Girls basketball: Skyview players fill their role in win over Union

Storm defeats Union 52-29 in 4A GSHL action

By Micah Rice, Columbian sports editor

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photoSkyview's Neesen Bristow blocks a shot, but was called for a foul on the play against Union's Kili Anderson in the first half Friday.

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Most people call them role players.

They're "sideline assassins" to Skyview girls basketball coach Jennifer Buscher.

Skyview's 52-29 win over Union wasn't a night for the stars. But the Storm's supporting cast provided the balanced scoring and pressure defense that made for an easy win Friday.

Union is adjusting to life without its biggest star, Jessica Chatman. The BYU-bound senior guard is out for the season with a shoulder injury, coach Roger Shepard confirmed.

"It's a huge loss," Shepard said. "She's a player-of-the-year type of athlete."

Chatman missed a few weeks at the start of the season with the injury. She returned for a holiday tournament, but reinjured that shoulder in her second game back. Not wanting to risk surgery, the decision was made to end her season.

Skyview, ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Class 4A state poll, is now 4-0 in the Greater St. Helens League and 13-1 overall. Union fell to 2-2, 5-8 overall.

One of Skyview's stars, Aubrey Ward-El, played limited minutes after battling a cold this week.

That opened an opportunity for those "sideline assassins" Gen Lo and Hannahjoy Adams to shoulder more of a burden.

"They do so many things that people don't see," Buscher said. "They're great off the ball. They're great defenders."

And defense was the reason Skyview was in control from the opening tipoff. Nine of Union's first 12 possession resulted in turnovers. The Storm sprinted to a 12-2 lead.

"All our success comes from our defense," Skyview guard Stephanie McDonagh said. "The only thing we can control in the game is how hard we work. Defense is just hard work."

Skyview led 29-12 at halftime, having forced 19 Union turnovers.

By then the burden was off McDonagh, Ward-El and Jocelyn Adams, who scored a game-high 12 points. Skyview used the second half to further hone role players who will be crucial to the Storm's postseason hopes.

"It's going to depend on our support staff," Buscher said. "Our support staff is getting better practice by practice, game by game. Those three kids (McDonagh, Ward-El and Jocelyn Adams) were our support staff when we won it all in 2012."

McDonagh has seen those role players grow as the league season nears its halfway point.

"A lot of the girls are more confident in themselves and their decision-making," McDonagh said. "We're getting excited for the postseason. Hopefully we'll make another run at it."

SKYVIEW 52, UNION 29

UNION -- Grace Davis 3, Tessa Vanderpool 2, Tuileisu Anderson 10, Molly Petrie 0, Morgan Broad 0, Hannah O'Donnell 7, Katharine Williams 2, Kili Anderson 2, Abby Forsyth 3, Sarah Trostle 0. Totals 12 (5) 0-1 29.

SKYVIEW -- Hannahjoy Adams 3, Stephanie McDonagh 9, Jocelyn Adams 12, Aubrey Ward-El 4, Gen Lo 8, Sydney Friauf 4, Neesen Bristow 4, Carli Fultz 0, Kirsten Johnson 6, Georgia Romine-Black 2. Totals 22 (7) 1-2 52.

Union 6 6 6 11--29

Skyview 15 14 16 7--52

JV -- Skyview 54-24