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Woodburn girls start basketball season on positive note
The Woodburn girls basketball team dropped its only game last week in a taut 46-44 contest against Newberg, but the Bulldogs are once again starting the winter basketball season on a strong note.
Since the 2010-11 season, the Woodburn girls have gotten out of the gates quickly. The team is 3-2 through its first five games this year, falling in line the Bulldogs 3-3 through six games last year. In 2011, the team started 2-1, and the year before the team was 5-3 through the first month of play.
In that span, the Bulldogs have made the postseason just once – in the 2010-11 season the team finished 9-16 overall and qualified for the play-in round of the OSAA tournament where the team won its first game before getting knocked out of the season by the Springfield Millers.
This year, the Bulldogs hope their hot start translates into success later in the season when the team is fighting for one of the playoff positions awarded to the top 24 teams in the state at the end of the season.
Although Friday nights two-point loss to the Tigers marks Woodburns second loss in their past three games, the team held its own against a perennial playoff team in the 6A classification.
Woodburn boasts a bevy of senior experience on the roster, beginning with 6-foot-1 all-conference post Celine Gregoire, who finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the loss to Newberg.
Gregoire and junior guard Lizzy Ellingson – who finished with 10 points, three assists and four steals – helped give the Bulldogs an early advantage against Tigers after the Bulldogs built a 24-18 advantage through the first two quarters of play Friday night.
But Woodburn was unable to hold off a second-half rally from Newberg, which scored 26 points in the final two quarters, including 16 in the fourth to seal the Tigers fourth victory in five games this season.
The loss for Woodburn closes the teams play in 2013, as the team takes a two-week break before returning to the court Jan. 3 in a non-conference match against Churchill.
The Bulldogs entered the game against Newberg after coming off a trip the week before to the Hood River Tournament where they split a pair of games against Centennial and the hosting Hood River Valley Eagles.
Gregoire and Ellingson led the team with 24 and 13 points, respectively, against Centennial in the opening round of the tournament. But the Bulldogs were shredded on defense, giving up their most points as a team since February 2011, as the team lost 71-53.
The following day, the Woodburn girls had their best defensive game of the season in a 43-28 victory over Hood River Valley. Gregoire led the team with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in the victory, and Kylie Doman added 16 points and four steals.