By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Chemeketa Women’s Basketball team have been playing short-handed since the NWAC Crossover Tournament the weekend of December 15, playing most nights with just seven girls dressed down and ready to play. Raising to the occasion as they’ve gone 3-7 over that span with wins over Blue Mountain, Tacoma and Southwestern Oregon Community College. The latter opened NWAC South Region play back on January 4 at Coos Bay.
And of note, of their three defeats being within ten points and a fourth being a 13 point spread following their 50-37 defeat to Umpqua Community College Wednesday evening. Showing that they’ll go to battle and still go hard game-in, game-out with teams on their schedule.
“We’re playing really well off it, I think it’s making us smarter with basketball and making us not foul as much. It’s getting us in pretty good shape, I don’t know, I think we’re doing pretty well,” said Storm freshman Bailey Pedersen.
The Salem Academy-grad scored 11 points with three rebounds in the game. South Eugene’s Jenna Glenzel led the way with 16 points with South Salem’s Malyah Bolden, and Stayton’s Karlee Tyler each leading the team with seven rebounds each as Chemeketa found themselves within striking distance of the Riverhawks going into the fourth quarter.
The Storm, down 46-33 going into the final frame, heled Umpqua scoreless through the first three minutes of the frame and to four points total as their defense clamped down even more despite playing with six girls on their bench on this particular night. The downside of the strong defensive effort was that they couldn’t do much damage on the opposite side of the court. Their shots weren’t falling as they couldn’t make a run at the ‘Hawks down the stretch as they too were held to four points total in the frame with all four points scored by Glenzel.
Despite the defeat however, Chemeketa (7-12, 1-6 NWAC South) will look to continue to improve and work with what they have as they head up to Clark College before heading back to the Storm Center at Chemeketa Community College February 4 against the Lakers of SWOCC.
“It’s tough, but it’s basketball, they’re not always going to fall. But I like that we all just kept our heart in it, kept playing and did all we could do,” Pedersen said of the fourth quarter. “We’re all getting this great opportunity, we’re all playing hard and I think we’re all ready for Clark.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald