By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.—It is hard to imagine losing four crucial seniors from the previous year’s team in the Mid-Willamette Conference and be a few plays from being 3-0 like Silverton is sitting 2-1 on the year following their 57-43 win over Crescent Valley Monday night.
But the girls have stepped up. Filling up the shoes left by girls like Riley Traeger and Ellie Schmitz, taking their bumps with the live bullets given to them with this short, six-week season, they and the State of Oregon are given.
“I think they’re doing great. We had a great shot against Corvallis (Saturday) who…Corvallis, Crescent Valley, West Albany they’re kind of the big dogs this year. We were at Corvallis tied with 15 seconds left and I think the girls are doing great,” Foxes Head Coach Tal Wold said. “It’s the nicest, funniest, easiest group to coach.
“We just need to get better. We don’t have those days to get better because we’re playing so much, so we’re trying to use games as opportunities to get better. First quarter we did this, we got to do a little bit better in the second quarter, so we’re really taking advantage of any opportunities to learn and get better.”
Silverton’s youth showed in the opening half with turnovers, missed shot opportunities as the Raiders led as much as five late in the first half. But the Foxes’ grit, athleticism and determination helped keep Silverton hanging around as they went into the second half down 21-19.
The third quarter was when things really took off for the Foxes. Looking like the Silverton squad of the past few seasons, outscoring Crescent Valley 27-10 in the frame. Turning the two-point deficit into a 46-31 lead entering the fourth quarter.
“At halftime we talked one, we were getting good looks and kept shooting. I thought we had some great looks in the first half and two, (Crescent Valley) so good at what they do. That match-up zone and it’s hard to find holes, nooks-and-crannies. We did and the shots started falling and we had a little more pep in our step and that was huge,” Wold said.
Truitt Reilly scored 12 of her 28 points in the third quarter and 20 of her points in the second half as Silverton slowly began to find gaps for their post player to make a play. Kyleigh Brown had eight points to seven from Paige Traeger in the victory, pacing in the 14-point home win.
Gabby Bland led the Raiders with nine points. Ana McClave contributed eight for Crescent Valley.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald