St. Helens girls rush past Reynolds in opener
TROUTDALE — The St. Helens girls basketball team was clicking on all cylinders during a 52-25 win at 6A Reynolds to open the season Thursday, Dec. 5.
After opening up a 32-12 halftime lead, the Lions squelched any thoughts of a Reynolds comeback by scoring on its first three possessions after returning from the locker room.
Jean Gartman swiped a steal and went coast-to-coast before converting a hook shot at the side of the rim. Next up, Madison Blazek knocked a ball loose in the post, which teammate Madison Holm gathered before swishing a 3-pointer in front of the Lions' bench. Holm struck again moments later with a drive through the lane for another two points.
"We've been hustling in practices and putting in the extra work," Holm said. "The main thing is that we were prepared. We were ready to play a game."
St. Helens relied on sharp passing to move the ball around the court, keeping the Reynolds defense in a chasing mode. The Lions enjoyed their largest lead of the night at 29 points after Mackenzie Carlson swiped a steal and went alone to the hoop with about three minutes to play.
"We've been emphasizing quick decisions and that benefitted us a lot tonight," St. Helens coach Michael Fendall said. "If you are going to drive, drive right away. If you are going to shoot, shoot right away."
Holm led the Lions with 20 points, while Gartman and Maria Reardon added 10 apiece.
St. Helens limited Reynolds to one first-quarter bucket to charge in front 17-3.
Thursday, Dec. 5
ST. HELENS 17 15 12 8 — 52
REYNOLDS 3 9 7 6 — 25
St. Helens (52) — Madison Holm 20, Jean Gartman 10, Maria Reardon 10, Autumn Weitzel 4, Madison Blazek 3, Hillary Barley 3, Mackenzie Carlson 2, Rivera, Mandella, Vanderwerf.
Reynolds (25) — Sasha Riddle 9, Lupita Dominguez 8, Sharae Jones 4, Josephine Badoni 2, Lila O'Dell 2, Avalos, Andersen, Sivas.
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St. Helens boys challenge Reynolds but come up short
The St. Helens boys dropped a hard-fought 52-46 decision to Reynolds in the nightcap.
After trailing most of the way, St. Helens sneaked ahead 40-38 with about 5 minutes to play when guard Joe Rea squared up at the top of the arc. He waited for his defender to swipe at the ball, pulled it back just in time like a matador's cape before driving the lane for a three-point play.
The lead would last only a matter of seconds, as Reynolds' Keenan Coleman jumped a pair of passes at midcourt turning each into easy twos at the other end to put Reynolds up 44-40.
"They had been playing timid, and I knew I had the quickness, I just read their eyes and got into the passing lanes," Coleman said.
The Raiders' defense took over down the stretch with Keedin Branch blocking a baseline jumper on one possession, followed by Dominique Miller flying out to the corner to tip a 3-point try on the next.
St. Helens stayed within reach when Rea hit a runner from the free-throw line to make it a one-possession game as the clock ticked under a minute.
Reynolds' Reggie Akles made six trips to the free-throw line down the stretch, going 6-for-11 and sealing the victory by swishing his last two attempts with 0:23 left.
The Raiders took a 26-18 lead late in the first half on back-to-back 3-pointers from Brandon Buffington.
St. Helens trimmed the margin to a single point on the other side of halftime when Canon Beisley drove the lane and kicked the ball out to Gavin Knoke, who buried a 3-pointer from the corner.
Rea finished with a game-high 23 points.
Thursday, Dec. 5
ST. HELENS 15 5 15 11 — 46
REYNOLDS 11 15 12 14 — 52
St. Helens (46) — Joe Rea 23, Canon Beisley 8, Gavin Knoke 6, Kyle Gundersen 6, Austin Waite 2, Levi Vanderwerf 1, Fitzgerald, Wolfe.
Reynolds (52) — Reggie Akles 15, Brandon Buffington 11, Dominique Miller 9, Keenan Coleman 7, Keedin Branch 4, Isaiah Stilwater 2, Scott Riddle 2, Jovany Guzman 2, Hendrickson, Haynes.
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This story is slated for our Dec. 13, print edition.
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