La Salle Prep girls pull away in second half, roll past Hillsboro, 43-23
La Salle Prep's Taycee Wedin overcame a slow start to score nine of her game-high 14 points in the second half as the Falcons pulled away for a 43-23 Northwest Oregon Conference girls' basketball home win Friday over the Hillsboro Spartans.
Colby Jansen finished with seven points, and Kylie Burg added six points and a game-high 12 rebounds to help the first-place Falcons (13-4, 7-0 NWOC) close out the first half of league play with a one-game lead over Wilsonville.
Namoi Johnson led Hillsboro with nine points, and Katherine Salas had seven points and three steals for the Spartans (8-9, 5-2), who had a four-game win streak snapped.
Defense dominated both ends of the court in the first half, which ended with La Salle holding a 19-12 lead despite shooting 25 percent (5 for 20) from the field and 23.1 percent (3 for 13) from three-point range.
Hillsboro's McKenzie Staub grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed three-pointer and scored to cut La Salle's lead to 19-16 with 5:24 to play in the third quarter, but that was as close as the Spartans came to catching La Salle in the second half.
The Falcons outscored Hillsboro 5-2 in the final 2:18 of the third quarter to extend the lead to 24-18, and then opened the fourth with a 10-2 run that all but put the game out of reach with under four minutes to play.
"We needed to make Hillsboro pay for putting so much ball pressure on us," Falcons coach Kelli Wedin said. "We talked about it and the coaches were like, 'We've got to attack! We've got to attack!'
"And you tell the girls and tell the girls, and then it clicks, and that's what we did. All my kids are capable of attacking off the bounce and getting to the rim, and it's almost as if teams are saying, 'Hey, can you do this?'"
Hillsboro paid extra attention to Wedin, the St. Mary's-bound guard who went into Friday's game averaging 20.6 points. The Spartans had Isabel Mosley, Johnson and Martinez take turns shadowing Wedin's every move, holding the Falcons' leading scorer to five first-half points on 2-for-9 shooting from the field.
"The plan was to limit her touches, limit her shots, make sure we're blocking her out, and make sure we're doing everything in our power to make her have an off night," Spartans coach Sara Harsin said. "She's a really good player, and we have some really good defenders, and I thought they did a really good job on her for the first three quarters.
"Obviously, we had to change things up in the fourth quarter, because we needed the ball. But we played hard. A call here, a call there and who knows what the outcome would have been."
And instead of one Wedin on the floor at La Salle to contend with, now there are two.
Taycee's younger sister Addison, the 5-foot-10 freshman guard who missed the first 16 games of the season while recovering from reconstructive surgery to her left knee, made her high school debut against Hillsboro, coming off the La Salle bench with six points, three rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
"Obviously, Addie isn't up to speed, but you can see that she helps," said Kelli Wedin, the Falcons' coach and mother to both players. "Her first game has been such a hyped-up thing that it was tough for her the last couple of days. She's been really nervous, so it was good to just get her in and get her some minutes, and I think she's going to be a big lift for us once she gets up to speed."
Hillsboro scored six points in each of the first three quarters and then had only five in the fourth quarter. For the game, the Spartans shot 18.9 percent (7 for 37) from the field and 5.3 percent (1 for 19) from three-point range.
"That's not us," Harsin said. "We're shooting the ball a heckuva lot better than that. But those were good shots. We were just a little tense I think. We've just got to loosen up a little bit.
"We have a group of kids that is real capable. We've seen some glimpses. We've just got to make sure that we keep improving as a group."
The Falcons still have yet to lose a regular-season league game since making the jump from the 4A Tri-Valley Conference to the 5A NWOC, running their record to 53-0 since the start of the 2014-15 season.
"I think we're really good defensively right now, and I think there's still some great room for improvement," Kelli Wedin said. "But we're really locked in and we've been real specific about what it is we want to do on defense.
"We love these kinds of games. They're stressful, but that was a playoff atmosphere and Hillsboro is a team that is capable of beating anybody on any given night. I'm super-proud of my kids. They were resilient and relentless, and they never got rattled tonight."