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Indians outscore visiting Lions 17-2 in fourth quarter of 42-33 comeback Thursday

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Scappoose's Kaylee Wegner (21) attacks the basket against St. Helens' Kaela Lee (23).

The Lions took charge early Thursday, but the hometown Indians found a way to win their first Seven-Mile War in three years.

St. Helens shooting went cold in the second half as Scappoose outscored the Lions 25-9 in the late stages of a 42-33 rallying win.

"I felt like it took a lot of patience and poise to break down their press, along with more passing and avoiding the trap," said Lea Brodala, a Tribe senior guard who scored six of her 10 points in the final eight minutes. "To keep the easy buckets down, we communicated well and played good help defense."

Sierra Stafford's shot at last gave the Indians (1-0 overall) their 32-31 go-ahead with 4:12 left, and Scappoose laid up St. Helens turnovers atop its arc and jumped ahead 38-33 at 1:57.

"Finish," said the Tribe, breaking its last timeout gathering, in which coach Joe Girres preached ball security as the Lions (0-1) looked to pry away possession with 37 seconds to play.

"We shut them down," Girres said. "I think going from 17 turnovers in the first half to seven or eight in the second helped."

With the win, the Indians beat their Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference rival-to-be for the fourth time in seven years, a series decided by a Scappoose-friendly average score of 39-36.

St. Helens' Kaela Lee sank a pair of open 3-pointers from the right shoulder in the second quarter, and Maddie Holm cleaned the glass for second-chance points and a 19-9 Lions lead with 7:11 to intermission.

"I think what helped us the most is that we never gave up and we played all four quarters," said Tribe junior post Emily Kopra, who came away with nine points. "We wanted to win, especially in our house, against St. Helens. Our team also played with chemistry that we haven't had for a while, which helped us gain more confidence, especially towards the end of the game. I think we definitely feel more prepared this year now that or team is older and has gained more experience as well."

Lee and Holm, who finished with six and 17 respective points, patrolled the timeline to intercept Indians passes in the Lions' press, and St. Helens led 24-17 at the half.

"I thought we played well for our first game," said Holm, a sophomore forward. "We definitely have things to work on but, being the first game of the season, we didn't do too bad."

Scappoose's quick passing beat the press in the early third as the Tribe fed Kopra in the paint and kept Holm from the offensive glass with a 2-3 zone defense, but the Lions stayed ahead 31-25 through three quarters.

"I thought it was a good first game for us," St. Helens coach Brittaney Niebergall said. "I thought we did some really good things at times. We obviously saw some areas we really need to focus on and get straightened out: Defensive rebounding and making sure we are in the right spot all of the time, not just part of the time, but all of the time. We played hard and had good composure, which I really liked, but we let it slip away from us in the fourth quarter. We look forward to getting back to work at practice."

The Indians are scheduled next to hit the road for Class 4A first-round qualifier Madras at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at the same time as which St. Helens is set to play at Class 5A first-rounder Dallas.

SCAPPOOSE 42, ST. HELENS 33

Thursday, Nov. 30, in Scappoose

SH 14 10 7 2 -- 33

S 9 8 8 17 -- 42

ST. HELENS (0-1) -- Maddie Holm 17; Kaela Lee 6; Madi Flores 6; Myranda Northrop 2; Trinity Degraffenreid 2. 3-point goals: 4 (Lee 2, Flores 2). Total fouls: 11. 12 5-11 33.

SCAPPOOSE (1-0) -- Lea Brodala 10; Emily Kopra 9; Sierra Stafford 5; Shaylan Smith 5; Kaylee Wegner 5; Allison Wills 4; Payton Fisher 2; Sara Mills 2. 3-point goals: 1 (Stafford). Total fouls: 15. 19 3-6 42.

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