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Indians open league with a rough start


by: PARKER LEE - Isabella Petitta pulls in the rebound.Molalla’s girls basketball team got off to a rough start in league last week, taking two losses. The Indians first went on the road to Estacada, where they lost 43-31.

“Overall, not a week we were real happy with ourselves about,” Coach Phil Wiesner said.

“Went up to Estacada and let their overall height bother us more than it should have. They are long and lean. They like to get it up and down and press. We didn't do a real good job of executing our game plan versus their press and kind of played into their strength, which is their length.”

“The old nemesis—turnovers—is still hanging around us,” Wiesner said. “It seems simple, if we just cut our turnovers down about five a game and increase our shooting percentage in the paint by about 20 percent … we [would] turn some of our losses into victories. We were only down by four at the half, then came out and missed a couple of easy shots and turned the ball a couple of times and bingo, they win the [third] quarter 12-4. We are working hard but just shoot ourselves in the foot and let the other team get the upper hand.”

Molalla followed the loss in Estacada with a 56-33 loss at home against Madras on Friday.

“We got off to a terrible start, which is actually uncharacteristic for us, missing several easy layups early and getting 14 of our 20 turnovers in the first half,” Wiesner said. “We can't start that way and expect much success, especially against a good Madras team. Madras shot very well for the game, which we contributed to by not closing out real well and giving them easy layups off turnovers.”

Despite opening league with losses, it’s not all gloom for the Indians.

“There have been some definite bright spots during our struggles,” Wiesner said. “One stat that has definitely been improving is our assists. In the Estacada game, 13 of our 14 made field goals came off of assists and in the Madras game 11 of our 14 made field goals came off of assists. That's a very good ratio. Now we just need to decrease the turnover rate to get ourselves more field goal chances. Deflection numbers keep gradually getting higher also.”

The team plays two games this week. This first is at home, against Gladstone (1-1 in league, 10-6 overall), on Tuesday. The Indians then go on the road to North Marion (0-2 in league, 6-10 overall) on Friday.

“The season is a journey and along the way you're going to have valley's where you struggle,” Wiesner said. “Hopefully we'll find our way out and start to get back to climbing the mountain again.”