By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.–19 points were scored in total for the first half between Stayton and Central Girls basketball Wednesday night.
It was a physical, exhausting first half of ball that saw the Lady Eagles taking a 9-8 lead off a 6-0 run before Elizabeth Chavez gave the Lady Panthers a 10-9 lead with 2:13 left in the half that stood into the 10 minute breather.
“Oh it was very physical, 9-10 or something like that and we couldn’t put anything in and it was just a defensive battle and both teams and were playing hard on defense and shot weren’t falling and some nights that happens,” said Central Panther Head Coach Julie McDonald.
“We came out really hard defensively and they came out really hard defensively so it was a good complete match-up for us,” adds Stayton’s Marri Martinez who finished with 10 points in the game. “They’re more physical than we are, than we thought we were, then once we started playing, ‘Oh, we’re really physical, we can take them. We can match their physicality’.”
That physicality and the halftime adjustments quickly turned into points to start the second half.
In the matter of the first four made shots of the second half were 12 points. Two three’s by each team with Central leading 16-15 as both teams started to find their offense to go with the defensive battle going on the court as Alli Nyquist gave Stayton a 20-18 lead before Chavez tied it a moment later.
But, the 2-3 defense that Stayton was running slowed down Central and allowed the Eagles to turn that into points as they took a 30-24 lead in the closing minutes of the game over the Panthers.
“That’s been our demise a little bit is that 2-3 a little bit,coming in stop our transition and stop doing what we’re doing,” said McDonald. “We have great shooters and we kind of look at that, shots aren’t falling, they’re not going to the Plan B, of taking it to the hole looking at the seams and doing our things so it’s something we got to work on,
“It’s the beginning of the year so we got a lot to work on so we’ll get after that and hopefully get it correct.58
Central, who are at Churchill next Friday before closing out the preseason versus West Albany, couldn’t overcome Stayton’s monkeywrench as the Lady Eagles held on for the 35-27 victory as the Panthers fall to 7-1 on the season and Stayton win’s their third-straight game to improve to 4-3 on the year.
“It was just a game of competing, we were hungry for a win and we just worked on shooting in practice and came out and got a couple lucky ones,” smiled KJ Nyquist who hit two-big three’s in the third quarter as the sophomore finished with eight points in the win as Stayton will have another week off before hosting the SCTC Tournament next Wednesday versus Scio.
Central’s Katelyn Trevino finished with nine points, Chavez finished with eight points. Megan Mendazona had seven while Lexy Barba added another five.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald