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The 2021 season opened with a 53-49 loss, but coach sees plenty to build on after such a long lay-off

After getting off to a slow start, the Molalla High girls basketball team gave Madras all it could handle in its season opener Thursday.

In the end, though, Madras made enough small runs to come away with a 53-49 win over Molalla.

"It was a good first outing for being off the court for over 14 months, basically," coach Phil Wiesner said. "We got down 10-1 to start the game, but the girls battled back to trail by two (25-23) at the half."

Molalla would take a lead with just under three minutes to go in the third quarter, but Madras put together a run and that would be enough to hold off Molalla the rest of the way.

COURTESY PHOTO: MOLALLA GIRLS BB - Molalla's girls basketball team opened its season with a 53-49 loss to Madras on May 20.

Senior Hannah Nelzen led the offense with 13 points, but more importantly, held Madras all-star guard Jayden Davis to four points for the game. Also on the offensive end, Kylie Brownlee had nine points, Kaitlyn Curry and Julia Watson each had seven, and Teal Kluver added six.

"Curry did a great job with her rebounding and defensive help in the key," Wiesner said. "She was limited in the first half with foul trouble but had a nice second half. Kluver had a nice defensive game for us, which is her strength. And she chipped in six points.

"At the end of the day, we gave up more offensive boards than we like and needed to be better at the foul line, going 7-for-15," Wiesner added. "I was very proud of the effort we displayed on the court and showed we did remember how to play. But now, it's back to practice and work on improving."

Up next on the schedule, Molalla will take on Corbet in a home-and-home series on May 25 and 27.

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