Skyhawks start fast at Shootout
The Southridge girls run past Santa Fe in their first-round game in LO
LAKE OSWEGO - Day by day and step by step, the Southridge girls are trying to claw their way back up the ladder of Oregon high school basketball.
The Skyhawks, Oregon's premier team from 2005-10, fell on hard times last year, adjusting to the departure of longtime coach Mike Meek (he left for George Fox University) and a roster that was devastated by injuries.
But now, under new head coach Matt Humphries, Southridge is once again attempting to scale the heights. The Skyhawks took an important step in that direction Tuesday, winning their opener in the Nike Interstate Shootout with a 50-26 rout of Santa Fe, N.M., at Lakeridge High School.
'I was feeling pretty confident with our team because we've been playing really good as a team together,' said junior guard Kylie Dummer, who led her team with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three three-pointers on Tuesday. 'We have a lot of players that are all really talented.'
'We were excited to come out and show what kind of team we are,' said junior point guard Tupu Loo, who added four points, three steals and two assists in the win. 'Once we started playing our game and setting the pace for the game, we got more comfortable and into the kind of game we like to play.'
'We're working on building things and reestablishing our identity and who we are,' Humphries added. 'We're trying to set the foundation for a run all the way through March.'
It took a little while for the Skyhawks to settle in - they led just 7-6 after Santa Fe's Terry scored on a reverse layin midway through the first quarter - but once they caught fire, the Braves simply couldn't keep pace.
Indeed, Southridge closed the first quarter on a 5-0 run, then tacked on a 14-3 scoring edge in the second quarter to assert complete control. Dummer hit a three-pointer and senior Jordan Peacock a left-handed flip shot in the lane to close out the first period, and Dummer and Loo both hit twice from the field in that watershed second quarter to lead 26-9.
Beyond the scoring, however, it was defense that fueled Southridge's second-stanza getaway. The Skyhawks forced nine turnovers in that second frame - two on steals by Hannah Rose - and turned those mistakes into 10 points on the other end of the court.
'It was just us being more aggressive and that turned into them making more turnovers,' Dummer said.
Santa Fe - which got six points each from Justine Coriz and Makayela Holiday in the game - held serve in the third quarter and still trailed by 38-21, but got no closer. Southridge hit 5-of-9 shots in the final period - including three straight by Kelli Derrah - and outscored the Braves 12-5 to cap its victory.
'I think we'll do pretty good' this year, Loo said. 'We just want to be able to come together as a team and know what kind of team we're going to be, and make sure other teams know it too.'
That said, the Skyhawks are far from satisfied with where they are here in December.
'I think defensively we still need to get better in the halfcourt,' Dummer added. 'I think when we play fullcourt, that's when we really get things going.'
'Something we're trying to establish with these girls is completing a game, and being intense, focused and mentally and physically ready throughout the contest,' Humphries added.
Tiffany Backman added nine points for Southridge, while Rose had four steals and Makenna Bell three in the win.
To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.