Pirates pick up a pair of victories

CL girls overcome one-point first quarter to blow out Willamette Valley

By BEN MCCARTY

News staff writer

December 23, 2006

The Cascade Locks girls’ basketball team just needed a little time to get started.

After scoring only one point in the first quarter, the Pirates ran the Willamette Valley Warriors out of the gym in the final three thanks to tenacious defense and improved shooting that gave Cascade Locks a 44-23 win.

“We switched up to man from zone (defense) and the girls responded well, Coach Diane Nolin said after her team used a 32-8 scoring advantage in the second and third quarters to put the game away.

Heather Mohr, the team’s senior leader and one of its leading scorers, was expected to be able to play in the game after recovering from an ankle injury, but re-injured the ankle during warm-ups. Nolin believed that having the team’s offensive spark plug out of the lineup may have contributed the team’s lack of offense in the first quarter when the team took several ill-advised shots, and turned the ball over repeatedly.

When the Pirates switched up their defense and began applying pressure in the second quarter, the Warriors offense quickly hit the skids as they often struggled just to inbound the ball. With Kristen Rutherford and Mikayla Ryan leading the way, the Pirates began recording steal after steal, leading to easy baskets and a 17-13 halftime lead. The process repeated itself in the third quarter as the Warriors continued to be unable to figure out the Pirate press and again turned the ball over repeatedly in the backcourt, including several instances where they threw the ball out of bounds on inbounds plays. The turnover led to more easy baskets and Ryan hit a shot at the buzzer to extend the Cascade Locks lead to 33-15 after they outscored the Warriors 16-2 in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter Willamette continued to be befuddled by the Cascade Locks press and did not score until just over four minutes remained in the game. At that point it was too late to make a comeback and the Pirates had the game well in hand.

Nolin credited her team for regrouping despite the loss of Mohr and for being able to recover after the first quarter.

“We started making our shots,” she said. “Robin Cook came off the bench and got us going.”

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