In the latest in a string of victories, Woodburn once again asserted itself against its opponent, dominating Hood River Valley 55-34 Tuesday, Dec. 14, to improve to 4-0 on the season.
The win came right before a lengthy break for the Bulldogs, who get seven days between the contest with Hood River Valley and a Dec. 21 matchup against Astoria in the Roby's Classic at Tillamook High School.
"I feel good," Woodburn girls basketball coach George Sandoval said after the game. "Our girls actually have been playing pretty good. I thought we came out flat compared to coming out against Dallas, but we were able to bounce back and beat them by 20 so."
Woodburn got off to a slow start against the visiting Eagles, falling behind momentarily in the opening stanza 9-6 before going on a four-point run to close out the quarter. Woodburn sophomore Alyana Ramirez led the team with five points in the opening eight minutes, and the team closed the quarter up 10-9.
"Alyana, I've coached her since sixth grade AAU," Sandoval said. "What's going on with her is she's a sophomore and kind of a general around the court. She leads our girls, she rebounds. She likes to play guard but we have to rely on her rebounding. This year she's turning around her shot and making her free throws. She brings a lot to the table as far as her leadership, and she's only a sophomore. That's something we're excited about."
The Bulldogs started off the second quarter where they ended the first, reeling off six straight points. It was a big quarter for Woodburn senior Aria Kent, who scored 11 points and kept the home team consistently ahead of a resilient Hood River Valley squad. The Eagles scored 11 points in the quarter to Woodburn's 18 points. By the half Woodburn had extended its lead to 28-20.
"Aria is our senior and one of our captains," Sandoval said. "She's probably one of our better shooters. She does have the green light (to pull up). Sometimes she pulls up when we don't want her to, but we have to pick our battles with these girls. She has a good shot and she made some big shots tonight."
Woodburn created space between itself and its visiting 5A opposition in the third quarter, notching 14 points and holding Hood River Valley to just five points. The Woodburn defense stymied any chance the Eagles would have to mount a comeback.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. The Bulldogs put up 13 points -- Hood River Valley just nine points of its own -- to win the game 55-34.
Ramirez finished the game with 21 points, 11 of which came from the free throw line. Kent also finished the game with 21 points, nine of them from the 3-point line.
Woodburn (4-0) moves on to face Astoria (3-2) at 4:15 on Dec. 21 at the Roby's Classic hosted by Tillamook High School. Woodburn's four consecutive wins to start the season are unprecedented in recent history and by far the program's best start.
"What we're doing this year is building on what coach (Taylor) Foster brought to the program the last two, three years," Sandoval said. "We're building from that. What's going on is our girls … all of our staff graduated from Woodburn, so we've been here and it's exciting to go 4-0 because we don't know the last time the girls went 4-0. We're turning that corner, trying to build this program working with them and the AAU."
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