Newberg High girls struggle down the stretch
It was a challenging season for the Newberg girls basketball team and the final 10 games were a sign of the team's struggles. The Tigers (9-15, 1-11 Pacific Conference) finished the season by losing 10 games in a row – even as some of the results were competitive until the final few minutes.
"We knew going in that it was going to be difficult because of how much youth we had and lack of experience," NHS coach Luke Lindell said. "We didn't play a tough preseason schedule, which was good from a confidence-building standpoint, but the downside of that is we weren't necessarily prepared for league play."
Eight of Newberg's 10 losses in the streak were by 10 points or less. Its final game — at McMinnville on Feb. 21 — was just a five-point margin.
"We were very competitive in a lot of those games," Lindell said. "We don't feel like we were that far off because we competed against a lot of the top teams in our league. When you're young and able to hang with those teams, that gives you hope."
Newberg graduates two seniors: Allison Killion and Jessica Bue. The duo depart the program having left an impact on Lindell and on their teammates.
Killion — a 6-foot-4 post with length and shot-blocking ability — moves on to play basketball at Linn-Benton Community College. Bue's basketball career is over, but her "coachability" and willingness to mentor younger players is as impactful as Killion's, Lindell said.
"They did a great job of being leaders by example for our group," Lindell said of his seniors. "We're going to miss the two of them. They definitely left it all on the floor for this program and they did a really nice job."