By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Stayton’s Lydia Bielenberg stepped up big in going into the second half of Thursday evening’s game against Marshfield. Hitting a big three-pointer towards the end of the first half and carried the momentum over into the second half as the Eagles were down 30-20 late in the game.
Being one of two seniors on the team, alongside Haili Nyquist, Bielenberg knew the magnitude for her in stepping up to help her relatively young team out as she scored eight of her 13 points in the second half. And with Liv Smart healing up from an injury that put girls in different spots in the line-up, the Eagles were looking for that spark plug to aid them through a tough challenge facing the Pirates.
“Right now having one of our big’s injured and trying to get my team to run controlled, stay calm and not get frazzled with everything is a really big thing for me and my point guard ( Nyquist) to get us to stick together,” Bielenberg said. “It’s a really big deal for us. We’re playing with a younger team right now. We’re the only two seniors right now, one junior and the rest are sophomore/freshman. So we’re just trying to bring them up before we head into league is really going to help our team out.”
Filling in the void for Smart’s size and physicality has been a challenge as some guards were called upon to fill her void in the trenches. But faced with that adversity in non-league could come beneficial come Oregon West Conference time and possibly a playoff push if they’re called upon to step into different roles.
On this particular day, the Pirates of the coast showed why they were tough however, using the three-point shot along with their size and length to help keep Stayton at bay as they closed out the 45-29 victory to advance to the SCTC Holiday Tournament Championship while the Eagles look to finish in third at the home tournament.
“It’s been a pretty big deal trying to fill in those spots until we can get her better and back into the game with us,” Bielenberg said. “This is a really big learning experience for us. I think it’s good for us to play in games like this, even losing like this we worked hard and I feel like we did really good. Being able to play bigs like this prepares us for later in the season when we see other big posts like that. It really helped us really see what else is out there on the court. Being able to see around those big, long arms. Being able to get the passes in and make hard shots. It really helped us, I think it was good for us.”
Paige Macduff had 12 points for Marshfield and Kate Miles had nine points.Haley Butenschoen had seven points for the Eagles.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald