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Rough start for Banks at holiday tournament

BASKETBALL: Banks girls lose big to Santiam Christian in their opening round game Friday night at the Amity Holiday Tournament
by: Tommy Whitcomb, Banks guard Patricia Fellas gets harassed during last Wednesday's game against Gladstone. The Lady Braves traveled to Amity on Friday but lost in the first round of a holiday tournament to Santiam Christian.

Banks headed to Amity on Friday night looking to build some pre-Christmas momentum at the Amity Holiday Tournament. Instead, the girls got ripped in the opening round by Santiam Christian.

The Lady Braves lost 64-34 on Friday, falling behind 18-2 in the first quarter and never recovering.

'We are so much better than we played,' said head coach Bradley Dunn-meier. 'I think the girls were ready for a vacation. They were not in it mentally - not one of them. And they would be the first ones to tell you that they played poorly.'

Whitney Blok and Olivia Nehrer led Banks with 8 points apiece, while Catherine Blatner scored 7 in her second game back from a foot injury.

'It could have just been a let down because school's out and they were all looking forward to having some time off,' Dunn-meier said. 'I guess that sort of thing happens, it just doesn't happen to the really good teams.'

The loss relegated Banks to Saturday's consolation game against Amity. Results were not available at press time (the News-Times went to press on Saturday because of the holidays).

Two nights earlier, the Lady Braves played host to No. 2 Gladstone and put together a much better effort, but still absorbed a lopsided loss. Banks trailed by 10 points at halftime, then watched as Gladstone pulled away in the second half behind relentless half-court pressure. The Gladiators won the game 76-39.

'We played really well against Gladstone,' Dunn-meier said. 'They're a very good team.'

Amber Marston led Banks with 9 points, while Blatner, Nehrer and Blok all had 8 to cap a balanced scoring effort.

Following the Amity Tournament, Banks had four days off before traveling to Astoria on Thursday for another holiday tournament.