Gig Harbor              14   19    5    5    43
North Thurston     15   11   17   15   58

(Lacey, WA) A big game the following week can always be dangerous for an undefeated team as they can look past an opponent and find themselves quickly no longer unbeaten. To make things more dangerous, the undefeated North Thurston Rams also had a very tough Gig Harbor team to deal with first and they were coming off a long layoff. Friday night’s girls basketball game had all the makings of a South Sound Conference altering upset as the Tides were determined to shake up the league standings.

North Thurston fans could not have asked for a better start as Soraya Ogaldez knocked down a three just seconds into the game to give the Rams the early lead. Ogaldez would quickly work her way up to eight points as the Rams built an early lead. Taylor Schwab did a great job for the Tides as she slowed down Ogaldez with very strong defense but also jumpstarted the Gig Harbor offense. Schwab made a living from the free throw line including being fouled from three-point range as the opening quarter expired. She went 4-7 from the free throw line in the opening quarter but it would be North Thurston with a 15-14 lead after one.

Things started to get a little rough for the Rams in terms of fouls in the 2nd quarter. Ogaldez quickly picked up her third foul which had her on the bench for most of the quarter. That allowed Gig Harbor to utilize their height and length to start controlling the glass and forced North Thurston to settle for outside jumpers on the offensive end. It was a cold shooting half for the Rams while Gig Harbor was able to attack inside with Schwab and Kaliyah Miller leading the way. The post presence of Finley Wyman also helped control the paint as the Tides had the best quarter for either side, scoring 19 in the 2nd to take a 33-26 lead into halftime.

The momentum continued to build for Gig Harbor as they started the 3rd quarter with a 5-0 run to build their lead to 12 points. Then all of a sudden the North Thurston defense took over. Not only did the Tides begin to struggle shooting the ball, they weren’t getting many opportunities to shoot. Grace Lee and Soraya Ogaldez came up with steal after steal while Alexis Meyer, Kaylin Henderson, and Sadie Tanner controlled the glass as the Rams shut down the Tides. North Thurston also began to get back into a groove on offense with their leading scorer in Ogaldez back on the floor. A 17-0 run completely turned the game around as the Rams had a 43-38 lead going into the final quarter.

What started in the 3rd continued into the 4th for North Thurston as they continued to frustrate the Gig Harbor offense. Steals and fastbreak points continued the incredible run for North Thurston. One last steal for Lee led to a lay-up for Ogaldez as the Rams run was up to 24-0. Ashlyn Pierce finally buried a three to end the drought for the Tides but it was too little, too late. North Thurston’s defense allowed just 10 points in the second half as they continued to pull away to stay undefeated with a 58-43 win over Gig Harbor.

Our Education Jobs MVP of the game was Grace Lee for North Thurston. Lee tallied 15 points for the Rams while playing all 32 minutes for her team as well. After getting in foul trouble with three in the first half, Lee had to stay in the game when Ogaldez came out of the game with foul trouble of her own. Lee stepped up and avoided her fourth foul until the 4th quarter while also becoming the go-to player on offense. Her offense kept North Thurston in it while they awaited the return of their leading scorer and Lee’s defense was sensational as well with multiple steals and she also continued to frustrate the Tides with her long wingspan. Without Grace Lee, the game could have gotten out of hand in the 2nd but the Rams stayed close in large part due to Lee’s contributions.

Leading North Thurston in scoring was Soraya Ogaldez with a game-high 22 points. Kaylin Henderson scored seven while Sadie Tanner poured in six and Alexis Meyer added five. Lily Schneider tallied two off the bench while Kaylin Koval had one.

Meanwhile for Gig Harbor, Taylor Schwab was outstanding on defense while also leading the Tides with 16 points. Kaliyah Miller scored nine and Alex Ferrier had seven. Finley Wyman would add in six points and Ashlyn Pierce had three while Willow Bonnici capped of the scoring with two points.

With the win, North Thurston moves to 8-0 and 6-0 in South Sound Conference play. The Rams will now prepare for a battle of unbeatens on Wednesday at 7:45pm when they visit the Timberline Blazers. Gig Harbor drops to 7-5 and 4-2 in SSC play with their two losses coming to North Thurston and Timberline. They will try to get back on track with a rivalry game of their own on Wednesday when they visit the Peninsula Seahawks at 7pm.

For more on the game check out the ESN postgame show below with our video highlights. To watch the full game replay, you can do so on the following link to the NFHS Network. (Subscription service) Watch full game replay on this link

ESN Post Game Show

Rams Fast Start

Schwab Deep Three

North Thurston Completes 24-0 Run





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