Boys basketball: Woodburn pulls away from Sweet Home, 66-49
After dropping three of their last four games since a season-opening victory, the Woodburn boys basketball team was in need of a big win to help boost its confidence going into 2018. The Bulldogs got just that on Dec. 27, opening the first round of the Stayton Holiday Tournament with a 66-49 win over the Sweet Home Huskies.
"It was good — we needed a game like this to get our confidence up and show what we're capable of," Woodburn head coach Ryan Slider said. "I know we can do that, it's just sustaining that has been kind of an issue for us."
The team got off to a physical start after junior post E.J. Barajas took an elbow to the head that went unnoticed by the referees and dropped him to the floor for a few moments. But rather than retaliate, the Bulldogs did their talking on the court.
Led by the duo of junior Trevor Karsseboom and senior Jaime Tlatenchi, Woodburn dropped 23 points on the Huskies in the first quarter and kept the offense humming in the first half to the tune of a 43-20 lead entering halftime.
"We got a big lead, didn't let up and didn't respond to some cheap shots when they wanted to, but they held themselves together," Slider said.
Karsseboom scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the first quarter, while Tlatenchi came off the bench to score all five of his points in the game in the first eight minutes.
The Bulldogs saw a number of contributions from their reserves in the game. Tyson Doman connected on three 3-pointers, while Miguel Trevino and Kevin Cruz added eight and seven points, respectively. In total, 10 different players notched at least a field goal in the victory.
"That's good to see that from our team," Slider said. "Not just Justice (Ashpole) and Trevor, but other guys really stepped up. I think it's good for us in the long term."
Woodburn didn't let up coming out of the break, holding the Huskies to four points in the third quarter to take a commanding 54-24 edge. That turned the game into a route that allowed Slider to turn to the deep parts of his bench to give his younger players some live-game experience.
In addition to Karsseboom's big game, Ashpole was the only other Woodburn player to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
"What I told them at halftime is that if we didn't score another point, we'd still win by 10," Slider said. "Had I kept the starters in, maybe we could have done that, but we didn't really need to do that."
Sweet Home went on a 25-12 run in the final quarter to make the final score closer than the first three quarters indicated, but Slider was happy that the team allowed its youngest players extended play at the end.
"We've got two freshmen finishing the game, so some defensive lapses are going to happen. It's fine," Slider said. "I was just glad we put them in a position to get some minutes."
Woodburn (3-5) followed up with a 74-45 loss to 4A No. 5 Valley Catholic (8-2) in the tournament semifinal and was scheduled to finish the third-place game against a to-be-determined opponent on Friday.
The Bulldogs will take the week off before returning to the court this Friday against Hood River Valley (4-6) in just the second home game this season for Woodburn. The team then takes to the road again in its league opener against the South Albany Rebels on Jan. 9.