By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Chemeketa held leads of 16-9 and 18-13 as Tess Hendricks and Lakin Susee combined for 16 of the first 18 of the Storm points as everything seemingly were clicking at all cylinders against a Mt. Hood team looking for just their fifth-win of the season.
“We came out with a lot of energy and we were just picking each other up the whole time so that was something that dictated the lead for us,” said Hendricks on what got them going early on in the game as the Stayton-grad scored six of the first 18 points off of two three-pointers.16
Eventually Mt. Hood built some momentum and took a 23-22 lead before Hendricks hit a pair of free throws to hand the lead back to Chemeketa with 5:04 left in the first half.
Both squads were trading shots, but not having a streaky run as they had during the first quarter-and-a-half of the game as it became more of a rebounding game and who could help their team spark a run entering halftime.
As the substitutes were coming in-and-out with 2:43 to go to mix in with the starters like Destiny Fanhdrich and Ally Gambill with the Storm down two, both Gambill and Fanhdrich, Fanhdrich the leading scorer on the team from Crater with over 16 points a game this season for Chemeketa, kept the game close at 28-all and 30-all before Mariah Hollenbeck gave the Storm a 33-30 lead off the bench with a corner-three with 33 seconds remaining in the half.
“It was huge, I mean every team wants to comeback and everything,” said Hollenbeck who finished five points and six rebounds in Wednesday’s game. “You just got to have that fight, that will to win. We did a great job hustling, getting after it.”
“Mainly we noticed our energy started to go downhill, so we realize ‘ok, we need to pick this up. Second half, we need to pick this up battle back together as a team,” adds Hendricks.
With 10 seconds remaining in the half however, the Saints tied the ball game and used a fast start out of the halftime break to take a 43-33 lead before Gambill scored Chemeketa’s first points of the half at the 6:14 as the Storm got it to 46-42 by the 2:38 mark of the quarter.
Chemeketa was able to keep the game in-reach, and had opportunities to cut into the lead further if not regain the lead at some point if it wasn’t for self-inflicted wounds like fouls and turnovers that slowed themselves down and slowed the positive progression of their energy to lead into points down the stretch in the 69-61 defeat Wednesday evening.
“It was frustrating but at the same time, you got to work through it and got to play through it, it’s not a guarantee that your going to win every game, you just got to keep powering through it,” said Hollenbeck.
“Mostly we need to box out and just have a constant momentum and energy the entire game, so I think we’ll build on that and come out strong on Saturday,” adds Hendricks who finished with 10 points and two assist.
During that second half, Mt. Hood out-rebounded the Storm 21-14 after it was a closer 17-15 slight advantage to the Saints to start the game. Fanhdrich (seven), Gambill and Susee (five each) led Chemeketa (2-11, 0-2 NWAC South Region) in rebounds.
Rebounding will be big for their game against Linn-Benton Saturday as the Roadrunners average 41.1 points a game and are looking to bounce back after their 110-48 loss to Umpqua Community College on their home court at 2:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald