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Bulldogs snap four-game skid, open their Oregon West Conference schedule 1-0

PMG FILE PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn senior Taiya Kent picked up her third double-double of the season, leading the Bulldogs with 18 points and 13 rebounds in the team's 58-56 loss to Gladstone on Jan. 7. Woodburn followed with a 49-36 win at Sweet Home on Friday to open their league schedule 1-0.The Woodburn girls basketball team was looking to make a statement in their opening game of the Oregon West Conference. They got one in the second half on Friday against Sweet Home, rallying from a halftime deficit to come home with a 49-36 victory.

Led by sophomore guard Aria Kent, who scored a game-high 23 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range, the Bulldogs outscored the Huskies 30-15 in the second half after finishing the second quarter down two points.

Kent had struggled from a distance in her previous four games since Jan. 1, shooting a combined 5-of-31 from deep during a four-game losing streak for the Bulldogs. However, she found her rhythm at Sweet Home, matching her total from the previous four games, while going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line and 7-of-17 from the field as the lone Woodburn player to reach double figures.

After taking a 14-7 lead in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs fell silent in the second, scoring just five points while the Huskies erupted for 14 to take a 21-19 lead going into the break.

But the second half belonged to Woodburn.

In addition to the big night from Kent, the Bulldogs saw positive offensive contributions from Briana Cruz-Bogarin, Willow Neshem, Taiya Kent and Lina Cabrera, who each scored six in the win.

Cruz-Bogarin also led Woodburn with a team-high seven rebounds and five steals.

Earlier in the week, the Bulldogs fell 58-56 at home to the Gladstone Gladiators on Jan. 7 in a game that nearly saw Woodburn erase a six-point deficit with one minute in the game.

Down 56-49 with 1:02 left on the clock, Aria Kent went coast-to-coast for an uncontested layup to cut the lead to five points. The Gladiators answered on the ensuing play when junior post Jade Rowley cut to the basket for a back-door layup to bring the game to 58-51.

The Bulldogs responded again — Aria Kent handed the ball off to Cabrera near the Woodburn bench. Using a screen from Tatyana Kalugin, Cabrera stepped back for a 3-pointer to cut it to 58-54 with 25 seconds left on the clock.

After a timeout, Cabrera tipped the inbound pass, stealing the ball and feeding it to Taiya Kent, whose shot was blocked. Aria Kent found the rebound and put up the shot, which bounced long and came off the rim into Taiya Kent's hands.

Her shot was also off the mark, and the ensuing scrum for the rebound resulted in a Gladstone foul that put Kalugin on the line with nine seconds remaining.

Kalugin missed both shots, but the Gladstone rebound led to a travel violation, giving Woodburn yet another chance at the basket.

Taiya Kent took the inbound pass at the three-point line and dribbled to the basket for an uncontested layup to cut it to 58-56 as time expired.

Taiya Kent finished the contest with a team-high 18 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 8-of-16 from the floor. Aria Kent added 16 points, while Cabrera scored 12, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Woodburn (4-7, 1-0 Oregon West) travels to Corbett (6-7) on Wednesday to take on the Cardinals in their final non-conference game of the regular season.

The Bulldogs return tot heir league slate on Friday, traveling to Sisters to face the hosting Outlaws (2-10).


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