By Jeremy McDonald
SUTHERLIN, Ore.–Salem Academy sure did make some noise to start the season by exploding for 25 first quarter points and led St. Mary’s of Medford 27-10 early in the second quarter that featured strong defense, no look passes and even stronger offense.
“We all just had the same mentality that we can go out and just keep the momentum up,” said Kirsten Koehnke who scored 13 of her 19 points in the first quarter.
But, seven second quarter fouls and 11 total first half fouls slowed the Lady Crusaders down and allowed the Southern Oregon Crusaders to hang with them to close out the first half.
“I just think we can learn that when we foul we have to regain our compsoure and just do it as a team,” said Koehnke.
Salem Academy settled in coming out of the halftime break and looked like the Crusaders they expected to be leading 56-21 after three in their 72-25 victory over the Southern Oregon Lady Crusaders.
“We could run on them so I was trying to push the girls to slow it down and work on the offenses we’re working on,” said Head Coach Ben Brown. “So we just want to make sure that we learn something, they’re a good athletic team which will help. We had them in size, which helped us inside, but we needed to work on dealing with their speed. They got a couple good defenders, so we wanted to make sure that we did our offensive sets against them.”
By the fourth quarter, the Crusaders were able to exercise their depth of their bench a bit with girls like Chole Campbell, Chloe Baker, Krista Mulkey, etc. and Brown showed his excitement in having such a deep bench this season.
“We have probably eight girls that probably be vying for the starting positions and it really depends on the match-ups and who we’re playing,” starts Brown. “I’m just really proud of the girls and it’s hard.
“It’s hard to be that close to being a starter and then not and knowing that they could still come in and play hard and do great. So I’m just proud of all the girls and proud of the depth that we have. I’m just excited, we got a great group of girls. We’ll have a tough test against Stayton tomorrow and we’ll see how that goes.”
Aimee Smith added another 15, Kara Standridge had nine, Halle Baker another eight as nine Salem Academy girls scored in the win as they prepare for the 5pm game against the Eagles.
“Just keep the same menatlity , we just got to come and get it running,” said Koehnke.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald