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Early lead does not stick for Gaston girls


The Greyhounds fly to an early 12-point lead, but Neah-Kah-Nie rallies in the second half

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Greyhounds junior Haylie Davis draws some contact down low during Gaston's 39-33 loss to Neah-Kah-Nie on Friday. Gaston played some beautiful basketball early on Friday night, but in the end it did not hold.

The Greyhounds got the jump on Neah-Kah-Kie in Northwest League action, motoring to a 15-4 first-quarter lead. But while the scoring dried up for the home team, the Pirates found their stride late and rallied for a 39-33 victory.

Brittany Scull gave the visitors their first lead at 28-27 on a putback with two seconds left in the third quarter, and she scored five more points in the fourth to keep the Hounds at bay. Gaston, back at home for the first time in four weeks, dropped to 3-10 overall, 2-5 in Northwest League play. Neah-Kah-Nie improved to 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the league.

For first-year Hounds coach Travis Martin, the game situation was the exact opposite of what he has been typically dealing with this winter.

“That’s been the story of our season so far, is just not coming out ready to go,” Martin said. “And then they prove it and they come out on fire, we get a 12-point lead, exactly where we wanted. Now I guess it’s focus on how to finish a game.”

The Greyhounds were indeed ready to go while the Pirates came out flat-footed. Jaycie Endicott, who scored a team-high 13 points, set the tone in that first quarter, hitting twice from close range inside the first minute. Then Haylie Davis got in on the action with a reverse.

After 3-pointers from Endicott and Amber Kuyl, just like that, the home team had built a 12-0 advantage six minutes in.

Not until the third quarter —Gaston led by nine points, 21-12, at the break — did Neah-Kah-Nie really start to make a dent into the lead. Endicott drove to the hoop for the first score of the half, but the Pirates went on a 16-4 run over the rest of the stanza. Taylor Winder, who scored a game-high 17 points, fueled the comeback with seven points before Scull took over to score the Pirates’ final six of the period.

“As much as I want to say it’s because we didn’t come out the second half, I don’t think that was it at all,” Endicott said. “I think we were still playing as a team, doing what we could, but they really came alive, especially (Scull).”

Endicott’s pull-up jumper early in the fourth put the Greyhounds back ahead 29-28. But that lead would prove to be Gaston’s last, as the Pirates went up by eight inside the final three minutes on a Winder jumper.

The Hounds answered with a Kuyl 3-pointer off the glass and a free throw from Endicott, cutting the score to 37-33, but Gaston got no closer.

Still, if this young team — Tina Turner is the lone senior — can play for longer stretches the way it did early, positive results could be on the horizon.

“I think we played better than we ever did, to be truthful,” Turner said. “We actually worked as a team. We didn’t get down on ourselves.”

Kuyl finished with nine points, and Davis added four. Scull ended with 12 for Neah-Kah-Nie, and Dana Moore chipped in nine.

The Hounds were back in action against Riverdale on Tuesday. Results were not available at press deadline. The team takes on Portland Christian at 6 p.m. on Friday at Multnomah University before returning home Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest against Knappa.