By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Maggie Lapray did all she could to lead her South Salem Girls Basketball team back into contention with Central to close out the Capitol City Classic Wednesday night.
Her shooting, plus strong defense turned a 31-16 halftime deficit to the Panthers to a 40-34 workable deficit 635 left in the game. Scoring 14 of her 17 points in the final two quarters with four of her five three-pointers coming in the final 16 minutes of the game.
It was a tough deficit to comeback from. Sadie Wendring went off in the first half with 16 of her 26 points and the Saxons struggled to keep her in check during the first half, but here was South knocking on the door of possibly a nice little win going into the Holiday break.
“We had a tough first half, so we knew someone had to step up and start the groove. Yes I made the buckets, but someone had to get me the ball,” laughs Lapray. “My teammates did a good job getting me the ball and realizing I was hot. They kept on feeding me and feeding me. They started face guarding me so it gave our other teammates opportunities to attack the basket.
“The second half we really talked on defense and that was the big thing. In the first half we really weren’t talking, we were kinda slow and we didn’t know who we were guarding. That second half we really stepped up.”
But the Panthers weren’t done as they slowed the run and kept their lead in check up around that ten-point mark. Denying the local Salem team from completing the comeback they were looking for. Closing out the CCC with a win after falling to Putnam on Tuesday.
“It was a huge first half. South Salem, they’re a good team and they play physical. Our goal was to be explosive and strong. Push the ball and that’s what helped us getting out in front,” Sadie Wendring said. “(The second half) was huge. Our coach called a timeout to get our composure together and we talked about running through things smoothly and just working as a team better. That’s when it started to click and we were able to pull away.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald