The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Girls finish basketball season with losses to Elmira, Cottage Grove


February 23, 2016

BETHANY GINGERICH collides with Hannah Arnold of Cottage Grove.

The Huskies lost their final game of the season 60-46 at home in girls basketball on Friday.

Led by Ally Tow, who scored 23 points, the girls led the game most of the way, building an 11-10 lead in the first quarter and 25-23 at halftime.

“We were up by 11 at one point,” said Coach Steve Brown, but when her third foul sidelined her, Cottage Grove closed the gap.

In the third quarter, Tow picked up her fourth foul, and Cottage Grove took the lead, 44-40.

“That killed us,” Brown said. Cottage Grove outscored the Huskies 16-6 in the final quarter.

Hosting Elmira on Feb. 16, Sweet Home lost 52-31.

Elmira, second in league with a 7-3 league record, led 14-2 after the first quarter and 30-12 at halftime. After three quarters, Elmira led 43-17.

The games wrapped up the team’s season. The Huskies were 3-19 overall and 0-10 in league. Undefeated Sutherlin is the league champion. Junction City finished third in league with a 5-5 league record. Cottage Grove and Sisters are tied for fourth with 4-6 league records.

“The highlight of the season is how well the younger kids played,” Brown said. The JV teams won at least six games, which is probably double their performance last year.

The team had three returning varsity players this year, including Tow, Kaitlynn Autry and Brittany Brownell, who was out on an injury for much of the season. Brownell and Autry are seniors. Tow is a sophomore.

The team’s remaining seniors hadn’t played high school basketball until this year.

With the lack of experience, the girls had some bright spots.

“If we would’ve competed the rest of the year like we did the first half of Cottage Grove, we would’ve probably won more games,” Brown said. “For us, that was a big deal.”

And he hopes it translates into better things next season.

“It’s starting with people that are freshmen this year,” a good group of freshmen and sophomores, he said. Next year, the team will have one senior, Kaylee Lewis; so the Huskies will be young for two years, giving them the opportunity to gain experience and improve.

The JV did a good job, and “toward the end they got better,” he said. Combining them with the varsity players, his goal is to double the team’s number of wins next year.

At the same time, it’s hard to build a team when players aren’t learning the game before high school, Brown said. Assistant coaches Karyn Hartsook and Dave McNeil are planning on off-season clinics and opportunities to help young players build their skills.

Also the high school and junior high school programs need to work together more closely, Brown said.

Overall this season, “I think they played pretty well with the level of basketball ability that we had,” Brown said.

Cottage Grove 10 13 21 16 – 60

Sweet Home 11 14 15 6 – 46

Cottage Grove scoring: Melissa Thielman 24, Blomquist 10, Harsh 10, Arnold 7, Albrecht 5, Child 2, Whisler 2, Sand, Caro, Bethke, Nichols-Ferguson.

Sweet Home scoring: Ally Tow 23, Kayla Miller 10, Hailey Silver 4, Brittany Brownell 4, Bethany Gingerich 3, Chiara DiMola 2, Kendra Montoya, Ashley Wickline, Kaitlynn Autry, Kayla Bennett.

Elmira 14 16 13 9 – 52

Sweet Home 2 10 5 14 – 31

Elmira scoring: Miranda Jensen 14, Webber 9, Stone 8, Olsen 7, Smith 7, Blunt 5, Mooers 2, Anderson, Greene, Bradley, Nickell.

Sweet Home scoring: Tow 13, Miller 8, Silver 3, Kaylee Lewis 3, Silver 3, Bennett 2, April Underwood 2, Wickline, Autry, DiMola.


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