By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The question, coming out of Silverton’s 58-48 win over Forest Grove, was what the heck happened during the first four minutes coming out of the halftime break?
The Foxes jumped out to a 18-7 lead after the first quarter and the 11-point margin held going into the halftime break up 27-16. But in a matter of minutes, Silverton’s 11-point lead evaporated and the Foxes found themselves in a 32-28 hole midway through the third quarter.
“We came out and weren’t ready. We came out not really focused on how we played in the third quarter, but then we came together, stopped fouling and played better defense,” said Kyleigh Brown. “We really had to come together there at the end, make some shots and play good defense. Really focus.”
Silverton settled down in the chaos that surrounded them and finished the quarter strongly. Turning the four-point hole into a lead once more leading 40-35 behind a 12-3 run to close out the frame.
“We’ve had a lot of close games in the past and we kind of know what happens if you don’t always put it all forward and play our hardest in the fourth quarter, things would go bad,” Paige Traeger said. “I feel like that just motivated us to come back from it and work super hard in the fourth.”
The battle tested Foxes’ lead returned to near double-digits two-and-a-half minutes into the fourth as they led the Vikings 46-38, turning back Forest Grove’s rally after that small stretch. Silverton’s win is their fourth in five games after starting the season 0-2 with the squad seeking their fifth in six Wednesday at South Eugene.
Four of their seven games so far have been within ten points, going 2-2 in those games and are sitting 4-3 on the year as they look to continue to grow as a team.
“It’s definitely has helped us become closer and know what we have to do to win games. There’s times in games where you’re winning by a lot, you don’t have to try as hard and you don’t get that same type of bond that you get like with a team that has to play in all of these close games,” Traeger said. “I feel like we’re learning a lot about ourselves and what we need to do to come out with the win.”
Traeger finished with 18 points while Brown had a game-high 26 points. Katelyn Petersen led Forest Grove with 14 points and Lily Evenson contributed another 11 points for the Vikings. Forest Grove will play host to Lake Oswego December 29.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald