prairie with 12 points, while Jordan Peterson chipped in eight for the Falcons.
HUDSON’S BAY 64, PRAIRIE 34
HUDSON’S BAY — Promise Bond 5, Miranda Gonzalez 5, Mahaila Harrison 19, Alana Stephens 0, FJ Tuala 0, Devon Johnson-Brown 0, Paytin Ballard 14, Aniyah Hampton 19, Emma Mady 2. Totals 18 (3) 23-30 64.
PRAIRIE — JaNae Taison 3, Diamond Doutrive 4, Claire Smith 0, August Kissinger 4, Alysia Fraly 12, Jordan Peterson 8, Madison Clouse 0, Joely Renk 2, Ruby Morningstar 2, Trinity Espiritu 0. Totals 13 (3) 5-8 34.
Hudson’s Bay 20 16 12 16—64
Prairie 6 8 6 12—34
JV — Prairie 27-19