Sweet Home — Friday night opened Oregon West Conference play for the Woodburn Bulldogs and Sweet Home Huskies, two girls basketball programs looking for consistency to make a run at a state playoff berth. Woodburn entered on a four game losing streak to open the new year, while Sweet Home opened 2020 with a victory over Elmira.
Aria Kent opened the game with a trey, getting Woodburn an early 3-0 lead. Becky Belcher got the Huskies on the board with a bucket, but an 8-0 run got the Bulldogs out in front 11-2 in the early going. Sweet Home, led by Adaira Burger, went on a 5-0 run to cut the advantage to 11-7. Kiana Christiansen’s trey near the end of the half made it 14-7 Woodburn after one quarter of play. Burger opened the second on an individual 3-0 run to cut it 14-10, and after a Taiya Kent score, the Huskies went on a 6-0 run to tie up the game at 16 apiece. The teams traded buckets and with Woodburn leading 19-18, Sweet Home closed the half on a 3-0 run to lead 21-19 at the half.
Trailing 24-21, Woodburn went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead 29-24 over Sweet Home early in the third quarter. Belcher’s individual 4-0 run to cut it to 29-28, but Woodburn’s 6-0 run to close the half gave the Bulldogs a 35-28 lead after three quarters. In the final frame, the teams traded runs back and forth, with neither team really able to catch nor breakaway from the other, with the Bulldogs finally pulling away late for the 49-36 victory to end their losing streak and open the conference season with a win.
With an important win for their program, Woodburn’s Aria Kent and Briana Cruz Bogarin discussed the importance of the victory, finding consistency in conference, and the road ahead for the Bulldogs.
Briana Cruz Bogarin on the importance of the win, “I think its huge for us. Being a program that is rebuilding, the coaching staff has completely changed us and we’re more focused and hard working. This win is just so important for us, and it helps us remember that we can win and will win in the future.”
Aria Kent on staying motivated in close games, “We really had to focus on going at our pace. In other games, we were rushing it and our offense was just not us, so we need to focus on what we can do best because what we can do the best is what we will be executing on the best.”
Briana Cruz Bogarin on the keys for the Bulldogs making the playoffs, “We’re really the underdogs, we’re a lot shorter than everybody. Its going to be our hustle, our willingness to get the ball, just outplay the other team.”
Aria Kent on Woodburn’s things to improve upon, “We can work on making sure that when we get a jump on an opponent, we need to stay consistent when it comes to keeping the lead, but we also need to do well both offensively and defensively by running at our pace, which is when we do our best out there.”
Woodburn (4-7, 1-0) travels to Corbett on Wednesday, Sweet Home (6-6, 0-1) faces #1 Philomath on the road Tuesday.