By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The third quarter of Tuesday’s 52-45 win against Tigard showed what the South Salem Girls Basketball team is capable of.
Their defense was locked down good, their offense turning opportunities into points, they kept the fouls and turnovers to a minimal as they turned a 22-17 halftime lead into a 45-26 lead seconds into the fourth quarter. The run included a 21-9 streak in the third quarter that helped separate the Saxons from the Tigers.
Head Coach Adrian Lewis was reminded how those runs were similar to the ones that they had two years ago when they could make those 10-0 runs and had the defense to back it up.
“It’s a little bit of experience. Some of the girls are coming back not playing much and we’re expecting a lot of things so it was really good to see them bring it together at half and we really turned it up on defense,” Lewis said.
“Our coach told us we had to keep on pushing and when we came out we were like, ‘we just have to keep digging hard. Cut them off early so in the fourth quarter they can’t come back,” adds Maggie Lapray.
It was the work in practice that helped them in their moment of need as they held six-foot-four-inch Sarah Lamet to 15 points. A far cry from the 20-point average Lewis points out with Tigard looking for other ways to beat South Salem down the stretch.
And the Tigers did make a late run at it. Turning the 19-point lead 15 seconds into the fourth quarter to a 50-41 game with 45 seconds remaining, catching the Saxons on their heels a bit with the little things catching up with South.
The little things in fouls, in hurrying plays, in the finer details of the game that had allowed the game to get back within striking distance before the Saxons had shut the door in the closing seconds.
“It was really good for us, we need to work on our ending a little bit,” laughed Lapray. “But to win, this was a tough team and we came out with a lot of confidence. This game shows that we can play against anybody and that we just have to play as hard as we can.”
The win snapped Tigard’s five-game winning streak that dated back to the Spring when the Tigers (2-1) won their three games 6A Cumulative Week Grey Bracket at Ida B. Wells High School in June.
A quality win for a still relatively young South team against a program that has always been in the hunt come playoff time in the classification.
“It was huge,” Lewis said of the win. “(Sarah Lamet) is dominant. She’s been averaging 27 points a game, she only had 15 against us. That was a big emphasis.
“Not a lot of people gave us a lot of respect this year and we got a little chip on our shoulders, so everyone’s watching because we got something going over here.”
Lapray led the way with 14 points and six rebounds. Maddie Dustin led the Saxons with eight rebounds and four steals to go with eight points. The Tigers Anna Follett contributed ten points.
The Saxons improved to 2-0 on the year with the win with South Eugene coming to town Friday. Tip-off is at 6:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald