Creswell, Pleasant Hill, Sports Zone

Billies boys, girls sweep Bulldogs

CRESWELL – It might have been the quintessential high school basketball doubleheader last Tuesday at Creswell High School – particularly if you’re supporting the Pleasant Hill Billies boys and girls teams, who won their games in the Bulldogs’ gym.

“It’s huge. It’s huge for us to get the win here in Creswell. The environment was outstanding tonight. Great school spirit, their band, Creswell fans, Pleasant Hill fans, it was a fun night, and a competitive night,” said boys head coach Darwin Terry, whose team won 63-53. “I think league is going to be like that all season. I think all the teams are pretty competitive in our Mountain Valley Conference, so we’ve gotta be prepared.”

Terry and his boys certainly were prepared Tuesday, surviving nine lead-changes in the third quarter alone. The ninth lead change would indeed be the last, though, as the Billies led the rest of the way. 

“Our defensive effort … that’s what was going to get us back into this game,” Terry said. “We switched to a man-to-man defense, and I think that’s what made the difference.”

Defense, indeed, sealed the game. Up only four points with three minutes left, the Billies were able to force five turnovers to put the game away. 

For the girls of Pleasant Hill, the final score of 47-37 was closer than the game as they took the lead and never let go from the first basket. 

“It was really important to me, and we’ve talked about it quite a bit about coming out and setting a tone,” said girls head coach Paxton Miller. “We’ve had a bad habit this year of digging holes. Especially for a road game in a packed gym we wanted to make sure we came out here and do our best to jump on them early.”

After pouncing early and never letting up, the Billies found their lead slipping late in the fourth quarter, up only two points. Miller and his team then finished the game on a 17-9 run. 

“I thought we really did a good job of not allowing our struggles offensively to impact us defensively,” Coach Miller said. “That’s been a big theme for us. At times we’ve had struggles to generate offense in different ways, that’s always a work in progress. But the defensive piece, we’re always in control of that.”

A key to maintaining the lead was junior forward Claire Crawford. She finished with 15 points, six of which came in the fourth quarter. 

“The cool thing about Claire is that she’s selfless, and she’s all about winning,” Miller said. “She finds other ways to impact the game. She was huge on the boards, huge defensively in the middle of our zone, and she made some timely shots too.”

The Billies knew going into these games that they weren’t playing just any other opponent. Beating the Bulldogs on their home floor means just a little bit more. 

“It’s a big deal. We had a really tough non-league schedule,” Miller said. “The thought process behind that was to get us ready for league, so that we will have seen the best of the best and we understand the thought process behind what it takes to win games like these. So to come on the road and get a couple wins, it’s a big deal for morale.”



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