Girls finish close to two Val-Co opponents in hoops

The Sweet Home girls came close – twice – to notching their first basketball victory of the season last week, but couldn’t quite get over the hump.

The Huskies lost 49-43 at home to Philomath on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and then fell 44-41 to Taft on the road.

Taft 44, Sweet Home 41

“We just played to the level of the competition,” said Coach Dave Goetz of the Taft game. He said the Huskies shot 45 percent from the free-throw line and 25 percent from the floor. Taft was 12 of 61 from the floor, but hit 22 of 33 free throws to win.

“The girls did a great job on defense,” Goetz said.

Ashley Danielson led Sweet Home’s scoring with 15 points at Taft, the only Husky to finish in double figures. Hillary McCartin and Alex Thompson both added six points. Three Tigers scored 10 or more – Samantha Vison (10), Amanda Hagemister (11) and Dana Dargay (12).

Philomath 49, Sweet Home 43

Goetz said the Huskies played “one of their best games” of the season against Philomath.

“They competed extremely hard,” he said.

The teams ran neck and neck through the first two quarters, with Philomath ahead by two, 26-24 at the half. The Warriors widened their lead to seven points at the end of the third quarter, 36-29 and Sweet Home could not reel them in during the final minutes.

Danielson led the team with 13 points and Jenny Hamn chipped in 10, with Paige Niemi adding nine more. K. Phelps and C. George had 16 and 13 respectively for Philomath.

Goetz noted that, even with two close losses, Sweet Home is still in the race for a trip to the playoffs, as the Val-Co League will send three teams this year.

He said the Huskies are benefiting from their tough non-league schedule, in which they faced some of the state’s top 4A teams.

“I’m not sure I’d want to do it again, but it was good for them,” he said. “They’re playing with their heads high and having fun. I guess it’s just a tribute to their spirit that they’re 0-14 and still having fun.”

Goetz said the team just needs to get a win.

“At this point, they’re just not quite sure how to win,” he said.

Sweet Home, 0-14, was off Tuesday and will be back on the road Friday at Newport. They will be back at home Tuesday, Jan. 22, to host Central.