Lions trail by one in the fourth, but can't complete the come-from-behind victory
All the progress the St. Helens girls' basketball program has made in the last few weeks makes each loss a little more frustrating. And unlike the past, where a loss might be disheartening, the frustration comes from the fact that the Lions keep getting closer to their first victory and are seemingly inches away.
St. Helens had one of their better performances of the season last Friday at Wilsonville (4-9, 1-3), battling the Wildcats until the home team pulled away in the fourth, winning 46-36 and dropping the Lions to 0-13 on the year.
Early on, it looked like it would end in another blowout for the St. Helens, as Wilsonville raced out to a 20-9 lead midway through the second. Finally, though, shots started to fall. Sophomore Emily Nollette netted six points in a flurry, and thanks to a fast break layup from sophomore Lydia Reardon and trey from senior guard Rianne Tupper, the Lions finished the half on a 13-4 run, trailing 24-22 at the break.
An excellent second quarter from the Lions and even play through the third had Wilsonville sweating. Losers of their previous five games and winless thus far in league play, the last thing the Wildcats wanted was to be the team that got the Lions rolling.
Thankfully for Wilsonville, they found another gear. Lion senior Bella Roth hit a free throw to pull St. Helens within one point early in the fourth, and from there it was all Wilsonville. The home team set off on an 11-1 run to take a 44-33 lead late in the quarter before cruising to victory.
Senior guard Rianne Tupper and Nollette scored 10 points apiece for St. Helens, which snagged a 26-24 lead early in the third quarter on a transition basket by Bella Roth and a 28-26 edge on a layup by Nollette shortly thereafter. The Wildcats, though, had an answer, pulling even on a drive by sophomore Alex Monello. Jocylyn Welberg banked in a three-pointer to put Wilsonville on top for good.
The Lions will be at home for their next contest, welcoming Rex Putnam on Jan. 28, a clash with the league leading Kingsmen, who are 4-0 in league play and 6-7 overall.
Jeff Goodman of the Wilsonville Spokesman contributed to this story.
Wilsonville 46, St. Helens 36
STHE 5 17 9 5 36
WILS 11 13 9 13 46
St. Helens (36): Emily Nollette 10, Rianne Tupper 10, Bella Roth 6, Lydia Reardon 5, Maggie Cochran 3, Nicole Harcourt 2.
Wilsonville (46): Kristen Burke 11, ChiAnn Morris 9, Jocelyn Welberg 7, Karlin McNiel 7, Kendall Tate 7, Alex Monello 3, Presley Braun 2.