Indians grab wins over Sisters, La Grande as two weeks of non-league games remain

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Molalla senior Sierra Cox plays defense against Central earlier this seaosn. Molalla's girls' basketball team picked up two more wins at the Sisters Tournament last weekend, moving them to 5-5 on the season as about two more weeks of preseason games remain until Tri-Valley play begins.

The Indians took on no. 5 Baker (11-1) on their first day in Sisters last Thursday in a game that came down to turnovers, as Molalla's 29 on the night would prove to be too much of a detriment to close the 10-point gap as Baker won 62-52.

And though the Indians led by 11 points at the half, holding Baker to just 22 points in the first half, Wiesner said they made an attempt to counter some offensive changes they expected to see from Baker in the second half, and they changed up their defense.

"We just weren't as sharp (in the second half)," Wiesner said. "Looking back, [we] should've taken the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach."

Baker took control of the second half and capitalized on Molalla's turnover troubles, scoring 40 points in the second half compared to the Indians' 19.

"Baker has a lot of firepower, and you have to get after them defensively and not give them clean looks," he said. "However, the big difference maker for the outcome was way too many turnovers … you can't beat even bad teams with that many, let alone a top five team."

Molalla took the loss against Baker and learned from it as they came back the next day an dominated Sisters (3-7) 47-19. And though the Indians started out a bit slow as the game was tied at nine at the end of the first quarter, they woke up and got things going.

"We came out of the gate a little slow with our intensity, but certainly brought it the last three quarters," Wiesner said. "I was very proud of how the girls fought through their initial sluggishness all on their own; they knew what needed done and did it."

Molalla also fixed their turnover issues from the day before and cut it down to ten on the day against Sisters.

In the consolation final against La Grande (4-6) on Saturday, Molalla drew off of their momentum from the previous day and beat the Tigers 69-54 to secure a winning tournament.

"We continued playing a great team games, putting our teammates in good positions with the ball on offense and taking advantage of any defensive lapses the Tigers showed," Wiesner said.

Wiesner said they took extra steps to contain freshman Camryn Collman, who "regularly makes threes from beyond NBA distance," and held her to zero three-pointers through three quarters of play, to which Wiesner contributed to the play of sophomore Maddy Lisac and senior Hailey Holas.

La Grande went to Collman almost exclusively in the fourth quarter, however, and dropped three three-pointers as part of her 13 points in the quarter, but it wasn't enough to keep the Indians at bay.

As the Tigers were forced to begin fouling to stop the clock, Molalla senior Sierra Cox capitalized and sunk nine free throws and one field goal for 11 points in the fourth quarter as she scored a team-high 24 points.

"This was a good trip for us, winning the consolation final and playing three teams from other part of the state well for the most part," Wiesner said. "The girls bonded well over the last three days and are ready to take on the New Year."

"We have a quality non-league schedule of four games coming up before we get started defending our conference title,"

Up next for the Indians is an away matchup at Scappoose (4-5) tonight (Jan. 3) at 7 p.m., followed by another away game at Valley Catholic (8-3) on Friday at 6 p.m.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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