Lady Pirates lose season opener to Ottawa, 45-35

Sophomore Sage Grann tried to turn the corner on an Ottawa defender. Grann scored 17 points in Piper’s 45-35 loss to Ottawa. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

After losing five starters from last year’s team, the Piper girls’ basketball team begins the 2021-2022 season with a fresh start and a roster light on experience. The young team lost their season opener to the Ottawa Lady Cyclones 45-35 on Friday.

The Lady Pirates got off to a slow start, picking up only one basket in the first quarter. Piper’s tightly packed zone defense also limited Ottawa’s output, and the first half finished 20-10 in Ottawa’s favor.

The game opened up in the second half, and Ottawa stayed patient to stretch the Piper defense. Abbie Roth and Tatum Vallejo hit three-point shots for Piper in the fourth quarter, and Sage Grann got two three-point opportunities on drives to the basket.

The Lady Pirates pulled within 6 points midway through the fourth quarter, but Ottawa made timely baskets to hold the final margin at 10.

Grann made an impact on both ends of the court, leading the team with 17 points and also finding a knack for snagging errant passes to start a fast break. She also shared ball-handling duties with freshman point guard Avary Vallejo.

Marissa Covington scored 10 points in the game and also secured multiple defensive rebounds.

The Piper Lady Pirates will participate starting Monday in the Huhtamaki Hardwood Classic held by De Soto High School.

Senior Marissa Covington challenged Ottawa sophomore Emery Keebaugh. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Freshman guard Avary Vallejo picked up the defense in the back court. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Fans applauded the singing of the national anthem. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Freshman Abbie Roth launched an outside shot in the fourth quarter. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Sophomore Sage Grann was met by the Ottawa defense as she drove into the lane. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Senior Marissa Covington’s shot inside was blocked by Ottawa sophomore Emery Keebaugh. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Freshman Avary Vallejo fought for a loose ball. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Junior Evelyn Collins looked for an entry pass to the basket. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Junior Tatum Vallejo pushed the ball up the right side. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Freshman Abbie Roth drove along the left baseline. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

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