ERIE — With the team's last win coming on Dec. 15, the Erie girls basketball locker room started to feel like some morbid waiting room while the Tigers battled night after night but were still left wanting as their confidence waned throughout a lengthy losing streak.
That same home locker room felt a lot cheerful when the Tigers entered following their 45-33 win over Tri-Valley League rival Skyline on Friday night. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak and earned the Tigers their first conference victory of the season.
"It's amazing," Tigers junior Kaitlyn Patterson said. "It's been a month and a half and we'd kind of gotten down on ourselves. We haven't won yet this year and we just rallied around wanting to win."
The Tigers' struggles have been season-long, and have been more pronounced at the ends of close games. They have lost seven games by single digits, including four by five or fewer points and one in overtime. Tigers head coach Sarah Pfeifer was pleased to see her girls buck that trend.
"We've been getting good shots and just missing them," Pfeifer said. "It was hurting our confidence, for sure, so I think this really helps with us getting that confidence back and maybe raises our field goal percentage a little bit."
On Friday, the Tigers (5-11, 1-5 Tri-Valley) trailed the Falcons (5-8, 1-5 Tri-Valley) by three points at halftime. But coming out of what was still a desperate locker room, they played possibly their best quarter of the season. Once they came from behind and gained a one-point advantage with four minutes left in the third, the Tigers finished out the final four minutes of the frame on a 10-2 run.
In total, the Tigers outscored the Falcons 18-6 in the third quarter, which ended with Patterson hitting back-to-back 3-pointers that gave her team a 33-24 lead to start the fourth.
"We just needed to power through and play good team basketball," said Patterson, who led the Tigers with 12 points. "I take pride in my shooting and it really opens up things for us in the post. I was just open and they went in."
Skyline sophomore Aly McKrola led all scorers with 16 points.
The Falcons will host Frederick on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, the Tigers will host Windsor.
Erie 45, Skyline 33
At Erie H.S.
SKYLINE (5-8, 1-5)
Emanuel 2 0-1 4, Pitts 0 2-2 2, Earhart 4 1-2 9, Powers 0 0-1 0, Schendel 2 0-0 4, Mattil 0 0-0 0, McKrola 6 3-4 14. Totals 14 6-10 33.
ERIE (5-11, 1-5)
Patterson 4 2-5 12, Purcell 0 0-2 0, Huonder 2 0-1 5, Phillips 1 2-2 4, Erbe 1 1-2 3, Harrell 2 0-0 4, Green 2 1-3 5, Dwinal 0 0-0 0, Hoback 4 0-1 8, Kia 0 0-0 0, Hefner 1 2-6 4. Totals 17 8-21 45.
Score by quarters:Skyline 61269—33
3-point field goals — Erie (2): Patterson 2. Total fouls — Skyline 19, Erie 16.