Lady Viks trample Mustangs in home opener

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Led by Alexander's 20 points, Forest Grove mauls Milwaukie 55-26

FOREST GROVE - Friday was the first home tip-off for the Forest Grove Lady Viks this season, and it was a first-class showing.

Six-foot-five senior Sallye Alexander won the tip-off Friday, which was picked up by fellow senior Sarah Amina who put the ball in the net to give Forest Grove a quick two-point lead. That lead turned out to be the Lady Viks' smallest of the night - their biggest being 31 with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

'When a game starts out the score is 0-0, so no, you don't expect to win by that much,' said head coach Po Waiwaiole after the game.

In the first half Amina got help from Alexander on offense and junior April Maslen on defense. Maslen drew two charging calls against Milwaukie with her strong defensive stance in the first quarter.

Waiwaiole praised Amina with glowing remarks.

'Sarah applied pressure to the ball," he said. "Eventually the other team was changing how they played offensively to prevent Sarah from being near the ball, which is a huge complement to her play tonight.'

With defense in tow the Lady Viks strolled to a seven-point lead by the end of the first quarter at 12-5.

Forest Grove got off to a rough start in the second quarter. The Mustangs caused breakdowns in the Lady Viks' 2-3 zone defense and scored five answered points to cut the Forest Grove lead to just two points.

"We had some good stretches defensively but we missed on some conversion opportunities," said Waiwaiole.

After two missed free throws by junior Taylor Janac, the Lady Viks got a much-needed boost on an offensive rebound and two-point conversion from Alexander.

Amanda Godinez contributed heavily in the second quarter with two steals, and she also caused a five-second violation on the Mustangs. One of Godinez's steals was sharply tossed down the court to a wide-open Amina for a layup.

'Amanda was great on transitions. She was effective and helped us out where we needed her,' commented Waiwaiole.

Forest Grove switched to man-to-man coverage late in the first half, which helped them to 22-15 lead at halftime.

The third quarter opened with Godinez and Maslen picking up right where they left off. Godinez started with her third steal of the night, then found Nikki Kemper down the court for one of their three connections on the night. Maslen started off the third quarter by drawing a charging foul on the Mustangs, her third of the night. With a 29-15 lead two minutes into the second half, the Viks were ready to put things out of reach.

'They (the Mustangs) were having problems when we applied pressure so we switched things up and started converting on opportunities we had missed in the first half,' said Waiwaiole.

Even though two starters, Maslen and Amina, had to sit on the bench for major stretches in the third quarter due to foul trouble, Forest Grove still managed to put the score out of reach with a dominating 18 points to the Mustangs' seven.

Throughout the night there was one name heard more then any other from the Lady Viks roster - Sallye Alexander. Alexander dominated underneath the basket as she surpassed Milwaukie's sophomore post by a full five inches. By the end of the night Alexander had 20 points, including 10 in the third quarter with five from the free throw line on seven attempts.

"She had a complete game," said Waiwaiole. "Offensively and defensively she was right there. She missed a few free throws in the first half, but fixed that at half time and just really stepped up.'

The Lady Viks' dominance continued in the final period as they expanded on their 18-point lead and reverted back to their 2-3 defense.

Alexander persisted with shots off rebounds, Kemper took every fast break she could get her hands on and Maslen stood her ground.

With 4:30 to go in the fourth quarter Waiwaiole pulled a full line change as Forest Grove had a commanding lead at 49-22. Senior Tina Freeman came in at wing, hitting two shots from the same spot on the baseline. Janac continued her reign under the hoop, this time with freshman Valerie Bongiorno at her side. Junior Rebecca Aguilar and freshman Rebecca Kelsey rounded out the five on the floor.

At 2:06 remaining in the game Milwaukie got two of its four points in fourth quarter. The Lady Viks controlled the fourth quarter outscoring the Mustangs 15-4.

'We play a tough pre-season schedule to expose our areas that need work. It gives us an opportunity to find out how much we can do, what we can shake off and where we are,' concluded Waiwaiole.

Forest Grove is now 2-3 on the year and preparing to take on a .500 team out of the 2A Cascade League in St. Mary's on Monday night.

According to Waiwaiole, the Crusaders have put up points and been effective on the season. He added that Forest Grove is going to stay true to its game plan. They are going to continue to put up points early and play stronger defense.

For full results of the Lady Viks' game against the Crusaders and a weekly wrap up of all their hardcourt action, pick up a copy of the News-Times.