BULLDOGS AUBRIE HATCH CONTENDS WITH EAGLES GUARD SHEA CARLEY FOR ROOM AS SHE SETS UP THE OFFENSE DURING THE FOURTH QUARTER OF THE CRESWELL VS. SANTIAM CHRISTIAN GAME ON FEB. 1. THE CRESWELL BULLDOGS WON AGAINST THE SANTIAM CHRISTIAN EAGLES 36-29 TO END A SEVEN GAME LOSING STREAK. Christopher Palanuk / The Creswell Chronicle
Still seeking that first, elusive league basketball win of the season, the Creswell Lady Bulldogs fell 13-31 to host Harrisburg on Jan. 29; however, sweet victory was finally theirs as they downed visiting Santiam Christian 36-29 on Feb. 1.
At Harrisburg, a staggering 35 turnovers doomed the Lady Dawgs, who despite playing solid defense trailed the Eagles 2-6 after the first quarter, 7-12 at halftime and 9-21 after the third quarter.
”We were working our tails off on defense and playing great defense, but on offense we were getting in our own way,” said Creswell Head Coach Tyler Hollingsworth. ”We had the advantage on the inside with Bailey (Howell) and Freya (DeMasters), and we knew they would double-team the post. But we kept passing into a double-team instead of looking for the open person and turning the ball over, and we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. It was a rough game.”
DeMasters finished with three points and seven rebounds; Kylee Whitson had two points and five rebounds; and Howell had four rebounds and three blocks.
Against Santiam Christian, the Lady Dawgs were finally firing on (almost) all cylinders. Creswell led 13-5 after one, 21-9 at halftime and 28-18 after three.
”We tweaked our offense a bit to allow more free movement, and I think that helped the girls think less and play more,” Hollingsworth said.
Countering their 35 turnovers against Harrisburg, the Lady Dawgs coughed up the ball six times in the game, and gave up three offensive rebounds in the first half.
”Overall, we valued the ball more,” Hollingsworth said. ”They don’t pressure a lot; they’re not super-aggressive on defense, which helped, but we played much better overall.”
If the Eagles’ defense was light, Creswell’s wasn’t: ”We played really good defense. For about 80 percent of the game we were forcing them to take shots in the spot or way we wanted them to take – and then if they made those, we could live with it,” Hollingsworth said.
Free-throw shooting was the Lady Dawgs’ one weakness; they missed 15 in the game – 10 of those in the second half; they were two-for-10 in the fourth quarter. ”If we’d made even half the free throws we missed, the game would not have even been close,” Hollingsworth said.
DeMasters paced Creswell with 12 points and nine rebounds; Howell had four points, 14 rebounds and three blocks; Emme Whitson had seven points and three rebounds; and Aubrie Hatch had five points and five boards.
The Lady Dawgs (1-7) will fight to put a couple more in the win column this week, as they host La Pine (4-4) and travel to take on league-leader Pleasant Hill (8-0).
”The past few weeks, we’ve been about 50 percent better in practice, but that has not necessarily translated into games,” Hollingsworth said. ”It was nice for the girls to have that experience of seeing that happen in a game. Hopefully, we can do it again.”