By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Oakland’s defense didn’t make it easy for the Regis offense to score in the Lady Rams 37-31 victory Saturday night.
Of Regis’ 37 points, 15 were from the line on 21 opportunities. While the 71.4-percent at the line may be great, considering nearly 41-percent of the Rams offensive output came at the line, speaking volumes on how challenging it was for Regis to get a clean shot off against their Central Valley Conference opposition on this night.
And just as tough as the Oakland defense was in boxing out and contesting for rebounds, the Rams were just as tough on their defensive end too in not allowing a three to be scored against them and limiting the Oakers trip to the line.
“It’s really hard to play defense, but defense wins games. I think boxing out and rebounding are important on defense and it’s hard to do against people like this, but we did it well,” said Ava Sibernagel, who had five points.
Their last three games have certainly been tough now standing at 4-1 in league and 12-4 overall, their 12 wins the most since the 16-13 2016-2017 Regis team.
Having lost a seven-point game to Monroe Tuesday and winning tight battles against Jefferson Thursday and now Oakland has showed the Rams what they’re capable of going into their game against Lowell Tuesday on the road.
“Just knowing that we can play with the best,” said Lily Persons. “Those are all three really good teams and knowing that we can compete with them is really reassuring.”
Regis currently sits a game-behind the Dragons and Central Linn entering this upcoming week in third-place in league. The Rams play the Cobras Friday to wrap up the first loop through league.
And with the game entering it’s home stretch, the final 2:03 actually, the only difference as the lead was traded to the Oakers before the Rams regained it was at the free throw line. As much as the game was a physical one, certainly both teams had their chances to either take the lead or seal the deal.
With the score at 32-31 Regis, finally the difference happened as Persons pushed the Rams lead to 34-31 with 24.2 seconds left and again with 11.8 when she made it 35-31. Oakland’s crowd was going crazy as were the Regis student section as it came down to these free throws.
“With the free throws, I just had to block everything out. Block the crowd out and focus on the shot. We just played good team basketball,” said Persons. “We moved the ball and we had good defense and that got us the win.”
Brooklyn Cross would seal the win from any last second comebacks by the Oakers, hitting two free throws herself, Cross finished with four points in the win.
Persons finished with 11 points and 9-for-11 at the free throw line. Ellie Witten finished with 12 for Oakland.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald