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Girls Basketball: Scappoose takes down St. Helens in season opener

The Indians overcome a slow start to smoke the Lions with a big second half.


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose senior Lacey Updike turns the corner and looks for a layup during the first half of the Indians' 53-24 victory over St. Helens. Doing most of her damage from the free throw line, Updike finished with 10 points on six of seven shooting from the charity stripe.Maybe a few jitters will do some good. Playing in front of a noisy crowd in their home opener, Scappoose had a tall order ahead of them – shake off the memory of last year's heartbreaking loss to St. Helens in the final seconds. They shook off the memory and then some. Behind a big second half and a solid start for senior forward Abby Kessi, Scappoose (1-0) ran away and hid in the final two quarters, outscoring St. Helens (0-1) by 21 in the second half and came away with a 53-24 victory.

It was a benchmark for the Indians, who have come a long way according to first-year head coach David Spirlin. Scappoose got most of their points from well inside the circle due to unselfish passing and strong play in the paint. Spirlin was pleased with the “old school” look, where the win is about the group, and not about the individual.

For St. Helens, it was a tale of two halves. Or rather, one quarter and the rest of the game. After falling down in the opening minutes, the Lions battled back and tied the game at nine late in the first quarter. Just a few seconds into the second quarter, senior Lucy Kyle-Milward took a knock at the top of the three point line and crumpled to the floor. She was helped off the court, and didn't return.

With Kyle-Milward out, things opened up on offense for Scappoose and shut down completely for St. Helens. Though the Indians struggled to connect in the second quarter, it was nothing compared to the Lions' woes to close out the first half. St. Helens missed all 14 of their field-goal attempts and by halftime, were trailing 17-9.

Senior Nicole Harcourt finally scored a bucket a few minutes in to the third quarter, but had few answers for Kessi, who scored eight of her game-high 19 points in the third. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Scappoose was playing free and loose. The Indians got points from six different players in the final frame, and though St. Helens finally began to heat up from three point range, it was too little too late.

The Indians will travel to Roosevelt on Tuesday, Dec. 10, while St. Helens will go back home to host Hood River in their home opener also on Tuesday evening.

SUMMARY:

St. Helens – 9 - 0 - 6 - 9 – 24

Scappoose – 11 - 6 - 17 - 19 – 53