By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– Silverton made sure they made a statement to open the 2021-2022 season and that they’re going to be the same tough out that they’ve always been.
They made sure that, despite the 53-51 double overtime defeat to Jesuit Wednesday night, that they made it as clear as crystal going back to practice Thursday.
But it was hard to imagine. Down at one point in the fourth quarter 36-29 midway through the final round of regulation that these two physical teams would have played another eight minutes beyond the 32 it looked like they were about to just have.
Momentum was against them. The Crusaders were winning the rebounding game and translating them into points, it was actually around this time that the Foxes offense were shaking off the Fall rust after a slow first three quarters in which they scored 24 points.
Little things that they can improve upon as they prepare for Tualatin on Friday at Tualatin.
“Definitely talking (more). We’ve had a lot of those screens down low in the post where we need to talk and where the ball’s coming from,” Justina Semerikov said.
Silverton began chipping away. Semerikov and Kyleigh Brown led the charge offensively as the Foxes buckled down, eventually taking the lead with 13 seconds left off a Brown basket only to see Jesuit’s Emma Sixta tie it up at 40 at the line to force overtime.
Lilly Horner put Silverton ahead 44-40 in the opening minute of the extra time, only to see the Crusaders pull them back in.
Neither team could get the advantage with the game going to double overtime. Triple overtime came to be with the game tied at 48 with 1:50 left in double overtime. The confidence was there as Paige Traeger hit a three to put Silverton ahead 51-50 entering the final minute of the frame.
“I think it gave us a lot of confidence…it just shows us that is what we can do this season moving on and showing that we can compete with some of the best teams in the State,” Brown said. “It was good to see everyone fight back, we had a rough third quarter. I think they scored 18, so it was great to see us come together and go into double overtime.
“We just need to move past this loss and get ready for Tualatin. Have a good practice tomorrow and be ready for the next one.”
The final defensive possession in the closing seconds of the game was all you could ask for despite the eventual result with 2.1 seconds left. Silverton did not give any room for Jesuit to shoot a clean shot, but the Crusaders eventually found a hole in the Foxes defense that Carly Hicks took and hit.
That dagger three-pointer was all that was needed to separate the two hard-working, scrappy teams to end the opening day of the season. But regardless of the result, it’s a building block, a step towards possibly an successful season ahead for the Foxes.
“It took a team effort to get back into it and that’s so positive for us. It makes us look forward to the next games,” Semerikov said.
Semerikov scored four of her five points in the fourth quarter. Brown had a team-high 23 points and Lily Hayashida added 12, all three-pointers. Sixta led all scorers with 24 points and Kendra Hicks had 15 for Jesuit.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald