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Ocean Bryan, Allison Gilliam lead Goldendale to 2-0 week

 

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale junior guard Allison Gilliam looks to pass while Stevenson's Kaitlyn Rathgeber defends on Dec. 6.

The Goldendale Timberwolves girls basketball team jumped all over host Royal early during Saturday's 59-54 nonconference win, but what head coach Mike Plum was most proud of was of how his girls responded after giving up the lead late to the Knights.

After a dominant first quarter and first half which saw the Timberwolves take a 29-17 lead into halftime, the Knights responded with a run of their own and came within two points of the lead (34-32) with around three minutes left in the third quarter, forcing Plum to call timeout.

"I told them to relax, don't worry about it," Plum said in the time out. "Every team always has their runs and it's just their run has to stop now."

"I saw the composure in the girls' eyes," he added. "They weren't panicked ... They were really kind of like 'Oh OK we're good, we're OK.'"

After the timeout, Goldendale increased its lead but again Royal was able to battle back and take the lead for the first time at 39-38 early in the fourth quarter.

"But I never saw the girls panic," Plum said. "We came right back down and stayed within our game flow and next thing you know, it's neck-and-neck going into the last two minutes."

The Knights tied it at 54 with 1:13 left in the game but moments later junior guard Allison Gilliam knocked down a big 3-pointer off an assist from junior Sierra Plum, giving the Wolves the lead for good.

Goldendale held the Knights scoreless throughout the final two minutes, while Bryan and Gilliam each scored one from the charity stripe to put the game away.

Bryan's game-high 20 points and 18 rebounds propelled the Wolves, while Gilliam was right behind her with 19 points. Freshman forward Kristin Bighorn finished with 12 rebounds and Sierra Plum grabbed 10 boards as the team combined for 63 total rebounds (37 offensive) and 27 second chance points.

It was a weird week for Goldendale athletics. Friday's home contest against the River View Panthers was canceled due to snow and it's unknown when the game will be made up.

On Saturday, they made the 294 mile trek to Royal City to play a Knights team that had yet to take the court this season.

"You could kind of just tell that (Royal's players) were nervous," Plum said. "They were in front of their home crowd and their big band and we kind of took advantage of that."

After Royal started the game with a full court press, the Timberwolves easily broke it twice early on causing the Knights to rethink their defensive strategy. They called time and took off the press.

"Next thing you know ... we didn't have to worry about the press the rest of the game," Plum said. "It was awesome to just see that happen."

Goldendale opened its South Central Athletic Conference slate on Tuesday with a road matchup with the Highland Scotties, but results were unavailable at press time. They return to the court Friday with another long road trip, this time a 260 mile drive north to Cle Elum. After Friday's game, they're on the road again with a 6 p.m. meeting with La Salle.

Box

Goldendale 15 14 15 15 - 59

Royal 6 11 20 17 - 54

Goldendale: Bryan 20, Gilliam 19, Kristin Bighorn 6, Plum 5, Bartkowski 5, Bigbie 2, Kelli Bighorn 2.

Wolves top Stevenson for first win

In its home opener last Tuesday against the Bulldogs, Bryan showed what the team was missing in its season opening loss on the road to Mabton on Dec. 3.

Bryan played limited minutes due to foul trouble against Mabton, but came out of the gate strong on Tuesday scoring eight points in the first quarter of Goldendale's 64-35 win over Stevenson.

Bryan and Gilliam combined to score 14 points in the opening quarter as the Wolves jumped out to a 20-11 lead in the first eight minutes. Their uptempo offense was running fluid and often was sparked by Gilliam on the defensive end. In the first quarter alone, she swiped two Stevenson passes and went the other way for easy lay-ins. She finished the game with an amazing 10 steals.

In the second quarter, Bryan scored eight straight points for the Timberwolves while the defense held Stevenson to five points over period and went into halftime leading 34-16. The Timberwolf defense also stifled the Bulldogs into 24 first-half turnovers.

The Timberwolves continued to cruise after halftime led by a well balanced scoring attack. Eight of the nine Timberwolves scored including three who finished in double figures.

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale's Ocean Bryan takes a shot against Stevenson on Dec. 3.

After Bryan's game-high 24 points, junior Sierra Plum added 12 in her first game of the season after missing the opener at Mabton with an illness. Gilliam scored 10, Kristin Bighorn chipped in eight and senior guard Teresa Dunlap finished with four.

Bryan led the Wolves on the glass with 10 rebounds and Bighorn added seven for the Timberwolves.

Box

Goldendale 20 14 12 18 - 64

Stevenson 11 5 8 11 - 35

Goldendale: Bryan 24, Plum 12, Gilliam 10, Kristin Bighorn 8, Dunlap 4, Riggers 2, Bigbie 2, Bartkowski 2.

Stevenson: O'Mahoney 14, St. Martin 8, Rathgaber 5, Emerson 3, Blackledge 3, Morat 2.

 

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