Forest Grove stays hot with 52-37 win over Glencoe
They say a rolling stone gathers no moss. Well, in that case, there's no moss to be found anywhere near the Forest Grove girls basketball team, because they're rolling.
The Vikings won their fifth straight and 11th in 13 games when they defeated Glencoe 52-37 in their Pacific Conference opener Wednesday night, Jan. 15, at Forest Grove High School.
Led by Kayleen Dominguez' 13 points, Forest Grove used a speedy, deep and well-rounded attack to run past the Crimson Tide early, then a more methodical approach late to cruise to a relatively easy conference win.
"We started the game the way we wanted to," Forest Grove head coach Dan Lumpkin said. "They came out and played us man, and I feel we had a speed advantage and that allowed us to attack them right away and we got them into foul trouble.
"Then they switched to zone, slowed the game down and that allowed them to hang around, but we were able to hit shots and force them back to man. Then we got some steals and some easy layups to seal the deal."
It wasn't all offense for the Viks though, as it was their defense — especially early on — that kept the Tide at bay, holding the visitors to just eight first quarter points and only 18 in the first half. Lumpkin said they weren't doing anything specific to combat the Glencoe attack, but more so continued doing what they've been doing well all season — simply disrupting.
"We've been playing the 13 defense, or the 1-3-1, and playing it consistently," the coach said. "We've been aggressive and getting our hands out and getting deflections, and it's been working."
Glencoe head coach Kassi Conditt wasn't surprised by what she saw defensively from Forest Grove, and while crediting the Vikings, she also felt like their issues were as much them as it was their competition.
"They do their extended 1-3-1 which we've seen for the last two years," Conditt said. "We talked about it, but we ran into the same thing we ran into in the Hilhi game, which is the inability to dictate the tempo of the game."
The coach was a little befuddled by her team's inability to adjust, but also pointed to her point guard, Bella Martinez' absence early as the result of foul trouble.
"She's a really aggressive defender," the coach said. "And as our point guard we rely on her a lot, but we've been in that situation a couple of times this year where she gambles and gets two or three fouls. We've talked about it and she knows that she needs to be more disciplined. Having said that, we need to get other people to step up."
Glencoe actually took an early lead in the game thanks to a couple of Mallory Confer free throws and a Martinez long three, but Forest Grove quickly flipped the script, getting baskets from Kayleen Dominguez, Lily Everson, and six straight points from reserve post Kendal Thrush en route to a 16-8 first quarter lead.
"Kendal was big for us in that first half," Lumpkin said. "She came in, had some nice post moves inside and got some easy buckets for us, which was good."
But it wasn't just Thrush. Opposed to earlier in the year, the Vikings have a number of players comfortable with scoring, and as a result are more potent offensively.
"I think the younger girls are gelling a bit more, the ball's moving more and we're finding the open man," Lumpkin said. "And more importantly, the open man is taking and making shots."
One of those making shots is Dominguez, who did and has been making clutch shots, as well as doing the dirty work on defense and on the glass. Something that hasn't gone unnoticed by Lumpkin.
"She's a tough kid," he said. "She plays great defense, has the ability to knock down shots, and isn't afraid of the moment. She's aggressive and has been playing really well for us."
Things slowed down in the second quarter and the Tide were able to draw within 25-18 at the half. Forest Grove however put their foot on the gas in the third, building a 19 point lead thanks to a continued effort by Dominguez, coupled with contributions from Everson, Olivia Grosse, Amanda Rebsom, Ashlynn Dawson, and sophomore Ally Hammond.
It was more of the same in the fourth, with the Vikings maintaining a double-digit lead throughout. Glencoe did manage to cut into the lead a bit thanks to Martinez, but ultimately it was for not, leaving Coach Conditt to ponder what to do next in an effort to pull her team from this rut.
"That's the golden question," she said with a chuckle. "I'm still trying to solve that puzzle, but when I figure it out I'll let you know."
And Lumpkin? While never satisfied, he's happy with where his team is, along with where they may be headed going forward.
"I think we're moving in the right direction," he said. "We're playing well and we're a tough matchup because we have several players that can attack in a variety of ways. So I think we're heading in the right direction and we're playing well."
In addition to Dominguez, Forest Grove was led by Rebsom and Dawson who combined for 16 points and 11 rebounds, Thrush who had 8 points, Everson 7, Grosse 6, and Hammond 2.
Glencoe was led by Martinez' 9 points, Confer and Brianna Ball who both had 7 points and six rebounds, Skylar Baldonado 5 points, Jayda Lee and Megan Gaskin who combined for six points and 15 rebounds, Jolanda Weisboeck 2 points, and McKenna Thrush 1.
The Tide travel to Liberty for a 5:45 p.m. game Friday, Jan. 17, at Liberty High School.
Forest Grove will next play Sherwood at 5:45 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 17, at Sherwood High School.
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