The sophomore talent scores 26 as Gladstone tames the Huskies 55-28

It was the Molly Webster show in a Jan. 29 Tri-Valley Conference girls basketball game at North Marion, as the 5-10 sophomore guard lit up the scoreboard with a season-high 26 points in a 55-28 trouncing of the Huskies.

Webster was a sizzling 10-of-11 from the field, with two 3-pointers. She also collected a team-high seven rebounds, made three steals and assisted on three baskets.

“Molly had excellent shot selection,” said Gladstone coach Pat Scott. “Most of her shots were close in. She only had three outside shots where she had wide-open looks and she made two of those. She also had three assists and only one turnover. She played really well.”

The Gladiators played a strong team game all-around, with assists on 19 of their 22 field goals. Melisa Campos and Mikaela Simac sparked the offense with five assists apiece.

The contest was a mismatch from the start, with Gladstone shutting North Marion out, 17-0, in the first quarter, en route to a 29-7 halftime advantage.

“It ranks right up there as one of our better games,” Scott said. “We just keep getting better and better and better. At the beginning of the season, the girls said that if we continued to improve this could be a very special season, and it’s turning out that way. We’ve beaten everyone we were supposed to and we’ve beaten a few teams we weren’t supposed to. Hopefully, as we continue to improve, we can beat a few more teams we aren’t supposed to.”

Scott praised sophomore guard Mikaela Simac: “I can’t say enough about Mikaela. She didn’t score a point, but she contributes in so many ways. She handles the ball all the time and usually brings it up, and she only had one turnover [at North Marion]. She had five assists, six rebounds and two steals....”

Scott said that rebounding has been pivotal in his Gladiators’ continued improvement.

“We had 31 rebounds [against North Marion],” he said. “Rebounding was one of our weaknesses at the beginning of the year. Now we’ve turned that around. We’re holding the other team to one-and-done.”

The win left the 11th-ranked Gladiators all alone in second place in the TVC standings with the first half of the league season complete.

The Gladiators (11-5, 4-1) were to host the conference-leading La Salle Falcons (15-3, 5-0) on Tuesday (Feb. 5). Gladstone hosts Estacada (4-12, 0-5) on Friday, and the Gladiators play Molalla (7-12, 1-4) on the road next Tuesday.

La Salle girls last week won big at Molalla, 56-36.

Gladstone boys shored up their defense in the second half and rallied to a 48-38 victory over North Marion in a Tri-Valley Conference game played at North Marion on Jan. 29.

Trailing 26-25 at the intermission, the Gladiators held the Huskies to just 12 points in the second half.

“We made some adjustments on our press and stepped it up defensively in the second half,” said Gladstone coach Ted Yates.

Junior forward Ryun Gibson played a huge role in the Gladiator win, scoring a career- and game-high 24 points, snagging 12 rebounds, and stealing the sphere four times. Gibson was a hot-handed 11-of-18 from the field and he hit Gladstone’s only 3-point basket.

“That was a really good game for Ryun,” Yates said. “It was the second game in a row that he’s scored a lot and scored consistently in every quarter.”

Gibson had scored 19 points — on 9-for-12 shooting — onJan. 25, when he led the Gladiators to a 57-53 upset of Madras.

The Gladiators forced 24 turnovers in the North Marion game. They also dominated the backboards, claiming twice as many rebounds as their hosts.

Handsome Smith was a sparkplug on offense, with seven assists and seven points.

Austin Galvin came up with four steals.

“Austin’s helping out a lot,” Yates said. “He got a late start because of his football injury, but he’s contributing more and more every time out. He’s a ballhawk, and he’s a playmaker.”

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