Girls basketball: Lions fall to Putnam despite Nollette's big night
Emily Nollette knocked down 17 points to lead St. Helens
St. Helens got a season-high 17 points from junior guard Emily Nollette, but it wasn't enough to make up for a quiet night from the rest of the starters as the Lions dropped their eighth game of the season in a 42-35 loss to Rex Putnam.
The offensive woes, which have stretched over the last two contests, started early for St. Helens. The visiting Kingsmen (6-5, 3-2 NWOC) rushed out to a quick 6-0 lead as the Lions couldn't manage to find the bottom of the net and struggled to get into their offensive sets. Nollette finally broke the stalemate, scoring all five of St. Helens' first-quarter points as the Lions trailed 14-5 after one period of play.
Both teams played even through the second quarter, as Nollette was joined in the score book by four points from Tierra Ramsay and a three from freshman Morgan Bingaman, but one name remained absent: senior guard Rianne Tupper, who had led the team in scoring in nearly every game thus far.
With Tupper uncharacteristically cold and the Lions struggling to get the ball down low to 6-foot-2 post Leslie Curtiss, the home team found themselves down 24-15 at the break.
But when the Lions scored the first five points of the second half including a three pointer to get Tupper on the board it seemed as though the difficulties on the offense end were through. That, though, was the end of St. Helens' streak as the shooting difficulties returned for the remainder of the game. The Lion defense held Putnam to just eight points in the quarter, but St. Helens failed to capitalize, missing five free throws and managing only six points in the third period.
The fourth quarter saw St. Helens make a bit of an offensive push as Maggie Cochran and Kaylie Wagner got into the scoring act for the first time. Lions finally outscored the visitors in the period, but Putnam hit eight of their 11 free throw attempts, five of which came from sophomore guard Maggie Batz.
Nollette's big night, which included 10 rebounds and 12 free throw attempts, was as long as the Lions' list of highlights reached. Tupper, curiously, spent large portions of the second half on the bench and finished with five points, but returned for the final three minutes of the game and immediately scored on a fast break.
Putnam sophomore Haley Brandel, who at 6-foot-1 stood toe-to-toe with Curtiss, led the Kingsmen with 12 points.
Behind Nollette's 17 points and Tupper's five points were four points from Ramsay, three points from Morgan Bingaman, and two each for Cochran and Wagner.
Up next, the Lions have what could be their most difficult task of the season in a match up with No. 3 La Salle on Tuesday evening at 7:15 p.m. The Falcons have yet to lose a NW Oregon Conference game, and are 12-1 on the season.
Rex Putnam 42, St. Helens 35
PUTN 14 10 8 10 42
STHE 5 10 6 14 35
St. Helens: Nollette 17, Tupper 5, Ramsay 4, Bingaman 3, Cochran 2, Wagner 2
Four minutes to play, St. Helens trails Putnam 34-25. Tupper is still on the bench, for no apparent reason. They need her points.— John William Howard (@JowardHoward) January 17, 2015
Youngsters getting heavy minutes for St. Helens at the moment. The effort and hustle are there, shot selection is not.— John William Howard (@JowardHoward) January 17, 2015
Starters Tupper and Cochran are back with three minutes left, and Rianne immediately scores on the break. 7 point game.— John William Howard (@JowardHoward) January 17, 2015