Tyler Hollingsworth wants his Creswell girls basketball players to know that he’s seeing terrific progress in the team. It would be so much easier to get that message across if the Bulldogs were winning more games.

But that’s not happening. Not yet, anyway. Creswell fell to 1-4 last week, losing 54-27 at Pleasant Hill, then falling at home against North Douglas, 40-28.

“That’s three straight games we started slow,” Hollingsworth said. “Against Pleasant Hill, they hit their first five or six shots, and we turned it over on our first five or six possessions. So it was 14-0 just like that. It got better in the second half, but that first half was tough. I think it was 22-6 at halftime, and all of our points were free throws – no buckets.” 

The North Douglas game was more competitive.

“We competed hard, played good defense,” Hollingsworth said. “In the second half we gave up too many offensive rebounds and had too many turnovers. But I think we’re getting better. We’re playing to play fast, but we need to make sure we get good shots. … We’ll keep chipping away.”’

Hollingsworth said he thought the Tuesday, June 1 game at Harrisburg “is a very winnable game.”

“We’re trying to get the girls to play more free, but they’re used to so much structure,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest difference between coaching guys and girls; with guys you’re always trying to add structure, while with girls you’re trying to take away that structure and teach them to read and react.” 

Speaking of the guys, the Creswell boys (2-1) remain on pause until June 8 after a recent positive Covid test for one of the players. They will squeeze five games into the season’s final 10 days, starting June 9 at Pleasant Hill, followed by a home game on June 10 against La Pine.