The only two girls basketball programs from Clark County to win state championships this millenium renewed their rivalry Tuesday night to open their 2013-14 seasons.
Skyview has the upper hand this year.
Aubrey Ward-El had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Jocelyn Adams made her return to organized high school basketball, leading the Storm to a 56-40 win over Prairie and new coach Brett Johnson.
“It’s a lot of fun just being back with everyone I’ve been playing with forever,” said Adams, a senior who missed all of last season after suffering a torn ligament in her right knee.
“I love playing with all of them. Everybody works really hard, and it makes me want to work that much harder.”
Adams finished with six points, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots.
A volleyball player for the Storm this fall, Adams has been competing for months on the restructured knee. She also played summer basketball. This was her first in-season game, though, since she helped Skyview win the 2012 state championship as a sophomore.
“It’s good to get this first one over with,” Adams said.
Ward-El, Adams, and Stephanie McDonagh were all instrumental in the state title. Now seniors, they are hoping to make another long run in February and March. They also have been around long enough to know that they do not all have to score a bunch to win games.
McDonagh was off with her shot for much of the night, but had seven steals and seven rebounds. She also was assigned Prairie’s top shooter, Jamie Phares, after Phares made three third-quarter 3-pointers.
“Jame got hot. My coach said, ‘Don’t let her shoot the ball anymore.’ I like having that responsibility,” McDonagh said. “Even though my shot wasn’t falling, I could still help my team out.”
Gen Lo added 13 points for the Storm. McDonagh finished with nine points.
Cherita Daugherty’s 3-pointer early in the second quarter tied the game for Prairie, but the Storm would go on a 19-3 run to take control.
Phares, who led the Falcons with 13 points, kept the Falcons within striking distance in the third quarter. And Grace Prom’s 3-pointer early in the fourth made it a 10-point game.
Skyview, though, got defensive, allowing five points in the final 5:35 of the contest.
“Other than the second quarter, I thought we played even with them,” Prairie first-year coach Brett Johnson said, adding that despite the loss, he was glad to be playing, not practicing.
As is the norm with Prairie basketball, the non-league schedule is tough. Next up for the Falcons is Union, a team hoping to compete with Skyview for the 4A Greater St. Helens League crown.
“I always think we can win,” Johnson said. “My expectation is we are going to win. We’re getting ready for Union. They’ve got players like Skyview has players.”
The Class 3A Falcons also won a state title in 2012, and their seniors have a tremendous amount of pride in playing for Prairie. Johnson said they will be able to shake off this opening loss, adding that his team will shoot better than it did Tuesday on most, if not, every night. (The Falcons were 12 of 52 from the floor.)
A lot of that had to do with Skyview’s defense, too.
Adams is healthy, defending the paint. McDonagh works her sense of timing to steal passes. Ward-El uses her strength to get rebounds.
That winning combination is together again at Skyview.
SKYVIEW 56, PRAIRIE 40
Prairie — Lindsay Asplund 2, Jamie Phares 13, Nicole Goecke 2, Emily Peters 4, Cherita Daugherty 8, Grace Prom 7, Natalie Whitesel 0, Jozie Tangeman 2, Robin Cole 2, Jordan Adams 0, Casey Sorenson 0. Totals 12-54 (8-32) 8-14 40.
Skyview — Hannahjoy Adams 2, Stephanie McDonagh 9, Jocely Adams 6, Aubrey Ward-El 20, Gen Lo 13, Nessen Bristow 0, Sydney Frieuf 4, Kirsten Johnson 2, Carli Fultz 0. Totals 16-45 (3-14) 21-34 56.
Prairie 8 8 14 10–40
Skyview 9 21 15 11–56