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Girls basketball: Indians lose Bailey, beat Astoria 37-24

Scappoose picks up their first win of league play


Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose junior post Kendal Bailey prepares to rise up for a layup during the first quarter of the Indians' 37-24 victory over Astoria on Tuesday night. With less than a minute left in the game, Bailey went down with an ankle injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the contest.Scappoose might have gotten their first victory of the league season on Tuesday night, but by the time the final horn sounded and the teams trotted off the court, it certainly didn't feel like it.

The Indians (8-8, 1-2 Cowapa) exploded in the third quarter for 19 points, riding a combined 22 points from Alyssa Spang and freshman Lea Brodala to beat Astoria 37-24. But in the process, they lost junior post Kendal Bailey for the next two weeks to a sprained right ankle.

With less than a minute to play and the Indians already up by double digits, Bailey leapt for a rebound on the defensive end but fell awkwardly and instantly collapsed to the floor in obvious pain. She was helped off the court after several hushed minutes, and spent the remainder of the game on the bench with ice on her right ankle.

Head coach David Spirlin, who feared at the beginning of the season what might happen if one of his experienced players went down, said Bailey was much more than a big, strong body on the court — she's also the team's emotional leader.

“That's gonna hurt, because she's probably the most physical post player I have,” Spirlin said. “She'll bang bodies and she doesn't mind hitting the floor, and you've got to have somebody like that. Every team's got to have somebody who does the dirty work and doesn't mind the box score not showing... she doesn't mind if she scores zero or 20, she's just out there trying to do her job.”

Before coming out, Bailey had been a monster on the boards, collecting a team-high 10 rebounds and contributing eight points. Four of her eight points came in a critical early stretch in which the Indians scored six consecutive points to lead Astoria 6-2 at the end of a sluggish first quarter.

It was the start to the second half that saved Scappoose from a fourth-quarter collapse. The Indians struck first before Astoria quickly answered, but the Indians went on to score the next 10 points to grab a 22-11 lead late in the period. A last-second three pointer from Spang — a rare, but increasingly common occurrence — had the home team up by 16 points heading to the final quarter.

That's when things turned up a notch. Scappoose, though they've had spurts of success so far this season, is still young and relatively thin with experienced players. As the game wears on, players are more reluctant to chase Spang after a steal at the top of the defense — that is, with two exceptions: Brodala and fellow freshman Hannah Galey. The two freshmen routinely get out on the fast break, with Galey playing a special in-between role at mid-court when the Indians attempt to break a full-court press. Galey at times will leap and catch passes like a receiver on the gridiron.

The speedy young horses aside, the problem for Scappoose and the symptom of their exhaustion problems is an inability to break a press when opposing defenses decide to toss it the Indians' way late in games. Spirlin refers to it as “panic mode,” and said it shows up regardless of whether Scappoose has a lead or not.

“It's when we see pressure, and we stay in second gear. We don't get out of second gear, so we're really easy to guard when we kinda jog through situations, especially in the press break situations,” Spirlin said. “When you're jogging, you're really easy to guard because you don't have to move a lot. Defense doesn't have to expend a lot of energy to cover you. We've got to get out of that mode where we're going half speed, and I've got to light a fire under them.”

Immediately upon inbounding the ball for the final eight minutes, things changed for Astoria. Two players jumped forward to pressure the ball as the Fishermen turned up the defensive intensity. It didn't go away, and the press never came off and after a fast-break bucket from Brodala, the Indians watched as Astoria cut their lead down to 12 with just over four minutes to play, and 11 inside the final two minutes.

At that point, though, it was too late for Astoria. By the time Bailey fell to the floor, the game was already in hand for the Indians, who iced things with two free throws from Spang for the final margin.

Spang finished with 11 points, four steals and three assists. Brodala also finished the evening with 11 points, adding four rebounds to the Indians' dominant 34-18 edge on the glass.

Scappoose will make the long trip to face Tillamook on Friday evening, tipping things off with the Cheesemakers at 7 p.m. Their next home match up comes on Feb. 3 in a 7 p.m. game with Banks.

SUMMARY

Scappoose 37, Astoria 24

ASTO 2 7 4 11 — 24

SCAP 6 4 19 8 — 37

Scoring: Spang 11, Tinning 3, Bailey 8, Brodala 11, Galey 2, Kopra 2

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