By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– There is no denying the talent that Salem Academy’s Bailey Pedersen has. The Junior has been showcasing it since she entered the High School playing field.
The first-year Crusader player, transferring from Cascade, went off for four first-half three-pointers. Pedersen finished with 20 points. Her seven rebounds matched that of Dylainee Carmony, Aly Herber and Malena Robnett.
Pedersen’s four steals was matched by Annabelle Brawley as Salem Academy picked up their fifth-straight win Thursday afternoon, defeating Culver 62-31.
“It was pretty big trying to get the run on them,” Pedersen said of her performance. “They just got off the bus and it’s a long-drive and we just wanted to put pedal-to-the-metal and get the lead as quick as we can. We just wanted to get out there and just go.”
It was a sluggish start to the game, the Bulldogs hanging around down 12-6, 14-8, before Salem Academy exploded. Finishing the first quarter on a 6-0 run. And though they had a slightly similar slow start to the second quarter, the Crusaders continued their roll into half having pushed their lead to 34-13.
Their 0-2 start to the season seemed like so far ago sitting now at 5-2 on the year.
“We bounced back and are ready to play Kennedy and Gervais, we’re ready to go,” Herber said. “We have to be ready to go (against Gervais), we just need to lock down on defense. Who’s their shooters, know who’s going to shoot and where people are and we’ll be good if we do that.”
The Cougars have been firing on all cylinders this season, carrying over last season’s mojo into 2021 coming off their big win against the Trojans earlier this week. The Kyle Buse defense will test them offensively as their defense looks to calm down their offense on the other side of the court.
“We just got to come out and know we’re guarding and who we’re defending. We just have to be smart,” Pedersen said. “We can’t force. We just got to play basketball. Got to look at the open man, do what we can and play with us.”
The Crusaders polished off the win and worked on the little things as they entered the final week of the regular season knowing Gervais is a game ahead of them in the standings entering the final week of the season.
Carmony had 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Herber had nine points to seven boards and three steals.
Culver’s Tegan Macy had ten points and four rebounds and Sierra Bautista had nine points and seven rebounds in the game.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald