EAST WENATCHEE — The pressure is still working, the players are still sharing the ball, and the Eastmont Wildcats are still undefeated in basketball.
And yes, that applies to both teams.
Eastmont’s girls kept their roll going with a 65-44 victory over Eisenhower at home on Friday night to improve to 3-0, while the Wildcat boys followed suit with a 52-40 win over the Cadets to move to 4-0.
The wins also marked the opening of the Big Nine schedule for both teams. Eastmont continues league action at Moses Lake on Saturday, with the girls playing at 5:45 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.
Eastmont boys 52, Eisenhower 40
Seven players scored at least five points to keep the Wildcats’ record spotless.
“(To be) 4-0 is nice,” Eastmont coach Mike Waters said. “We have great players, but we have players that can contribute (too).”
Senior forward Jeremy Adams led the way with 11 points, following up on his 16-point performance in a win over Cashmere on Tuesday.
“Jeremy Adams again was at the receiving end of some pretty good penetration into the paint,” Waters said.
The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 40-28 — including 22-10 on the offensive glass — despite giving up some height to the Cadets.
“The biggest stat is the rebounds. The thing that gave us 12 more possessions than them was the offensive rebounds,” Waters said.
Eisenhower controlled the game for a good portion of the first half, but a defensive switch helped Eastmont come back from an 18-12 deficit with a 10-0 run to end the first half that put it in the lead for good.
“We switched from a full-court match-up zone to a run-and-jump man-to-man (press),” said Waters. “The match-up zone has little holes that an offense can exploit. We hadn’t changed all game, and that was a spot where we could turn up the pressure, so we got after their guards.”
The Wildcats also benefitted from a big third quarter where they outscored the Cadets 19-5.
Senior guard Trea Thomas, the Big Nine’s top retuning scorer, was held to seven points, but he put his mark on the game with team-highs in rebounds (eight), assists (five) and steals (three). He also committed just one turnover.
“It’s not a one-man band,” Waters said. “I tell Trea, ‘Even though you’re not scoring (as much as last season), we wouldn’t be here without you.’ I think he’s matured a lot since last year and is getting more people involved (in the offense).”
Eastmont girls 65, Eisenhower 44
Different players at different times led the Wildcats’ offense to keep them in a comfortable lead for almost the entire game.
Senior guard Kylie Buterbaugh scored 14 of her game-high 21 points in the first quarter, sophomore post Savannah Jackson had seven of her 12 points in the fourth quarter, and all seven players that scored for the Wildcats had at least five points.
“I thought (the Wildcats) ran the floor pretty well,” Eastmont coach Tessa Bromiley said.
Eastmont created all kinds of havoc with its pressure defense, but the Cadets had success too, causing the Wildcats to turn the ball over 13 times.
“We just made some poor decision at times tonight, but I thought we did a pretty good job of adjusting to the pressure and not making mistakes,” Bromiley said. “We settled in. We had to anticipate where our girls were cutting and figure out how to read each other.”
The Wildcats didn’t struggle much with keeping their composure in the fourth quarter; after Ike’s Gabby Vasquez (20 points) opened the frame with five straight points, Eastmont ripped off an 18-2 run to end the contest.
Freshman post Abby Waterhouse had six points, nine rebounds, four steals and four assists for the Wildcats, while senior guard Nikki Gilbert added seven points, four steals and three assists.