By Jeremy McDonald
MT. ANGEL, Ore.– St. Paul knew they’ll have their hands full against the number one team in the State of Oregon in Kennedy. The Lady Trojans are the only team to have beaten the Lady Buckaroos in league this season and handed St. Paul just one of their three losses entering Monday’s match-up in Mt. Angel on the season.
But, it seemed as if the Bucks would return the favor to Kennedy and do what only 3A number one Dayton has done this season: Defeat the Trojans.
St. Paul set the pace early by building an eight point lead on Kennedy and led 18-14 by halftime as the Lady Trojans were slowly matching the Lady Buckaroos entering the second half.
“We had really strong defense and we were the aggressors out there, we were really going hard at the basket and just focusing on not letting them score,” said Isabelle Wyss.
Wyss was a leader on the aggressive front as the sophomore guard, along with Erin Counts and company, were challenging for rebounds and pushing Kennedy to make the right move as St. Paul pushed their lead to 22-16 early in the third quarter.
As expected, the Trojans weren’t going down without a fight as they began their march back into the game, eventually tying it at 22 and taking the lead when six-foot sophomore Sophia Carley converted an ‘And-one’. They added to the lead as they used a 18-2 run entering the fourth quarter to change the momentum in favor of Kennedy as frustrations began to show on the faces of the Lady Buckaroos.
“We just lost it, we kind of backed off because we got satisfied with our lead and we know we shouldn’t do that and that’s one thing we’re trying to work on,” said Wyss. “Just keep pushing it and get the lead as much as we can.”53
Wyss points to it as an learning experience for them with Kennedy handing them their second Tri-River League loss of the season and their fourth of the year and first loss since December 22 against Monroe that led into their recent eight-game winning streak leading into Monday’s game as they now prepare for Central Linn Friday at home.
The eight-ranked Lady Cobras will look to avenge their ten-point loss to St. Paul back on January 2 as the two team’s meet-up for a battle of two-three in the conference standings.
“We take this as a learning experience because we will play them again probably, we are hoping that we will be able to,” said Wyss who had 12 points in the 54-34 defeat Monday. “And we’re going to take this and use what we can and I think it really helped us.”
Counts added another 11 points and Emma Connor added nine points herself in the game. Logan Robinson was the other Lady Buckaroo who scored with two points.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald