Vikings nab first win


Lady Viks edge out E.L. Christian in tournament play

Siuslaw d E.L. Christian 37-26

Bandon d Siuslaw 24-51

Jan. 8, 2019 — The Siuslaw girls basketball team gained its first win of the season last Friday, taking down East Linn Christian Academy during the Bandon Dunes Holiday Invitational.

“It was a really interesting game,” Coach Ashlee Cole said. “Both sides really came out to play.  It was also a really low-scoring game.

“Three quarters of the way into the first quarter, the score was 2-2.”

The Viks had switched things up this time around, changing their ball handler and getting different players on the perimeter.

“We got more shots, and that seemed to work a lot better,” Cole said, pointing out that the Viks really worked on shooting the ball.

But it was the defense that really stood out for Cole.

“Our defense was really excellent this game. We really came to play on defense.”

Offensively, Mia Collins and Brea Blankenship dominated, with Blankenship scoring some clutch 3-pointers at the end of the game.

“That really pushed us through,” said Cole.

Despite the Viks claiming their first win, the mood of the team was far from celebratory at the end; with just minutes left in the fourth quarter, Gracie Freudenthal rolled her ankle.

“She was hurting pretty bad, screaming,” said Cole. “Everybody was really worried about her injury. We won the game, but it didn’t feel like a win because everybody was worried. I could see it in the girls’ faces.”

Thankfully, the injury was only a sprain and Freudenthal will only be out for five days. But at the time, the team didn’t know that.

“Just having that at the end of the game brought the mood down because it was scary,” Cole said. “They just need to realize that they actually won the game.”

Cole said she was worried at first as well, but as it became evident that it was only a sprain, her mood lifted.

“I got excited,” she said. “Everything else seemed to go really well. We played really well together. A few girls could have scored a little bit more, but I say that every time.”

With Fruedenthal out, the Viks ended up losing their second game of the tournament.

“I feel like we could have played a little bit more of our game instead of their game,” she said.  “We were a way better team, you could see it.

“We just need to slow down and not play how the other team is playing.”

The Viks stumbled in Saturday’s game against Bandon, who is on an eight-game winning streak at the moment. With Freudenthal out, the team had a difficult time against the Tigers, though “our defense went out really strong,” said Cole. “We got into a little bit of foul trouble at the end of the game.”

But with Friday’s win, coupled with Blankenship winning the freethrow competition — and Mia Collins being named to the tournament’s All-Star roster, Cole’s spirits are high as the Viks reach closer to league play.

“I feel good,” Cole said. “We’re playing as a team and I think that once we get past our injuries and work on our offense, we’ll have a good showing.”

The Viks will play the Sky-Em/Skyline Corssover this the weekend, and then begin league play on  Friday, Jan. 17 at Cottage Grove.

Tipoff against the Lions is set for 7:15 p.m.

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