St. Paul Shuts Down Scio In Season Opener

By Jeremy McDonald

ST. PAUL, Ore.—It was one of those nights that you saw the difference in experience levels in two teams playing in their home openers.

For St. Paul, its probably safe to say that they’ll be one of the favorites to compete for the 1A State Title this year with their strong core of athletes as they built a 41-8 lead on Scio entering the halftime break and hit two three-pointers early in the third quarter as they worked the rust off in their season opener.

There was some expectation of having that nervous-exciting feeling with it being the first game of the season, but the Lady Buckaroos shook it off in a hurry when Isabelle Wyss and company jumped to a 21-4 lead after the first quarter.

“I was definitely expecting us to be more frizzled.  Usually the first game is when you have all that adrenaline and I think we really controlled that really well.  So I was really surprised by that, it was really good,” said Isabelle Wyss, who had 18 points in the 78-13 win over the Loggers Wednesday night.

Scio’s Olivia Betty (15) and St. Paul’s Erin Counts (25) reacting to the ball during a free throw (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Scio enters the season with a lot of new Varsity faces and only one Senior as all three of their freshman and their three sophomores saw the court Thursday as you could tell they were nervous with many of them not having much or any Varsity experience entering tonight’s game.

The nerves were there as they went up against different presses by St. Paul that forced them to commit turnovers and fouls and miss easy opportunities.  But in defeat as they enter their second game of the season versus Santiam Christian at home Friday night, this first game has gave them an opportunity to rebound and give them a chance to improve entering Week 2 of the season.

They talked about how they could improve moving forward in the locker room following the game as they try to learn from this game and put it in the past.

“We’ve been working our butts off, but we knew it was going to be a little rough.  We’re prepared to come out tomorrow and do a lot better in our home game tomorrow,” said Scio’s Kaitlyn Kuzma.  “We’ve already talked about the mistakes as each individual has had and as a team.  There’s certain plays that we go through, so as a team we talked about what we need to do better such as turnovers or whatever it is.

“We’re going to take our mistakes and limit all of those and we’re going to try to make each individual better.”\

St. Paul’s Rachel Vela preparing to inbound the ball during Thursday’s game (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Loggers Laurel Otto led the team with six points.  Alexus Franklin, Emma Imel, Shealyn Harrison and Olivia Betty all scored two points each.

St. Paul’s Erin Counts led all scorers with 20 points, Abby Gonzalez had 14 and Emma Connor had eight points in the win with the Lady Bucks looking to improve their rebounding to the style of play that they want to play entering this season.

“Improving our rebounding, just overall as a team just getting the rebounds,” said Wyss.  “We’re a pretty fast team, we like to do things very quickly and it’s all about being patient and run plays.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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