Lakers respond to coach's changes

Jan 17 2014 - 12:23am

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DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner
Bonneville’s Cortney Porter (right) drives to the basket as Box Elder’s Brittney Bowers defends on Thursday in Washington Terrace.
DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner
Bonneville’s Cortney Porter (right) drives to the basket as Box Elder’s Brittney Bowers defends on Thursday in Washington Terrace.

WASHINGTON TERRACE -- Sometimes, subtle changes can be the most effective ones.

Looking to stir up his team's offense, Bonneville coach Mike Russell changed benches and locker rooms.

"This was our most complete game and everybody got to play," Russell said. "We were very balanced offensively tonight after I changed my rotation. I was sitting our consistent players too much."

Senior small forward Kayla Eilertson responded with a season-high scoring night, senior power forward Abby Toller rang up a double-double and senior point guard Cortney Porter dished off 12 assists Thursday in the Lakers' 59-38 Region 5 runaway over Box Elder.

The 6-foot-4 Eilertson scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting -- 1 of 5 from beyond the arc -- with two rebounds, four blocks and one turnover.

"I just stepped up. Everybody needs to step up, and tonight was my turn," Eilertson said. "I focused on being aggressive and attacked the basket when it was there.

"I even played point guard for a little bit in one rotation," she said. "I've never played a '1' before, and I mainly play a '3.' Cortney controls our offense and gets everybody else going, whether she is scoring or not. Cortney is so valuable that way."

Porter was just 2 of 14 from the floor, including 0 of 5 on 3-point attempts, for seven points. She came in averaging a team-leading 16.7 points per game.

But Porter did her damage in other areas with five boards, four steals and two turnovers for two-time defending league champion Bonneville (10-2 overall, 3-0 league), which extended its winning streak to five.

Porter, who has signed with the U.S. Air Force Academy, limited Bees freshman Keslee Stevenson to one first-half point.

Stevenson tossed in 15 second-half points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, after Porter departed with 3:14 remaining and the Lakers leading by 30 points.

Stevenson came in averaging a team-best 15.6 points per game.

"We were aware of Stevenson," Eilertson said. "We played our man-to-man defense and some 1-2-2 zone. Cortney did a great job on Stevenson.

"We wanted to contest every shot and play good help-side defense with nothing easy," she said.

Box Elder shot 28.6 percent (12 of 42) -- 25.0 percent (2 of 8) from deep -- and got outrebounded 46-33.

The Bees (5-7, 1-3) committed 27 turnovers and are 2-6 in their last eight games.

"We're deep and we have a lot of weapons," Eilertson said. "We haven't been playing to our potential offensively, so people knew who needed to get going. Everybody needed to be more aggressive and score more."

Sophomore shooting guard Savanna Shaw splashed in 12 points, hitting 5 of 13 shots, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. She also had one rebound, two assists, one steal and two turnovers.

"Eilertson and Shaw each got more minutes tonight," Russell said. "We locked Stevenson down until Cortney went out in the fourth quarter. We were aware of Stevenson, and we played her straight up. That's why Cortney had her defensively.

"This new rotation is ability-based to offset strengths and weaknesses, and we'll stay with it," he said. "Offensively, we're better with this new rotation and substitution patterns."

Toller tossed in 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting with 12 rebounds, one steal and a turnover. Sophomore center Sam Filiaga finished with six points, seven boards, two blocks and a steal for Bonneville, which shot 36.8 percent (25 of 68), including 20.0 percent (3 of 15) from deep.

The Lakers had 16 assists, 13 steals and committed 26 turnovers.

"We played together well tonight," Eilertson said. "Everybody scored, so we didn't rely on just one player. We're getting everybody involved and doing what they need to do.

"This was an all-around good performance," she said. "If we really focus on it, we can be better on offense and continue to be good on defense.

"We focus on defense and try to make plays for our defense," Eilertson said. "Cortney did a good job of pushing the ball tonight."

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