St. Helens girls' basketball gaining steam
The Lions reached last winter's win total at home Tuesday in repaying a 47-44 loss to Gresham on the very same floor.
St. Helens (3-5 overall) finished the Gophers (0-5) in 50-26 fashion and claimed its third game in a row for the first time since it beat Hood River Valley at home Jan. 9, 2015, and gave up its fewest points since it beat Scappoose 35-18 in the 2015-16 opener.
"We didn't play as well as we could've and should've and we struggled with some things, but it was still a win so we'll take it," said Maddie Holm, a Lions sophomore post who led with 32 points.
St. Helens beat its first Class 6A rival since it got the better of Madison and Lakeridge last year, and will strive to improve its fortunes after losing its final 16 games last year.
"What I liked about [Tuesday]'s game was being able to see all the girls get some minutes on the court," said Myranda Northrop, a Lions senior guard who scored seven of her nine points in the first quarter and jumpstarted her side to a 13-5 lead in the first eight minutes. "I also like how we play as a team and have our coaches [Brittaney Niebergall and assistants Tom and Tommy Niebergall] supporting us the whole game through the little mistakes we made here and there."
Sophomore Antonia Gould propelled Gresham with eight points as St. Helens went into halftime up 30-9.
The Lions began with difficulty at home against The Dalles (3-4) Friday, Dec. 15, but Holm (23 points and eight rebounds) and Kaela Lee (15 points, four rebounds) lifted a rally.
"We got off to a tough start and we were down 11-0 at the end of the first quarter," Brittaney Niebergall said. "The game was a very physical game, and our girls did a good job of matching the physicality of The Dalles in quarters two, three, and four: We had a number of girls make plays in the second half, which really rallied us for a good, hard-fought win."
St. Helens could not, however, achieve their first four-game win streak in five years or their fourth win of the season for the first time since 2015-16 as they fell 46-32 at Class 6A Roosevelt (5-4) Wednesday in Portland.
The Lions will be eager to avenge last year's 82-46 home loss to Class 4A Seaside, all-Cowapa League co-Coach of the Year Mike Hawes and all-league seniors Bryre Babbitt (a wing) and Jetta Ideue (a guard) in their next outing, scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Dec. 27 in St. Helens.
ST. HELENS 50, GRESHAM 26
Tuesday in St. Helens
G 5 4 10 7 -- 26
SH 13 17 14 6 -- 50
GRESHAM (0-5) -- Antonia Gould 8, Destiny Ogbeama 7, Alena McVicker 4, Nuria Perez 3, Estefania Arango 2, Courtney Fitzpatrick 2. 3-point goals -- 2 (Gould 2). Total fouls -- 19. Totals 11 2-5 26.
ST. HELENS (3-5) -- Maddie Holm 32, Myranda Northrop 9, Maria Reardon 3, Kaela Lee 2, Trinity Degraffenreid 2, Emelia Paullus 2. 3-point goals -- 1 (Reardon). Total fouls -- 6. Totals 19 11-16 50.