Avalanche rolls to second place

Once they got on a roll, this Avalanche could be stopped only by the best.

The Olympic Avalanche, a basketball team of seventh- and eighth-grade girls from across the peninsula, won two of four games at the Kingston Veterans Day Tournament's eighth-grade division Nov. 8-9, falling both times to champ Young Educated Athletes, a premier club from Seattle.

Y.E.A. took the tournament opener, topping the Avalanche 48-26 despite Krista Johnson's 10 points and Mariah Frazier's six points and 13 rebounds. Y.E.A. shot 9-of-13 from three-point-range in the victory.

"Our girls fought very, very hard but we could not keep up in our defensive rotations and they exploited that," Avalanche coach Joe Marvelle said.

In the quarterfinals, the Avalanche rebounded with a 24-15 win against the Blue Ox squad from Gig Harbor. Frazier had another solid game with nine points and 11 rebounds while Johnson added four steals and Sequim's Haleigh Harrison chipped in with four points.

In the semifinals, the Avalanche edged Olympia Extreme 30-28, getting 10 points from Johnson and six points and seven rebounds from Sequim's Anna Mittmann. Up one point with six seconds left, the Avalanche saw Olympia miss two critical foul shots. The Avalanche held a 33-21 lead on the boards.

In the championship, Y.E.A. proved to be too tough once again, winning 47-29 despite hitting just three three-pointers. Sequim's Rylleigh Zbaraschuk led the Avalanche with seven points, seven rebounds and two steals while Frazier added six points and 13 rebounds in the loss. Johnson and Macy Walker each had four steals.

"Our ultimate demise in the second half was turnovers versus Y.E.A.'s pressure defense," Marvelle said. "We have to get better at handling pressure defenses, and we absolutely will."

The Avalanche plays next at the Cold Turkey Tournament in Bellevue Nov. 28-30, then plays twice in much closer venues: the Holiday Hoops Tournament Dec. 13-14 and Martin Luther King Invite Jan. 17-18, both in Port Angeles.

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