Girls basketball: Skyview blocks out Battle Ground

Strong defensive effort keeps Storm perfect in 4A GSHL

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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The Battle Ground Tigers kept testing Skyview’s Jocelyn Adams.

Jocelyn Adams kept turning away the Tigers.

“You can go up on me, but I’m going to do whatever I can to stop that shot,” Adams said.

After stopping the shot, she also was likely going to grab the ball.

Adams, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, blocked six shots and grabbed 18 rebounds Friday night, leading Skyview to a 42-28 victory over Battle Ground to take over sole possession of first place in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball standings.

The Storm (9-2 overall) went defensive to get to 4-0 after the first round of league play, holding Battle Ground to 10-of-51 shooting. The Tigers (6-5) fell to 3-1 in the GSHL.

“They were also 3-0 in league so we wanted to show them what Skyview is,” Adams said.

Skyview was not exactly lighting up the nets on offense, but it hardly mattered — not with Adams, Katie Swanson, Larissa Hamilton and Delaney Keser all recording blocked shots and Stephanie McDonagh getting six steals for the Storm’s defense.

After a close first quarter, the Storm scored the first nine points of the second period. Battle Ground missed its first 10 shots of that stretch and made its lone field goal of the quarter with 10 seconds before the half.

“Our coach tells us you have control over your defense and how hard you work when the offense isn’t working,” said Adams, who had six points.

Brooke Bowen led all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting. But she was more impressed with her team’s defense, too.

“It’s just good to know you have four other girls out there to support you, help you on defense,” she said. “It’s not just one person. It’s the team. You have people who can back you up and you can rely on them.”

Skyview coach Jennifer Buscher liked what she saw, as well. The Storm not only forced all those missed shots, but they forced 26 turnovers.

Still, there needs to be some scoring in order to win. Skyview shot 32 percent from the floor — certainly not ideal for the Storm but plenty good enough when the defense is on its game.

“We like to depend more on our defense than our offense,” Buscher said.

Hamilton had five points in the crucial second quarter and finished with eight. Keser made two 3-pointers and finished with eight points. Bowen had six in the first half, eight in the second.

Battle Ground’s Nikki Bond led the Tigers with 11 points. Her second 3-pointer, late in the game, cut what was once a 17-point deficit to 12. Tessa Vanderpool had seven points, and Haley Grossman had six points and five steals.

“We competed in the second half,” Battle Ground coach Joe Potter said. “We proved to ourselves that we can play with one of the best teams in town.”

The teams will have two more meetings this season, which is why Buscher was not about to stop pushing her team.

“We’re excited for where we are in league right now, but we have a long way to go yet,” Buscher said.

SKYVIEW 42, BATTLE GROUND 28

BATTLE GROUND — Nikki Bond 11, Haley Hamilton 1, Haley Grossman 6, Tessa Vanderpool 7, Chelsie Aguigui 0, Taya O’Hanlon 3, Jossilyn Blackman 0, Liz Smarr 0, Mallory Olson 0. Totals 10-51 (4-14) 4-13 28.

SKYVIEW — Stephanie McDonagh 3, Jocelyn Adams 6, Aubrey Ward-El 1, Katie Hendricks 0, Delaney Keser 8, Brooke Bowen 14, Larissa Hamilton 8, Katie Swanson 2. Totals 13-41 (3-17) 13-28 42.

Battle Ground 9 3 6 10—28

Skyview 12 14 9 7—42

JV — Skyview won.