Girls down Taft for first win of season

The Husky girls basketball team won their first game of the year last week.

Sweet Home defeated Taft 38-32 despite being shorthanded and having three inside players in foul trouble and fouling out at the end of the game.

The Huskies’ dominance in the game started to drop off in the fourth quarter after Jenny Hamn, Hillary McCartin and Nicole Fagan fouled out. Paige Niemi was out with an illness.

Sweet Home built a 12-10 lead and then broke the game open in the second quarter, with McCartin already sitting out with three fouls, to lead 21-12.

They slightly expanded their lead through the third quarter to 32-21.

McCartin’s sitting out that early was a big deal, Coach Dave Goetz said. “She doesn’t score a lot of points, but she keeps control of our team somewhat.”

In the fourth quarter, the Huskies went “small,” Goetz said, which also meant, in this case, inexperienced; and Taft rallied but not enough to overcome the Tigers’ deficit.

“The girls came out a little bit more focused than they have in a long time,” Goetz said. “They jumped to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter.”

They pressed Taft and came out strong, Goetz said. After the first minute and a half, Taft took a timeout to slow things down.

Ashley Danielson led Husky scoring with 14 points. Heather Polley added eight; Alex Thompson, eight; Riley Cole, four; Fagan, three; and Hamn, one.

“I’m very happy for the girls,” Goetz said. “We focused and jumped out there. I don’t the game was ever in doubt. They knew they had something to prove at home – they were a better team than Taft.”

The Huskies travel to Taft on Thursday and host Central Friday night after a scheduled game at Newport on Tuesday.

“We could easily steal three games this week because Newport could overlook us,” Goetz said.

The Huskies cannot reach state playoffs at this point, Goetz said. To do so, they would need to finish third. That battle is between Philomath and Central for second, with Newport dominant in the top spot.