Sherwood girls battle, but fall to Blues
The effort was there.
So was the defense.
But, as for ball security and shooting touch, well, those are things that the Sherwood High School girls basketball team found out it may need to work on some more.
The Lady Bowmen, struggling at times on the offensive end of the court, fell 41-25 to St. Mary's Academy in the fourth-place game of the Nike Interstate Shootout, played Dec. 30 at Lake Oswego High School.
"We had more turnovers than we wanted, and a lot our shots just didn't fall," said Sherwood senior wing Julia Leitzinger, who had five rebounds and a pair of steals in the contest. "We've just got to work on our turnovers, and make sure those shots fall in, and we're right there."
"I thought we did good," said Sherwood sophomore post Klaira Ray, who led the Lady Bowmen with 10 points. "We had good effort, there are just some things we need to fix. We had too many turnovers."
With the win, St. Mary's, out of the Three Rivers League, improved to 7-2 on the season. Sherwood, out of the Pacific Conference, moved to 6-3 with the setback.
"We're just working on learning our new system, and getting better together," Ray said.
"Our defense is looking a lot better, especially since this is a brand new defense," Leitzinger said. "We're working on that and getting a lot better. We just have to execute on offense and working it, passing the ball around and being patient, maybe keeping the ball for 30 seconds, or so, and getting somebody open."
The Lady Bowmen went 2-2 at the Nike Interstate Shootout, getting wins over Jackson, Wash., and Lake Oswego, and falling to Desert Oasis, Nev., and St. Mary's.
"It was pretty good," Leitzinger said. "There were teams here that are pretty good, and that showed us how much more effort we need to put in. When we played Lake Oswego (a 35-25 win on Dec. 29), we felt pretty good the entire game. Unfortunately, we had to come here today and to this. There are games where we are on or off."
"I thought we did pretty good and had effort," Ray said. "We may not have won all of our games, but we worked hard."
Defense ruled in the early going of the tournament fourth-place game. St. Mary's, getting baskets from senior Marley Johnson and freshman Sofia Bell, grabbed a quick 4-0 lead. Ray scored Sherwood's first basket on a follow-up shot. She added a layup, coming off a pass from sophomore Amanda Jensen, to cut the St. Mary's lead to 5-4 with 4 minutes and 28 seconds left to play in the period.
Neither team was able to score again, until Bell sank a layup with 24 seconds left in the quarter, giving the Blues a 7-4 lead at the end of the opening period.
Sherwood continued to play strong defense in the second quarter, helping force St. Mary's into six turnovers in the period, but the Lady Bowmen struggled to find their touch on offense. Sherwood scored just two baskets in the quarter, coming on shots by Ray and Jensen.
St. Mary's, getting a basket on a buzzer-beating jumper by Johnson, would claim a 15-8 halftime lead.
The Lady Bowmen tried to battle back early in the third quarter. Sherwood sophomore Laney Snelling sank a 3-point basket from the right wing, coming off a pass from Jensen, who added a pair of free throws of her own, keeping the Lady Bowmen within seven, at 20-13, with 5:42 left in the period.
But St. Mary's took off from there. The Blues went on a 12-0 run, upping their lead to 32-13 with 1:22 left in the quarter.
Sherwood, with junior Annelise Jensen going one for two from the free-throw line with 55.8 seconds left in the period, ended the St. Mary's scoring spree and made the score 32-14 going into the fourth quarter.
Sherwood kept fighting in the final period. Ray scored four points in the quarter, and Leitzinger had three points, three rebounds and a steal in the period, helping the Lady Bowmen trim the final margin to 41-25.
Ray, in scoring her team-high 10 points, made all five of her shots from the field, while also grabbing three offensive rebounds.
"It was good," Ray said. "My teammates gave me good passes. They found me when I was open. I got the points, but they do a lot of the work."
Amanda Jensen added six points and two assists. Snelling and Leitzinger each scored three points. Senior guard Ava Boughey had four steals and two assists.
Sherwood, as a team, made 10 of 35 shots from the field, with one 3-pointer, and four of eight free-throw attempts. The Lady Bowmen had 21 turnovers in the contest, but their swarming defense also helped force St. Mary's into 21 turnovers.
"On defense, we've really improved a lot on our rotations," Ray said. "We're doing a lot better."
Johnson led St. Mary's with 15 points. Bell added 10 points for the Blues, and junior Macy Douglass scored four.
St. Mary's, as a team, made 18 of 44 shots from the field, with one 3-pointer, and four of seven free throw attempts.
The Lady Bowmen will be back in action on Friday, when they travel to Bend for a non-league game starting at 3 p.m. On Tuesday, Sherwood gets a rematch with St. Mary's, when it hosts the Blues in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m.
"Next week, we get to play them again," Leitzinger said. "It's revenge time."
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