After wrapping up a heavy slate of preseason basketball games the third week of December, the Creswell Lady Bulldogs are well rested from competition. They have practiced hard over winter break and are ready to host their Mountain Valley Conference opener against La Pine on Friday, Jan. 4.
The Lady Dawgs finished preseason basketball play with a 6-5 record after narrowly falling to host Sutherlin, 36-40 on Dec. 18 but defeating visiting Westside Christian 47-16 on Dec. 20.
At Sutherlin, the Lady Dawgs once again got off to a slow start. ”It was very similar to the Oakland game,” said Head Coach Tyler Hollingsworth. ”We were down 8-19 at halftime and had too many turnovers in the first half.”
But the Lady Dawgs caught fire in the second half. ”They came out in the second half and scrapped and clawed and fought their way back into it,” Hollingsworth said.
Creswell took a one-point lead with a couple of minutes remaining in the game and had a chance to tie it with 14 seconds left, with the Lady Dawgs trailing by two.
”But we missed a 15-foot wide-open shot, then got the offensive rebound and also missed the put-back,” Hollingsworth said.
Bailey Howell paced Creswell with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks. Aubrie Hatch added nine points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals.
”Since the beginning of the year we’ve been working on having Bailey run the floor quick and post up for the pass, and that’s improved,” Hollingsworth said. ”Now we need to improve in starting strong. I think it’s more of a mental thing; we start off more passive and tentative, then once we’re down we realize we have to be aggressive and we get after it.”
Against Westside Christian, Creswell led 10-4 after the first quarter, 27-6 at halftime and 39-12 at the end of the third quarter.
”It was good going into the break upbeat, with things going our way – but we still got off to a slow start,” Hollingsworth said, noting that Creswell didn’t score until five minutes into the first quarter, then added buckets quickly through the end of the period.
Once again leading Creswell, Howell contributed something to every stat line, with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and four blocks.
Freshman guard Emme Whitson added 13 points and four rebounds. ”For a freshman she’s not afraid to shoot, and she’s aggressive, which is great,” Hollingsworth said.
Hatch contributed two points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks; Morgan Janshen had four points and six rebounds.
”Our defense was pretty good. We were able to utilize our press really well; they were not able to get clean lines to the basket and we forced a lot of turnovers,” Hollingsworth said. ”Offensively, we did a really good job running the floor – getting down there before they could set up their defense.”