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EMHS girls hoopsters get first win

The Independent of Edgewood, New Mexico

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East Mountain High's girls basketball team picked up its first victory of the season Saturday with a 41-30 win over the Evangel Christian Academy Eagles at the annual Eagle Classic Tournament in Albuquerque.

"We saw some great things today," said East Mountain first-year head coach Grant Blankenship.

Blankenship replaced Roger Abeyta, who skippered the team the previous two seasons. "The girls are learning a different, more aggressive style, but today we had four quarters of good aggressive play," Blankenship said.

After starting the season with an 0-4 record, Blankenship and his players agreed it's great for the team to be in the "win" column. "We knew if we worked our hardest and played as a team we could pull out a win," said East Mountain junior Sara Jane Novak, who scored 9 points against Evangel Christian.

The victory over the Eagles came after getting manhandled in the first two games of the three-game tournament, which had smaller 1A and 2A school's varsity teams playing against larger 4A and 5A school's JV squads.

On Saturday against the Eagles the game started close. Then East Mountain forward Morgan Blankenship sank back-to-back buckets followed by a pair of free throws to cap a 9-0 run in the second quarter to give the Timberwolves an 11-point cushion just before half-time. Morgan Blankenship led the T'Wolves with 12 points.

The Eagles battled back and trimmed the lead to 3 points early in the fourth before the T'Wolves mounted an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Key to the victory was the Timberwolves controlling the boards: "Our three interior girls had over 30 rebounds and that's what wins games," the coach said.

The T'Wolves dropped the first two games of the Eagle tournament by lopsided margins losing Dec. 1 to Hope Christian's JV squad, 61-18. East Mountain then lost to Cleveland High's JV, 55-11 on Dec. 2.

The Timberwolves lost their first two games of the season at home.



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Original Publication Date: December 7, 2011



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