Girls basketball: Surging Huskies upset higher-ranked Woodburn

Propelled by double-digit scoring performances from guards Brooke Burke and Kaylynn Mamac, the Sweet Home girls basketball team scored a home victory against Woodburn, a team ranked directly above them in the 4A-3 Oregon West Conference.

Sweet Home (7-12, ranked No. 18 in 4A) beat the No. 14 Bulldogs (11-6) 43-34. The game showed a marked improvement from Sweet Home’s 39-32 loss at Woodburn on Jan. 7.

“That was fun,” Head Coach Michelle Knight said of prevailing in the rematch. “We were determined to win that game. We prepared really hard, watching film and practicing.”

She said the Huskies got some help from an engaged home crowd. “Our student section was amazing that night. It was a great night.”

Familiarity with the Bulldogs helped the Huskies make adjustments from their early season loss.

“We have played them so much over the years. We know their style of play and the defense they are going to run, and who their shooters are.”

Sweet Home never trailed in the game.

Woodburn tried to beat Sweet Home with long shots, but put together a less-than-proficient shooting performance from beyond the arc, going just 5-for-26.

Sweet Home didn’t fare much better, going 2-for-10 from three, but managed to outshoot the Huskies overall, with a 30.8% field goal percentage compared to the Bulldogs’ 22.4%.

Crucially, Sweet Home was able to get to the foul line 22 times, and took advantage, going 17-for-22 from the charity stripe. For comparison, Woodburn only went 3-for-6 from the line.

Burke, the Huskies’ offensive standout, again led her team in scoring with 19 points, despite shooting less efficiently than usual with a 6-for-21 showing from the field.

Mamac, a freshman, had a coming-out performance, scoring a season and career high of 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field. She was able to draw falls and convert them into points, going 7-for-9 from the free throw line.

Senior post player Adaira Sleutel added nine points on 2-for-9 shooting while pulling down 17 rebounds.

On Friday, Sweet Home traveled to Philomath, losing 48-34 against the top ranked team in the state in 4A (13-2). The Huskies also fell to the Warriors 49-31 on Jan. 11.

“We played a good game of basketball. We did all the things that we had prepared to do, and posted a good score. It was a good loss; I’m not disappointed with that,” Knight said.

Philomath senior guard Sage Kramer torched the Huskies for 33 points. And the Warriors’ talent prevents teams from focusing on Kramer, Knight said.

“The problem with trying to shut down one person, is that they have so many girls that can score,” Knight noted.

The coach was happier with this performance compared to their January showing against the Warriors.

“We’re just a better team now than we were then,” Knight said. “We learn from every game. The girls are so good about remembering who we played. They are just students of the game right now. They soak everything up.”

Philomath shot 34.7% from the field compared to Sweet Home’s 27.3%.

Burke scored 21 points for the Huskies on 5-for-14 shooting. She went 4-for-10 from behind the three-point line, and a perfect 7-for-7 on free throws. Sleutel scored 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting. She went 3-for-5 from the line.

Sweet Home sits in fifth place in the OWC after last week’s action. The Huskies have two home games this week, playing Sisters (6-12) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and Stayton (11-4) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11.