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Lady Lions feisty, but come up short

Turnovers and missed free throws hurt in cage losses to Gresham, Lebanon, Marist
by: John Brewington FROSH DRIVE—St. Helens’ freshman Michellse Sass drives to the hoop during last week’s game with Gresham. Sass led the Lady Lions in scoring in the 
contest.

The St. Helens Lady Lions had one close game, one game they played well part of the time, and one they'd just as soon forget.

Last Friday, the squad played decent against Lebanon, but in the final tally would lose 54-30. St. Helens trailed by double digits after one period, but stayed pretty close over the next three quarters of the game.

Gabby Susee would score half of St. Helens 30 points with 15 spread out over the four quarters.

'It was a good game and we expected to be closer, but turnovers are haunting us,' St. Helens coach Billy McKinney said. 'We had 32 turnovers in the game. We're going back to really good fundamental basketball.'

McKinney said they tried several defenses, but that Lebanon hit seven three-pointers in the contest. He said they did do a good job of getting the ball into Susee and she was impressive in the game.

Marist 76, St. Helens 28

The Lady Lions found out its tough to play really good teams on not enough rest.

The team slept in the wrestling room at Lebanon on Friday night, and had an afternoon game against Marist.

It didn't work out so well. The team was respectable for a period, but scored just five in the second quarter and trailed 35-16 by the break. They were outscored 30-4 in the third, and 23-8 in the last period.

'The kids stayed up late texting and talking and watching movies,' McKinney said, 'and then fell asleep on the court. Turnovers haunted us again. We're going to a possession game and clean up the fundamentals. We played well half-court against Lebanon and are breaking the press okay, but we've got to clean up the turnovers.'

McKinney said he was considering some personnel changes for the starters and may bring up some younger players.

Gresham 53, SH 49

The St. Helens Lady Lions just need to learn how to finish. They lost to Gresham 53-49 Tuesday in a game they could have won.

The long-suffering team gave 6A Gresham everything they could handle last week, but their comeback faltered in the closing moments, costing them a win.

With freshman Michelle Sass turning up the heat, St. Helens forged a slim two-point margin by midway through the game. They led 26-24 at the half, with 11 of those points coming from Sass.

Gresham went on a 12-4 run in the third period, but St. Helens battled to just a four-point deficit by the end of the period. A basket off a steal and another one in the closing moments by Sass boosted their effort.

The Lady Lions put on some serious pressure in the final minute of the contest. Jillian Ross hit a basket with 51 seconds left to close the gap to six. Just three seconds later, Haley Twilleager hit two free throws and it was a four-point game. Gresham missed the front end of two one-and-one free throws, and a basket by Nicole Harcourt made it a two-point margin with 18 seconds remaining. The Lady Lions had a chance to tie, but two missed free throws negated the effort. Then Gresham hit two free throws to clinch the win. St. Helens was just two for eight at the free throw line in the last four minutes of the game.

The Lady Lions are at Silverton Wednesday, and go to a Hood River Valley Tournament this coming Monday and Tuesday.

Scoring:

Gresham 53, St. Helens 49

Gresham 14 10 16 13-53

St. Helens 11 15 10 13-49

Gresham (53)-Amber Peschka 15, Pearly Walton 13, Stone 6, Smith 6, Trapold 6, Bryant 4, Allen 4.

St. Helens (49)-Michelle Sass 15, Monique Smiley 13, Twilleager 8, Harcourt 4, Ross 4, Susee 3, Sharp 2, Mulcahy.

Lebanon 54, St. Helens 30

St. Helens 7 11 3 9-30

Lebanon 20 13 7 14-54

St. Helens (30)-Gabby Susee 15, Monique Smiley 6, Harcourt 4, Hanson 4, Sass 1, Mulcahy, Sharp.

Lebanon (54)-Mac Benedict 13, Ellie Phillips 12, Benedict 9, March 8, Dickey 8, Masog 2, Sipos 2.

Marist 76, St. Helens 28

St. Helens 11 5 4 8-28

Marist 18 17 20 21-76

St. Helens (28)-Smiley 6, Susee 6, Sass 4, Hanson 4, Harcourt 4, Edwards 2, Kyle-Milward 2, Ross, Sharp, Mulcahy, Hembree.

Marist (76)-Sam Pitts 18, Delanee Martin 13, Julie Grimes 12, Kriscia Rivas 11, McCabe 7, Krier 6, Harrison 5, Gehrig 4, Silver.