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Apollos give themselves the gift of victory

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Sunset shakes off a four-game losing streak by pounding Putnam
by: MILES VANCE, STRIVING – Sunset's Alyssa Martin (left) tries to outreach Rex Putnam's Janelle Dobson for a reound during the Apollos' 71-38 home victory on Friday night.

CEDAR MILL - There probably wasn't a much better Christmas present than the one the Sunset girls basketball team gave itself Friday night.

Staggered by a four-game losing streak after winning their 2006-07 opener, the Apollos came back strong Friday night, hammering Rex Putnam 71-38 at Sunset High School. The win lifted Sunset's non-league record to 2-4 while Putnam dropped to 2-3 in losing its third straight.

"It was really fun," said Sunset sophomore wing Laura Stanulis, who scored eight points and also led her team's defensive effort against the Lady Kingsmen. "It was nice coming off a lot of losses to win by that much. We just played really well tonight."

"We've had some heartbreakers," said Sunset coach Bill Priester. "We could pretty easily be 4-1 but that's basketball. Hopefully, it will toughen us up for league."

The Apollos led just 12-10 after Friday's first quarter, but opened the second frame on an 8-0 run, outscored Putnam 23-8 in the period and put a stranglehold on the game they would not relinquish the rest of the night.

Stanulis had four points in that pivotal second quarter, senior Crissy Watts (who led her team with 16 points) added eight and fellow senior Katie Sneed had five, including a three-pointer with four seconds left in the opening half that gave Sunset a 35-18 advantage.

The Lady Kingsmen, led by Rochelle Dobson and Ashlyn Brand's nine points each, cut the gap to 15 early in the third quarter on a Miranda Martine jumpshot, but got no closer the rest of the way.

In addition to Watts' 16, Dana Lively added 15 for Sunset.

For a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.