After a big win over Sherwood the week before, Lady Lions had trouble in their games last week

by: JEREMY DUECK - 'St. Helens' Nicole Harcourt drives to the basket during last Friday's game with Wilsonville. They Lady Lions lost their focus along the way, and lost the contest.The exhilaration of a big win over division rival Sherwood, and the confidence — or overconfidence, as the case may be — it inspired likely worked against the St. Helens Girls Basketball team as it traveled to Milwaukie to face the powerhouse Mustangs.

“I think what happened, as much as I hate to say it…I think honestly the kids got a little ahead of themselves,” said Coach Billy McKinney.

Milwaukie is currently ranked 4th in OSAA standings.

“We’ve never seen a team that can pass the ball so well and shoot,” McKinney said.

He said the experience was a positive one for a growing St. Helens team just starting to come into its own. In particular, McKinney said the Mustangs demonstrated the high-caliber performance that comes with a deeper commitment to the game.

“I told the kids, ‘Hey, take it and go with it,’” he said. “I’m going to tell them, ‘Think how well you would do if you put in work during the off-season.’ That’s the difference between Milwaukie and us.”

“They do it because they enjoy it,” he said.

McKinney said only three on the St. Helens team participated in summer basketball league play.

The game, despite the lopsided 65-34 defeat, revealed some strengths. McKinney said Sophomore Guard Michele Sass in particular drew their opponent’s attention, and feedback from Milwaukie’s coach indicated the St. Helens team wasn’t just brushed aside.

“He came up to me and said, ‘Your guys had my group concerned,’” McKinney said.

Sass scored seven points, tying junior Nicole Harcourt, for tops in team scoring.

The Lady Lions thought they had a good shot at upsetting Wilsonville on Friday, but McKinney said the girls appeared distracted by the upcoming Winter Ball on Saturday.

by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens' Lucy Kyle-Milward fires up a shot during last week's game with Milwaukie.“We had a talk about it,” McKinney said. That aside he was disappointed to look up and see their trailing 24-1 at one point in the first quarter. The Lady Lions would regain their composure and narrowed the margin a bit, but never recovered. St. Helens would outscore or be close to Wilsonville in two of the quarters. McKinney said the team is ready to get back on the winning track.

The Lady Lions were at Rex Putnam on Tuesday and this Friday they host Sandy. St. Helens beat Putnam by five during a tournament over the holidays. Sandy is just 2-11 on the season and ranked 38th. St. Helens is at Liberty next Tuesday and Parkrose on Friday.


Wilsonville 59, St. Helens 38

Wilsonville 24 11 12 12—59

St. Helens 6 17 4 11—38

St. Helens (38)—Riane Tupper 13, Ross 7, Amick 7, Sass 6, Harcourt 3, Etchison, Kyle-Milward, Reardon, Roth, Hembry, Bingamon, Bartolomucci.

Wilsonville (59)—Brynn Lio 18, Caitlin Malvar 15, Cosgrove 8, Morris 8, Tate 6, Welberg 2, Monello 2, Gilbert.

Milwaukie 65, St. Helens 34

St. Helens 9 3 15 7—34

Milwaukie 15 17 11 22—65

St. Helens (34)—Nicole Harcourt 7, Michelle Sass 7, Tupper 6, Ross 6, Amick 3, Bartolomucci 3, Kyle-Milward 2, Etchison, Reardon, Hembry, Bingamon.

Milwaukie (65)—Lorissa Martine 23, Alexis Noron 17, April Meads 11, Cunningham 9, Downs 5, Whisman, Molford, Rivers, Hester.

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