Sherwood loses to first-place Putnam in NWOC clash

by: DAN BROOD - PASSING AHEAD -- Sherwood High School sophomore Josie Funk passes the ball up court during the first half of Tuesday's game at Putnam. The Lady Bowmen fell 44-30.MILWAUKIE — In the clash between the top two teams in the Northwest Oregon Conference, one thing was for certain — defense ruled.

Every point seemed hard to come by, every possession was a battle.

And, unfortunately for the Sherwood High School girls basketball team, it came up short in that defensive struggle.

The Lady Bowmen, who would have tied Rex Putnam for the top spot in the NWOC standings with a victory, fell 44-30 to the Kingsmen in a conference showdown played Tuesday at Rex Putnam High School.

“We were prepared going into this game,” said Sherwood junior post Mallory Shields, who pulled down 14 rebounds in the contest. “We worked on what happened last game (a 39-28 home loss to Putnam back on Jan. 14). I think we did a lot of things well, but they were tough.”

With the victory, Putnam improved to 7-0 in NWOC play (9-7 overall), giving the Kingsmen a two-game lead in the conference standings.

Sherwood moved to 5-2 in NWOC games (10-5 overall), putting the Lady Bowmen in a tie with Milwaukie and Sandy for second place in the conference standings.

“Hats off to them,” Sherwood coach Wes Pappas said of Putnam. “They earned it. They were tougher than us tonight.”

Both teams’ defenses sure seemed to be tough in Tuesday’s game. The squads combined to make just 18 of 77 shots from the field in the contest. The Lady Bowmen were also plagued by 31 turnovers in the contest, in addition to foul troubles, which kept standout senior post Jaelyn Funk on the bench for the majority of the contest.

“Having Jaelyn in foul trouble cost us,” Pappas said. “But we did a lot of what we wanted to do. We did a good job rebounding and being tough.”by: DAN BROOD - ON THE DRIVE -- Sherwood junior guard Jennah Stobie drives strong to the basket in Tueday's game.

Sherwood, getting a pair of free throws from junior Jessica Thiel with 22.4 seconds left in the first quarter, claimed a 7-6 lead at the end of the opening period.

The Lady Bowmen pushed their lead to 12-8 when sophomore guard Taylor Corno sank a three-pointer from the top of the circle with 5:40 left in the second quarter. Another Sherwood three-pointer, this one by senior Allison Warner, gave the Lady Bowmen a 15-13 lead with 4:43 remaining in the first half.

But Rex Putnam outscored Sherwood 11-3 over the final 4:29 of the quarter, giving the home team a 24-18 advantage at the intermission.

Points were hard to come by for both teams in the third quarter, as the squads combined to make just two of 25 shots from the field in the period.

Sherwood got a steal and basket by junior guard Jennah Stobie with 6:17 left in the quarter, cutting the Putnam lead to 25-20 at that point. The Lady Bowmen scored just one more point in the period, coming on a free throw by Thiel with 2:43 left in the quarter.

The Kingsmen, getting a three-pointer and a pair of free throws from senior Mariah Mendez-Oliver in the final 1:51 of the period, went on to take a 32-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

Sherwood, getting a short-range banker by Shields and another three-pointer by Warren, tried to battle its way back in the final stanza.

But Rex Putnam went 9 for 10 from the free throw line in the final 2:46 of the contest to pull away and wrap up the 44-30 victory.

“We did a good job at some things,” Pappas said. “But, in the half court, we didn’t do a good job taking care of the ball.”

Shields was Sherwood’s top scorer in the contest with seven points. She had 10 of her 14 rebounds on the defensive in addition to blocking three shots. Stobie and Warren added six points apiece. Thiel and Corno each had three points.

by: DAN BROOD - TRAPPING -- Sherwood's Jennah Stobie (left) and Taylor Corno trap Putnam's Mariah Mendez-Oliver during Tuesday's game.The Lady Bowmen are hoping that Tuesday’s game will benefit them not only this season, but next year, when they move up to the Class 6A Three Rivers League.

“I think this will be good for us,” Pappas said. “This is what league games will be like all next year. This is a good experience.”

“I think this game will make us better,” Shields said. “We’ll be ready for our next game, and this is like what every game will be like for us next year.”

Mendez-Oliver led all scorers in Tuesday’s contest with 14 points. Senior Kelsea Baton added nine points for the Kingsmen.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Sherwood scored a 46-38 win over Wilsonville in a NWOC game played Friday at Sherwood High School. Shields led all scorers with 25 points in that contest. Jaelyn Funk added eight points.

The Lady Bowmen will be back in action Friday when they travel to Liberty for a 7:15 p.m. conference game.

On Tuesday, Sherwood will be home to face St. Helens at 7:15 p.m.

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