Wildcats overcome loss of league MVP | Girls basketball

Archbishop Murphy’s Emily Rodabaugh will miss rest of the season
By David Robert Pan | Feb 01, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Archbishop Murphy’s Julia Lucas attempts a shot against Shorewood Thursday, Jan. 24, at Shorewood High School.

The Archbishop Murphy girls basketball team faced a stark reality head on and powered through for its sixth straight victory.

In their first game without two-time league MVP and all-state honoree Emily Rodabaugh, three players scored in double figures to lead the Wildcats to a 51-27 victory over Shorewood in a Wesco 3A girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 24, at Shorewood High School.

Two days earlier, Rodabaugh, who has signed to play for Northern Arizona University, scored 25 points to help Archbishop Murphy to a 64-54 victory over Shorecrest.

The Tuesday contest, however, will be the final game that Rodabaugh plays for the Wildcats, as she underwent treatment last week for an undisclosed injury that will end her senior season.

“We knew it was coming,” Archbishop Murphy coach Cassie Snyder said. “This is just a chance for other girls to have an opportunity to step up and play.”

The Wildcats (11-1 in the league, 16-2 overall) got off to a slow start against the Thunderbirds (2-10, 4-14) most likely due to the absence of Rodabaugh.

Archbishop Murphy led 10-5 after the first quarter and headed into halftime with a 20-13 advantage.

“We started off pretty rough obviously without our best player,” senior Audrey Graham said. “But we definitely bounced back in the second half. We definitely pulled off a great win.”

Graham, who finished with 10 points, hit a 3-pointer to start the third quarter and followed with a 2-point basket and another 3-point goal to help Archbishop Murphy extended its lead to 32-15.

Freshman Kiana Yesiki scored a game-high 12 points and Julia Lucas added 10 points.

Snyder said that the Wildcats didn’t change their approach to the game in Rodabaugh’s absence.

“We’ve been working on getting people reps most of the season,” she said. “Tonight was just a little bit more of a test because she’s not there. To fill that void was important for us offensively and defensively. We had a slow start. I think the second half we started rolling and getting more comfortable for us.”

Snyder was glad to see Graham, Lucas and Yesiki assert themselves.

“We’re going to need our bench to play the way that they did tonight,” the Archbishop Murphy coach added. “They played a lot better, which they’re capable of doing. They did a good job.”

Graham said that she and her teammates focused on the fundamentals.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re hustling more and boxing out because she was a huge part in the rebounds for us,” Graham said. “We were being more composed on offense because obviously she scored a lot of points for us.”

Archbishop Murphy followed up Thursday’s victory with a 58-17 rout of Mountlake Terrace to remain tied for first place in the league with Snohomish (11-1, 12-6) and Arlington (11-1, 14-4). The Wildcats will be headed to the 2A District tournament following the final regular season game against Meadowdale on Monday, Feb. 4.

“I think playing in Wesco is really going to help us in the playoffs because we’re playing harder teams, bigger schools too,” Graham said. “When we go into districts, we’ll be a lot more prepared than we were in years before.”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.