Wilsonville splits results in two Elite 8 Invitational games
Wilsonville vs. Canby
Coming off of their first loss of the season to Marist Catholic, Wilsonville looked for a win in the first round of the Elite 8 Invitational hosted at Tualatin High School on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Wildcats looked to rebound in a strong way against 6A standouts Canby Cougars, but found it difficult in the early going.
Canby opened up the scoring with three free throw baskets in a row, and seemed to pull away. Wilsonville tied it up though thanks to junior Teagan McNamee sinking a three pointer. Canby scored four more buckets in a row after that, and was in control heading towards the end of the quarter. Wilsonville rallied, going on an eight point streak capped off by a sophomore Kayla Hieb field goal. At the end of the first eight minutes, Wilsonville was up 11-10.
In the second quarter, Canby jumped out ahead after going on a 10 point scoring streak. Wilsonville broke the streak thanks to a familiar face, as McNamee sunk yet another three to get the Wildcats started. Wilsonville head coach Justin Duke noted McNamee's ability to get things going offensively for his team.
"Teagan always plays with great energy and Sydney Burns stepped up big offensively for us tonight," Duke said. "Emilia Bishop hasn't been getting a lot of scoring opportunities yet but has really anchored our defense with her length in our second unit."
The 5'9 sophomore sank two free throws to close the difference to four points. Baskets from freshman Sydney Burns and junior Emily Scanlan brought Wilsonville closer to Canby, but as the half ended it was the Cougars leading the dance 24-19.
In the second half, Wilsonville fell yet further behind. Canby scored more frequently, and was able to capitalize when they made it to the free throw line. The Wildcats had their moments, particularly from Scanlan who had three baskets for five points in fairly short succession. Burns upped the ante for Wilsonville, scoring seven points in the second 16 minutes. Still, by the time the game clock hit zero, Wilsonville had dropped the contest 57-43. Ironically, it was the exact same score as their last loss to Marist Catholic.
"We just need to keep improving and the last two games against top caliber competition at both the 5A and 6A levels will give us that," Duke said. "Being the only 5A team in this tournament we're being challenged and finding out what it could be like to play in the state tournament if we're fortunate enough to make it with three games in three nights."
Wilsonville vs. Lincoln
Against the Lincoln Cardinals, Wilsonville would bounce back strong, picking up a dominant 61-40 win on Thursday, Dec. 28.
In the first quarter, Wilsonville again started off in the hole thanks to two Lincoln free throws. However, the Wildcats found their way into the lead. Junior Cydney Gutridge hit two back to back baskets, and McNamee would put up three points as well. Midway through the quarter, the Wildcats led 10-4, but an eight point run brought Lincoln back. Wilsonville rallied, and went on a six point run to end the quarter. It was 16-12 for the Wildcats heading into the second quarter.
Starting off the next frame, Wilsonville had a series of takeaways that kept the Cardinals scoreless for the first few minutes. McNamee and Scanlan got the first two baskets for their team, and their teammates chipped in as well. Burns, Gutridge, senior Jessica Classen, and freshman Emilia Bishop all contributed points to Wilsonville's overall total. At the end of the first half, the Wildcats were up 36-24.
Coming out of half time, Wilsonville maintained their control of the game. Burns and Bishop added to the lead, contributing six straight points to push the Wildcats lead to 43-28. McNamee hit another three pointer, and junior Reese Timm had the last Wilsonville basket of the third quarter. Headed into the final frame, Wilsonville was up 50-36.
In the fourth quarter, Wilsonville's defense was stifling. The Wildcats held Lincoln's offense to two buckets. Timm put up five points in the final stanza, and junior Angela Morris and sophomore Brooklyne Waddell scored the final baskets of the game. The scoreboard read 61-40 when the final buzzer blew.
Wilsonville (6-2) faced West Salem (3-5) in the final day of tournament play, after the Spokesman went to press.