The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Girls hoops wins league opener before tough, three-game stretch

 

December 20, 2017

John Longfellow

Sophomore Kristin Bighorn takes a jumper over a Highland defender during last Tuesday's league-opening win over the Scotties in Goldendale. Bighorn scored 13 points and pulled down 22 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive end, during the 53-48 come-from-behind victory against the Scotties.

Goldendale head girls hoops coach Mike Plum knew prior to last Tuesday's South Central Athletic Conference opener against Highland that the Timberwolves and Scotties are always pretty evenly matched basketball teams.

After a closely contested first half, the Scotties used a strong third quarter to build a lead, but the Timberwolves answered with an even stronger fourth quarter which propelled the home team to a 53-48 win to open league play on top.

Goldendale started strong with last Tuesday's win, but faced two tough challenges in last Friday's 65-22 loss to Cle Elum, and Saturday's 74-14 loss to La Salle. The brutal stretch continued for the Timberwolves, who were on the road in Zillah on Tuesday, with results unavailable at press time.

The Warriors and Lightning both benefit from great guard play that made it tough for Goldendale's backcourt.

The Warriors are led by a pair of SCAC all-leaguers last year, senior Melli Rodriguez and sophomore Grace Terrill. Terrill scored 20 on Friday, and three other Warriors scored in double figures to beat the Wolves, who were led by 11 from senior Aimee Bartkowski.

The Lightning, with a tough full court press, made it tough for Goldendale's ball handlers on Saturday, especially without senior Allison Gilliam on the court. A balanced scoring attack from the Lightning was too much for the Timberwolves without their floor general in Gilliam.

A few days earlier against Highland, the Timberwolves took a six point into halftime but scored just three points in the third as they nearly fell behind by double figures.

Trailing by as many as nine points in the fourth to the Scotties, Plum changed up the Goldendale defense and brought the pressure. With the full court press defense on, Highland's offense started sputtering, taking tough shots and turning the ball over.

"We started pressing them and they cratered," Plum said. "Right then we just slowly picked at the score."

The Timberwolves continued to chip away at the deficit, taking advantage of some errant 3-point attempts from Highland.

"We rebounded and went down and scored. Rebounded and went down and scored," Plum said.

What was once a nine-point Highland lead evaporated in a matter of minutes. The Timberwolves offense was running smoothly in transition and finishing closely while the Scotties continued to fire away from downtown.

The Timberwolves struck for 24 points in the fourth, limiting Highland to just 11 to pick up their first league win.

"It's huge for us to beat Highland," Plum said.

It was a dominant effort inside for the Timberwolves, who received a season-high 13 points from sophomore Kristin Bighorn. Bighorn alone grabbed 22 of the team's 72 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass. Goldendale also scored 24 points inside the paint and used its aggression down low to get to the free throw line time after time, hitting 18 of 31 attempts.

Box scores

Last Tuesday

Goldendale 13 13 3 24 - 53

Highland 13 7 17 11 - 48

Goldendale scoring: Gilliam 16, Aimee Bartkowski 14, Kristin Bighorn 13, Ashley Bartkowski 6, Delaney Peters 2, Sierra Plum 2.

Friday

Goldendale 13 3 0 6 - 22

Cle Elum 22 16 15 12 - 65

Goldendale scoring: Aimee Bartkowski 11, Gilliam 6, Sierra Plum 2, Kristin Bighorn 2, Ashley Bartkowski 1.

Saturday

Goldendale 4 0 4 6 - 14

La Salle 20 18 21 15 - 74

Goldendale scoring: Aimee Bartkowski 11, Plum 2, Ashley Bartkowski 1.

The high powered Lightning offense put up points in a hurry against the shorthanded Goldendale squad. For the most part, Goldendale did a good job limiting the Lightning offense early on.

They trailed 10-3 with less than two minutes in the first quarter before La Salle doubled its score in 1 minute, 37 seconds after a Goldendale time out. Aimee (3), and Ashley Bartkowski (1), scored all of Goldendale's first-quarter points.

Up next

John Longfellow

Junior Kelli Bighorn takes the ball strong to the basket during Goldendale's win over Highland on Dec. 13 in Goldendale.

The Timberwolves were at Zillah on Tuesday, but results weren't available at press time.

The Leopards are the Class 1A No. 1 rated team based on the WIAA's RPI rankings, which takes winning percentage, opponents winning percentage, opponents opponents win percentage, and strength of schedule.

After Tuesday, the Wolves are right back in action the next day in Lyle, matching up with the Cougars, composed of players from Lyle and Wishram.

The teams met once last year, with the Wolves coming out on top. The teams meet again on Jan. 16 in Goldendale.

 

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