Banks girls trounce two more opponents to stay undefeated in league

The Banks girls basketball team has been beset by injuries and illness this winter, but you’d never know it from the scores the Lady Braves have posted.

Banks dished out two more drubbings last week — 53-32 against Tillamook last Tuesday and 65-26 against Yamhill-Carlton on Friday — to remain unbeaten in Cowapa League NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Banks senior guard Riley Gerlinger coasts in for a layup over Chelse Frank of Yamhill-Carlton during last Friday's Cowapa League basketball game. Banks won the game 65-26 to stay undefeated in league play.

With two weeks left in the regular season and three weeks before the start of the Class 4A state playoffs, the Lady Braves have a finite amount of time to get healthy before the level of competition jumps significantly.

“With all the injuries and sickness, we’ve had some younger kids get a chance to gain some extra experience, and I think that’s really going to pay off down the road,” Banks head coach Nick Rizzo said.

Against Tillamook, the Lady Braves were without starters Kaylin Vandomelen, Lexi Chung and Samantha Duyck, as well as reserve post Chelsea Dunthorn.

In their absence, seniors Riley Gerlinger and Kayla Hardie stepped up with 14 points apiece, and junior Lauren Birr had eight points and four assists.

On Friday against Yamhill-Carlton, Geringer again led the way with 18 points, six steals and five rebounds. Freshman Megan Bunn played well down low, with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Vandomelen — in her first game back after taking five stitches on the chin — finished with nine points.

With the biggest league game of the season looming next Tuesday against second-place Seaside, Rizzo said he will be cautious about rushing players back from their injuries, especially Chung, who reaggravated a shoulder injury against Tillamook, and Duyck, who is battling bronchitis.

“We’ve been fortunate enough so far to not trip up,” Rizzo said. “We’ve just got to get through this week.”

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