Girls shorthanded but play tough

Central 44

Sweet Home 37

Central snatched away the lead from a seriously shorthanded girls basketball squad to drive Saturday’s game into overtime and win 44-37.

“It started out really bad because we only had seven players,” Coach Mark Tyler said. Teresa Lewis was unable to play in Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s games in the Pleasant Hill-Junction City Tournament because she was ill. Mahria Zook cut open her chin, requiring three stitches, Thursday night then turned her ankle on Friday night. Neither were able to play Saturday.

Given that, “it was a good game,” Coach Tyler said. “The girls played real hard. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Kaci (Trask). She did real well.”

Trask played 32 minutes both Friday and Saturday night.

The Huskies led most of the game against their Capital Conference rivals, the Central Panthers. With about 2 minutes left in the game, the Huskies had a four-point lead, and Central had a couple of calls go its way.

“That halted our momentum,” Coach Tyler said. The Huskies were pressing and doing well at taking the ball away, but several girls were in foul trouble by then.

With about 40 seconds left, Central popped up a three-pointer that the Huskies weren’t able to counter tying the game at 34-34.

“(The Huskies) were just worn down,” Coach Tyler said. “By the end of the fourth quarter, you could see it. The girls were just exhausted.”

Leading in scoring was Jessica Brocard, with nine points.

“Jessica had a really good tournament,” Coach Tyler said. “She dominated the boards.”

She ended up on the bench for much of the second and third quarter after drawing her third foul early, further contributing to the shortage of players. Given the Huskies performance at the tournament under those conditions, Coach Tyler is looking forward to the next meeting between the teams.

“It’ll be really interesting to see what happens in league now,” Coach Tyler said.

Angela Fentiman added eight against Central. Amanda Burcham scored seven; Kara Watkins, five; Trask, four; and Elizabeth Aman, four.

Siuslaw 47

Sweet Home 32

Siuslaw defeated the Huskies 47-32 Friday night.

“It was a good game,” Coach Tyler said. The two teams traded leads throughout the first half, though the Huskies trailed slightly at halftime.

The Huskies came out and made adjustments to neutralize Hunt, a key Siuslaw player. Hunt scored 19 points, only six of them in the second half; but Siuslaw found another girl who hadn’t scored at all in the first half to deliver the win.

Zook led the Huskies with 13 points. Trask added 10. Aman, Fentiman, Watkins, Burcham and Katie Reynolds each scored two. Crystal Allen scored one point.

Junction City 61

Sweet Home 19

Junction City, ranked number five in the state, gave the Huskies a tough time and finished with a 61-19 win.

A high-pressure game courtesy of Junction City held the Huskies to only 20 shots in the game.

“They ran a man press on us the entire game,” Coach Tyler said. “The girls just had a hard time trying to do anything.… The girls had not seen that kind of pressure.”

Brocard and Trask led in scoring with six each. Fentiman and Allen each scored three, and Aman scored one.

On the tournament as a whole, “I thought the girls played real well,” Coach Tyler said. “The Junction City game, that one got away from us. We went up against one of the toughest teams in the state. The girls had a hard time, but they never stopped trying, and that’s the thing.”

The girls came back from that loss and jumped on Siuslaw, playing point for point right to the end of the ball game, Coach Tyler said. They had gone down twice by then, but “they came back on the floor like they had been on the floor for the last two days. It didn’t go our way, but the girls still fought their way through.”

“I’m proud of the girls,” Coach Tyler said. “They did a really good job.”

The Huskies next host Estacada on Thursday. They will travel to Woodburn for a tournament next week.