By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– The South Albany press and aggressive play on defense created a new kind of headache for the Silverton Girls Basketball team Friday night at South Albany High School.
It was one of the few times that the Redhawks had ran this particular defensive set, but it worked out exceptionally well against the Foxes in their 34-33 win over the Mid-Willamette Conference leading Silverton squad. Holding Silverton’s Kyleigh Brown to four points with Taylor Donaldson led the way with 14 points for the Redhawks, all while keeping themselves in striking distance of the teams in front of them sitting in fourth in the league standings coming out of Friday’s win.
“The defense, we just communicated like we’ve been running it our whole lives. That was the second time we’ve ever ran that defense, our teamwork and communication really helped us,” Donaldson said. “It’s huge. This (win) is insane,it’s a really good feeling. It was really our energy and effort, we’ve really been working on it and playing as a team that made us win this game. We just got to keep working, going hard in practice and pushing each other and keep celebrating the wins.”
Lily Hayashida filled the scoring void with 14 points herself for Silverton. The game was infuriating to say the least as consistency, energy and rebounding was their enemy as they watched their eight-game winning streak snapped.
But with their strong start to league, currently 12-1 on league play, they knew the target had been on their backs. And with five games remaining on their league schedule, including games against West Albany, Crescent Valley and Corvallis, there are plenty of opportunities for the squad to bounce back from this defense and continue to piece everything together with the season drawing to a close.
“It was super eye-opening and I think it’s good, just a hard practice and get them next time, go back on Tuesday and get a win. It’s a really good opportunity to just, ‘ok we’re off-track a little bit, let’s get back on track’ and back to where we want to be, especially in the postseason and eventually onto state,” Hayashida said. “We’re doing very well. Just really getting into our heads and keeping that energy up. Rebounding was definitely a struggle for us this game, just remembering to hit and go-get. But as a team, we’re working really well.
The Foxes travel to play West Albany on Tuesday, South Albany hosts Dallas on Tuesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald