By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Something just clicked for the South Salem Girls Basketball team to close out the first half of their game with Sprague.
With 2:45 left in their 64-49 win over the Olympians, the Saxons led 21-18 on Sprague’s Senior Night. Seemingly making the game into an interesting one before South Salem found a rhythm to close out the first half. Doing so with a 11-4 run to take a 33-22 lead into the halftime break.
Not much, but it gave the Saxons some confidence coming out for the third quarter as they paced Sprague and kept their lead to around ten going into the fourth quarter where they extended the lead to 59-43 midway through the final frame of the Central Valley Conference victory.
“It was just changing our mental attitude going into it. If we make a mistake on offense, get back on defense and get a stop. It was just little bit by little bit. There’s no 20-point play or five-point play, if you can get a stop on defense then get something on offense, it’s an easy game,” South Salem’s Sadie Peterson said. “It’s just improving our rankings right now, we’re on the lower side of things. If we can get those two games (against) done, then we’ll be set for playoffs. One game at a time, one quarter at a time.”
Peterson finished with 18 points to lead the Saxons, Maggie Lapray added another 15 and Emma Burlison contributed another 12 for South Salem. Alyssa Meza, on her Senior Night, led Sprague with 15 points. And as frustrating as this game was for her and fellow senior Paige Huynh, who scored two points Friday night, they know they have two games left in the season to cap off the great season that Sprague is having sitting at 12-11 on the year.
“We can’t get too excited, it’s good to win some games, but we need to focus on what’s coming. We have to keep working towards our goal and keep getting ready for our next game, which is going to be against West (Salem). It’s going to be a tough game but we can handle it,” Meza said. “West is a great group of girls and have played for a long time. Something that has been tough for us is the press, they have a good press and they got some tall girls. We need to learn to stay calm under pressure and handle the ball well, we have our ten seconds to get it up the court, so take our time, get some easy shots and lay-ins.”
Carly Skogstad scored 14 points for the Olys in the game as Sprague closes out the season at West Salem on Friday. The Saxons head to North Salem on Tuesday before closing out the season Friday at home against McNary,
Photos By Jeremy McDonald