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The Vikings waste little time burying the Gophers and improve to 3-0 on the season.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's Ashlynn Dawson attacks the Gresham's defense during the Vikings' game againt the Gophers Friday night, Dec. 13, at Forest Grove High School.Some games you're supposed to win, and Forest Grove's game with Gresham of the Mt. Hood Conference was one of those games — and they didn't disappoint.

The Viking girls left no doubt, defeating the Gophers 79-11 Friday night, Dec. 13, at Forest Grove High School.

Forest Grove (3-0) used a balance attack and a swarming defense to overwhelm the visiting Gophers early, then continued through the third quarter before mercifully calling off the dogs over the game's final eight minutes.

Head coach Dan Lumpkin knew prior that things could get out of hand against an overmatched Gresham squad, but equally knew it remained an opportunity to get better.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forets Grove's Olivia Grosse plays from the post during the Vikings' game againt Gresham Friday night, Dec. 13, at Forest Grove High School."Tonight we just talked about coming out and playing the way we want to play, which is being aggressive, taking care of the ball, and applying a lot of defensive pressure," the coach said. "We knew that it was going to be kind of a lopsided game, so we wanted to make sure we worked on that stuff early and then just not get complacent."

The Viks were led by senior Katie Ellington and junior Amanda Rebsom, who tallied 12 points apiece. But on this night it was less about who did, and more so about who didn't, with seven girls — including Ellington, Rebsom, Emily Hernandez, Ashlynn Dawason, Olivia Grosse, and sophomores Lily Everson and Amy Jensen — scoring at least seven points.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's Amanda Rebsom focuses on a free throw attempt during the Vikings' game againt Gresham Friday night, Dec. 13, at Forest Grove High School."We had a lot of young kids play tonight and I see some real good things from them," Lumpkin said. "I feel like we have a lot of good depth, and that on a given night we can play nine or 10 girls, which is why in these games it's important to get them a lot of time on the court."

Lumpkin spoke in general about the team, but also specifically about Everson, Jensen and fellow sophomore Ally Hammond, all three of which he believes will be important when it comes to the level of success this team can reach this year.

"Every day in practice I'm seeing them grow and we're going to count on them quite a bit," said the coach. "They'll be playing a lot of significant minutes."

And it's not just scoring they need from the newcomers, but more importantly it's on the defensive end, where they'll be asked to be a part of a couple handfuls of girls necessary to execute at the level they desire.

"I want to be able to pressure, and to do that you have to have more than five kids," Lumpkin said. "You can't just have five kids out there and wear 'em down, you've got to be able to sub in waves. I think we can actually do that this year."

After a bit of a down year last season, this year's Viks are off to a fast start, with wins over the Gophers, Centennial, and a Canby team that went on to beat Mountainside and South Salem, formidable foes to say the least. And it's wins and effort like that, that have Lumpkin happy and excited about where this team is and where they could be going if they stay the course.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's Ashlynn Dawson dribbles the ball up the floor during the Vikings' game againt Gresham Friday night, Dec. 13, at Forest Grove High School."The last two games haven't been very competitive, but Canby has two good wins so I feel pretty good about that win," the coach said. "Our next game is against a scrappy Franklin team, then we're off to Alaska to play three over the holiday, but I like where we're at and I think we're moving in the right direction."

Forest Grove will play games in Wasilla, Alaska, Dec. 19-21, then return to play three games as part of the Century/Hillsboro Tournament, Dec. 26-28, at both Century and Hillsboro High Schools.

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