Lake Oswego — Runner-ups to Inglewood (WA) in last year’s Nike Interstate Shootout, the St. Mary’s Academy Blues entered their opening match with West Albany looking for a bounce back victory after falling to West Salem 46-38 last Friday, taking their first loss after a 3-0 start. West Albany came in looking to snap a two game losing streak following their 2-0 start to the season.
Jewyl Newton opened the game with a layup for St. Mary’s, getting the Blues ahead 2-0 before Lyndsay Bailey tied it up with a pair of free throws. After trading buckets, St. Mary’s went on a 4-0 run to take an early 8-4 lead, but West Albany tied it up with back to back buckets by McKenzie Kosmicki. Macy Douglass scored on back to back possessions to hand St. Mary’s the lead again, and the Blues led 14-12 after one quarter of play.
West Albany would take the lead to open the second, going on a 4-0 run to lead 16-14. St. Mary’s took the lead back 18-16 before a pair of Lily Ruiz free throws knotted it back up again at 18 apiece. The Blues then punched the gas and took a 6-0 run right to the Bulldogs, with Anna Eddy’s trey putting an exclamation point on a 24-18 lead. The Bulldogs would close out the half on a 4-1 run to trail 25-22 into the half. Brooklyn Strandy led all scorers with 10 points for West Albany, Jewyl Newton led the Blues with eight first half points.
Leading 25-22, St. Mary’s extended the lead to 29-22 to open the second half, but a Strandy trey, a pair of free throws, and a layup allowed West Albany to tie it at 29 each. The Blues then brought out their handy dandy defense, blowing open a 39-29 lead thanks to pressure defense that led to turnovers, and the Blues would lead 41-32 after three quarters of play. Playing defense still, St. Mary’s would build a lead as large as 15 points in the final frame, as West Albany struggled to put anything together offensively while the Blues were consistent enough to pad the advantage, and St. Mary’s advanced to the quarterfinals of the Nike Interstate Shootout 57-43 over West Albany. West Albany’s Brooklyn Strandy had 16 points, Macy Douglass led the Blues with 14 points, and Marley Johnson had 12 points.
Advancing to the quarterfinals of the Nike Interstate Shootout, Marley Johnson and Macy Douglass both discussed the Blues offensive and defensive efforts, along with the keys to success in the Three Rivers League for St. Mary’s.
Marley Johnson on the second half defensive adjustments, “The biggest adjustment was really communicating better. They were setting a lot of screens and we weren’t really switching well in the first half, so we started communicating better through those screens and really just playing more aggressive.”
Macy Douglass on the Blues feeling after the win, “Lots of celebration and excitement. We lost our last game so it feels good to get back and play like we’re used to, but there’s still looking over everything and look to see what we can still improve on, but its a good feeling.”
Marley Johnson on competing with the Three Rivers League this season, “Communicating and rebounding are going to be the biggest things, and we aren’t a very big team so if we can rebound and get in transition, we’re going to be a strong, quick team to beat.”
Macy Douglass on the Blues offensive philosophy, “We run mostly a motion offense, we look to pass the ball around as much as we can to find the little holes in the defense. As long we can move the ball around, we can get the ball to our smaller posts, or kick it out to our shooters if we can’t. We’ve also got a bunch of players who are willing to direct to the basket and get a foul, so as long as we know our jobs and what we do best then we’ll do fine.”
St. Mary’s (4-1) advances to play either defending champion Inglemoor (WA) or Glencoe in the quarterfinals, West Albany (2-3) faces the loser of the same game on Saturday