MILTON-FREEWATER - Mac-Hi's girls implemented a new pressing style of defense, forcing 27 Touchet turnovers, and cleaned up their offensive style of play to win, 44-13, in nonleague basketball action here Wednesday.
Mac-Hi had just 13 of its own turnovers for the Pioneers' first win of the season. Mac-Hi improved to 1-5 overall, while the Indians are now 2-8.
"Each day, we're really getting better," Mac-Hi coach Christian said. "Turnovers were really key for us tonight. We forced them and didn't commit too many. The girls really played well and the turnovers were down, which led to our first win."
The Pioneers had several contributors starting and off the bench, with eight girls scoring and 19 total team steals. Mac-Hi outrebounded the Indians, 29-22.
The Pioneers blocked five shots and had 12 offensive rebounds.
Working hard on the inside was Mac-Hi sophomore post Makia Carlson. She scored 13 points, and had 10 boards, seven steals and three blocks.
"Makia played really well for us tonight and was boarding strong," Christian said. "She was the leading rebounder in addition to getting us going offensively. She had another double-double in points and rebounds."
Junior wing Cheyenne Kessler added 10 points, and had five steals, one block and four rebounds. Senior guard Kaitlin Erm canned a pair of 3-pointers for the Pioneers.
Leading the way for Touchet was Kristen Warner, who battled foul trouble all night but had six points and six rebounds.
Adding to the scoring total for the Indians was Harlie Schaeffer with seven points.
The leading rebounder for the Indians was Makaila Chesire with eight.
The Pioneers were 10-of-14 from the free-throw line.
Touchet was only 3-of-13 from the charity stripe.
"Our free throws were key tonight," Christian said. "This year we have only made about 50 percent, but we were much better this evening."
Mac-Hi got out to the early 8-0 lead in the first quarter, fueled by three buckets by Carlson. The Indians closed on a 9-6 run in the first quarter to make it 14-9 after the first stanza.
Then the Indians battled foul trouble, offensive inconsistency and a stifling Pioneer defense in the second and third quarters.
"We played better than we did last night," Touchet coach Mike Giusti said of the Indians' 49-23 loss to Walla Walla Valley Academy on Tuesday. "But we had the foul trouble to our two key, experienced players. Mac-Hi played well and it is nice for them to get their first win. We're thin on players and experience. We just can't have that foul trouble. Our younger kids did a good job of trying to work their game and get better."
"The press is what we started working on a couple of days ago incorporating into our defense," Christian said. "We put that press in tonight with different combinations of girls to try and get some turnovers."
The Pioneer girls play again Tuesday at Irrigon at 6 p.m.
Touchet resumes its schedule Jan. 4th at home at 6 p.m. against Liberty Christian.
Mac-Hi 44, Touchet 13
TOUCHET (13) - Warner 2 2-7 6, Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, Chesire 0 0-0 0, Schaeffer 3 1-5 7, Cardwell 0 0-1 0, Downing 0 0-0 0, Creek 0 0-1 0, Rodriguez 0 0-0 0. Totals - 5 3-13 13.
MAC-HI (44) - Vaughn 2 1-2 5, Carlson 5 3-5 13, Erm 2 0-0 6, Brannan 1 0-0 2, Kessler 3 4-5 10, Wells 1 0-0 2, Fite 0 0-0 0, Ureno 2 0-0 4, Riedel 0 2-2 2. Totals - 16 10-14 44.
Touchet 9 0 0 4 - 13
Mac-Hi 14 9 14 7 - 44
3-point goals - Mac-Hi 2 (Erm 2). Total fouls - Tou 11, Mac-Hi 17. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Tou 22 (Chesire 8), Mac-Hi 29 (Carlson 10). Turnovers - Tou 27, Mac-Hi 13. Assists - Tou 1 (Cardwell), Mac-Hi 5.