CRESWELL – It’s not official, so no need to start throwing any big celebrations just yet.
But the Creswell girls basketball team is going to state.
The Bulldogs solidified their status by pulling away from Harrisburg with a suffocating defense, winning 50-44 on Senior Night.
For the five seniors on the squad, coach Tyler Hollingsworth said the night was especially satisfying because they finished in last place as freshmen and sophomores, then third in last year’s Covid-shortened junior season.
“We caused so many turnovers. A lot of times they may not have been steals, all I know is we were flying around out there creating havoc,” Hollingsworth said. “The only bad thing was we gave up too many offensive rebounds. They got way too many easy ones inside.”
Creswell needs to win at least one of its two remaining games – vs. Santiam Christian (a team it beat by 6 last time out) and La Pine (a team that Creswell clobbered 49-15 last month).
“We’re in a good spot. We want to host for a league title, we just have to take care of business,” Hollingsworth said. “I’m happy for the girls.
“It was awesome to have all of our seniors play and get some good minutes,” Hollingsworth said. “Then against La Pine we’ll have another chance to have a positive time and everybody can feel good about themselves. We talk a lot about everybody having a role, and they’re doing that. We have a great bench.”
Against Harrisburg, Creswell led 20-9 early, but the visitors battled back to make it 26-all at halftime.
The ’Dogs defense made all the difference after that, completely taking the Eagles out of their comfort zone.
“Emme’s (Whitson) defense was phenomenal,” Hollingsworth said. And Dakota (Carson) had 8 steals, but she probably caused 12-15 turnovers by being so active. She’s a free spirit on the court.
“Everybody did a good job against Harrisburg. Lauren (Bailey) came in late in the game and made some big plays. Lenny (Leonard) on film did so many little things to help us win. Gabby (Halgren) and Lenny were excellent on defense, always talking and creating offense for us.”
Whitson led Creswell with 17 points and 5 rebounds while Emma Maness scored 10 points. Samaitah Quinones added 9 points.
“It was big for us to get that win over Harrisburg,” Hollingsworth said.