Defensive Titans rally on Puyallup

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.comJanuary 8, 2014 

Corey Alexander saw his Beamer High School girls team playing some genre of basketball he was unfamiliar with during the first half against Puyallup on Tuesday night. It sure wasn’t Titans basketball.

But the Titans got back to their game in the third quarter, exhibiting the signature defense that helped them to a No. 3 ranking in Class 4A.

Megan Huff and Quinessa Caylao-Do each scored 15 points, Bria Rice scored 14, Beamer smothered the No. 8 Vikings in the third quarter and won, 56-39, its ninth consecutive victory to start the season.

Addie Picha made the Vikings’ first basket of the third quarter. Puyallup missed all 12 of its field goals in the quarter as the Titans erased their 25-24 halftime deficit and entered the fourth quarter leading 39-29.

“That’s our bread and butter, our defense,” Alexander said. “I told them we have to hang our hat on our defense, we have to play together as a team, help each other out and let the cards fall as they may.”

Those cards fell in Beamer’s favor as it outscored Puyallup in the second half, 32-14.

The Titans (9-0) allowed fewer field goals in the second and third quarters combined (four) than they did in the first quarter (six).

“We were really hyped, but we weren’t playing our game in the first half,” Rice said. “It was kind of stressful because we wanted to stay at third in the rankings and we didn’t want to slip up and mess up our undefeated record.”

Beamer fell behind in the second quarter, 22-16, and Puyallup found openings behind the 3-point line.

But the Titans’ defense forced turnovers, and it made the game close entering the third quarter. Puyallup almost had the same number of field-goal attempts (10) as turnovers (eight) in the second quarter to allow Beamer to stay in it.

“I think it was just a matter of endurance,” said Picha, who scored 10 points. “We were definitely capable of playing with them. We knew we could play with them, but we just need to be in better shape.”

Beamer’s Huff added seven rebounds and six blocked shots, and Rice chipped in five assists.

Marissa Miller led Puyallup with 11 points and Braylie Jeffers added 10 as the Vikings lost its fifth consecutive game to Beamer.

“I think this shows our team has a little heart,” Alexander said. “It showed when you play against Todd Beamer, we are going to be a hard team to beat.”

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