Wildcats girls basketball bests Milwaukie in back and forth game
Wilsonville--In Wilsonville's first league game of the year, the Wildcats had to dig deep to overcome the visiting Milwaukie Mustangs. In the end though the home team pulled away in the fourth quarter to seal the deal with a 63-50 final score.
Milwaukie got the game started sinking a two point bucket, and began to pull away early. The Mustangs' Alev Ersan hit four out Milwaukie's first six buckets. Milwaukie ran out to a 2-8 lead, but Wilsonville rallied. Wilsonville junior Reese Timm hit a three pointer about four minutes into the quarter, and baskets from juniors Teagan McNamee and Emily Scanlan brought the game to 10-10.
The Mustangs would answer with consecutive takeaways in the midst of a 10-point run towards the end of the quarter. Milwaukie junior India Gultry contributed seven points in that streak, punctuated by senior Noelani McGowan inbounding the ball off of Wilsonville freshman Emilia Bishop's back before Gultry's basket. The Mustangs found success early on in the paint.
"I thought that if we could get the lead up to eight to 10 points that we could get some of our bigger kids into the game, but we were kind of fearful that when they got the lead they were starting to pull the ball out on us," Wilsonville head coach Justin Duke said. "So we knew we had to keep our man defense in there and stay aggressive. We had to go small which was frustrating when they were getting the ball inside and scoring on us."
Up 10, Milwaukie was in control heading into the second quarter. McNamee would answer for the Wildcats before the first buzzer. The 5'9 junior was fouled after an offensive rebound and made a pair of baskets, and got a takeaway on the ensuing Milwaukie possession that led to her hitting another layup. Heading into the second quarter, Wilsonville was in the hole 14-20.
In the second quarter, Wilsonville continued the momentum swing. Four straight baskets from Scanlan, McNamee, and Timm gave the Wildcats the lead at 22-20. The Mustangs forced the momentum in the other direction though, with four Gultry baskets. Still, Wilsonville would not be deterred. Timm passed the ball outside the arc to Scanlan, who proceeded to sink a three pointer.
At the end of the tumultuous first half, it was Wilsonville trailing Milwaukie 29-31. Timm and McNamee both had 10 points in the first half, and Scanlan had seven points.
In the second half, Wilsonville came out swinging. Four straight baskets brought the Wildcats the lead. Wilsonville sophomore Kayla Hieb scored a two pointer, was fouled, and nailed the ensuing free throw to put the home team up 36-31. As expected in a game this back and forth, Milwaukie answered, with Gultry scoring five points, and the Mustangs scoring six of the seven baskets in the first four minutes 30 seconds of the third quarter. At 3:46 of the third quarter, it was 38-42.
In a scary moment, Wilsonville's Timm went down with an ankle injury and had to be taken off the court. Timm would return to the game in the final quarter. Still, the Wildcats seemed to rally after the injury and put it on the Mustangs, scoring 12 baskets in a row.
"We're a family, and if you take out one of us, we're coming after you," said Teagan McNamee.
In the fourth quarter, Timm made her return to play, and promptly nailed a three pointer, her last basket of the game. Timm had 13 points at the end of the game, and was 5/10 on the night.
"I feel like our defense towards the end was together, and we played how we normally do," Timm said after the game. "In the beginning, I feel like it was our nerves. It was our first league game."
At one point in the final stanza, Wilsonville led the visiting team by 20 points. Milwaukie found a few baskets towards the of the game, but when the final horn sounded it was 63-50 for the Wildcats. Scanlan had 18 points on the night, and McNamee was second with 14.
Wilsonville (9-2 overall, 1-0 in NWOC play) will play in a home game Hillsboro Spartans (4-7 overall, 1-0 in NWOC play) on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7:15 p.m.