They say there's more than one way to skin a cat, and the Mountainside girls basketball team proved that in a 47-29 win over Tualatin Tuesday night, Jan. 4, at Mountainside High School.
The Timberwolves' zone defense held the Mavericks to just three first quarter points and the Metro League team's two standout guards, Halle Hageman and Carly Stone, to just six points overall. But without the typical offensive production from the Mountainside dynamic duo, senior post Lindsey Wilson carried the load, tallying 26 points and six rebounds en route to the nonleague win.
"Lindsey (Wilson) had a nice game in the middle," Mountainside head coach Glen Lee said. "I think we were a little bit rusty coming off of a four-day holiday break, but I thought once we settled down we did fine.
"Wes (Pappas) and his staff are known for their zone and we spent a little time working on it, and we didn't handle it real well early, but we did enough to get the job done."
Shaylee Gonzalez scored nine points for Mountainside (7-3), and Stone and Madeline Giebels added four apiece, but it was Wilson who did the bulk of the heavy lifting and Tualatin could do little with the 6-foot post as the game progressed.
"I think we came out pretty good, but it kind of became a war of attrition and that didn't end up in our favor," Tualatin head coach Wes Pappas said. "We've really only got one big on our team and she got into foul trouble early, and from there, with their seniors and our young team, they just grinded us out."
Trailing 4-3 after a quarter, Wilson scored 12 second quarter points en route to a 18-12 halftime lead. It was more of the same in the third quarter, with Wilson tallying nine points on the way to the Mavericks doubling their halftime lead.
The fourth quarter saw Stone get her first points of the game, and while Tualatin (4-5) never quit and got nice effort from girls like Tabi Searle, Anna Sherman and Olivia Silliman, they just lacked the consistency to string together baskets and make a run at the home Mavericks.
"They (Mountainside) weren't hitting early and we needed to take advantage of that," Pappas said. "We needed to get an early lead on them and that could've potentially changed the game, but while we have good possessions at times, it's got to be consistent."
The Timberwolves don't have a senior on the roster and are playing the season without their best player, returning all-leaguer Olivia Poulivaati, who is out for the year due to injury. In her absence, Searle is Tualatin's only returing rotation player from last year's team that finished 13-3, and as a result the group is being forced to learn on the fly.
Pappas said they're making progress, but with very little size is facing a bit of an uphill battle.
"We're progressing and we're getting a lot better, there's no doubt about that," the coach said. "At the beginning of the season we only had one kid who'd played a varsity minute, so it's been all new, and it's been hard. But I'm really happy with the way the team's progressed, we just have to figure out the rebounding thing."
Mountainside is coming off of last week's Pacific Office Automation Holiday Tournament, where they carded wins over St. Mary's Academy and Oregon City, after dropping their opener to top-ranked Clackamas. Lee said he was mostly pleased with his team's performance in the tournament but added that a lack of preparation played a role in what was a lopsided defeat to the top-ranked Cavaliers.
"Our Monday game coming into the tournament was cancelled because of snow, so we had to do our preparation virtually," Lee said. "I would liked to have had a day to prepare for Clackamas, but I felt once we got our sea legs back we did a nice job against St. Mary's and Oregon City."
Ultimately, Lee too was pleased with the win over Tualatin. Sure, they had to do it in a different way, but the coach said that's sometimes what you have to do in order to get a win.
"I always tell our kids that they're never out of a game because they shoot the ball so well, but at the same time there are other ways to win," Lee said. "Sometimes you have to feed the beast, and it's about unselfish play and taking what the defense gives you."
Mountainside scorers included: Wilson 26, Gonzalez 9, Stone 4, Giebels 4, Hageman 2, Ava Shandy 2.
Tualatin scorers included: Searle 6, Silliman 6, Sherman 5, Macy Marg 4, Alexis Dockter 4, Jaylyn Arosemena 4.
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