Lady Vikings nudged by Lions in league opener

Siuslaw: 05  07  10  12 — 34

Grove: 10 06 07  16 — 39


Jan. 16, 2019 — Defense was the name of the game as the Lady Vikings basketball team hosted Cottage Grove (1-0, 9-6) to kick off the Sky-Em League season last Friday night at Glenn Butler Court.

“The girls really battled and played with confidence,” said Siuslaw coach Chad Smith, who took the helm of the program this season.

The Vikings traded baskets with the Lady Lions for most of the first quarter, staying within 1 point with 2:26 in the period after a rebound from junior Mia Collins — who scored all 5 of Siuslaw's points in the period.

It wasn't until the final 2 minutes that the Lions put together a 4-point run to move ahead 10-5 to start the second quarter. Collins was the first to score in the period, on a pair a free throws.  Sophomore Brea Blankenship then nabbed a steal and ran it into the paint for an easy bucket, pulling Siuslaw back within 1 point.

After denying the Lions at the other end, Collins passed to senior Alyssa Richards, who gave the Viks their first lead of the game, 11-10.

Cottage Grove reclaimed the lead on a pair of free throws, then extended its lead to 16-11 after two more trips to the line.

Collins managed three blocked shots in the final 11 seconds to keep Siuslaw within 4 points heading into the half, 16-12.

Siuslaw came back strong in the second half, narrowly outscoring the Lions 10-7, thanks in large part to multiple steals from Blankenship, and a 3-pointer from sophomore Lindsey Long that put the Viks back within a single basket, 19-17, with 4:23 in the period.

Senior guard Madison Reynolds followed up with her own 3-pointer, putting Siuslaw back on top, 20-19.

A pair of free throws from Collins kept the Viks ahead until the final 15 seconds, when Cottage Grove struck for a 3-pointer and a slim 23-22 advantage to start the final quarter.

A steal by Blankenship in the opening seconds put the Viks back ahead 24-23 as a tug-of-war on the scoreboard continued for the remainder of the game.

With 1:22 remaining, Collins nabbed a rebound to keep Siuslaw a basket away, 36-34, but two trips to the foul line for Cottage Grove in the last 23 seconds translated into 3 points — just enough to secure a narrow 39-34 win.

Collins led scoring with 14 points, Blankenship had 8, Long scored 5, Richards and sophomore Gracie Freudenthal had 4 points each, and Reynolds had 3 points for Siuslaw.

The Lady Viks began a three-game road series at Marist last night (after press deadlines) and will be at Marshfield on Friday before heading to Elmira next Tuesday.

Friday’s game against the Pirates tips off at 5:45 p.m., following the boys’ game at 7:15 p.m.


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