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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Lessons from practice help Columbia River girls comeback to beat Hockinson

Chieftains improve to 3-0 in 2A GSHL with 51-40 win

By Andy Buhler, Columbian Staff Writer
Published: January 4, 2019, 11:11pm
10 Photos
Hockinson’s Addie Chappelle (13), shoots against Columbia River’s Ellie Christian.
Hockinson’s Addie Chappelle (13), shoots against Columbia River’s Ellie Christian. liney liney liney lineye liney liney liney liney liney Photo Gallery

Will Jones’ instructions were simple: think about what we practice every day, and apply it.

Each day the Columbia River girls basketball team runs through outnumbered drills to polish its decision making on fast breaks. And if they wanted to adjust to a disruptive Hockinson full-court press, Jones told the girls they needed to lean on that preparation.

“The lightbulb kind of came on,” Jones, the Chieftains’ coach, said. “Being reminded of that, they turned it on.”

Columbia River responded accordingly, using a lopsided third quarter to flip a halftime deficit into a 51-40 win over 2A Greater St. Helens League opponent Hockinson on Friday night at Columbia River High School.

In an organic bout of synchronicity, players credited their coach for his halftime adjustments, and Jones credited the players for executing the changes.

River scored 13 of the first 15 points in the third quarter and outscored the Hawks 18-4.

Hockinson had nine steals in the first half thanks to its signature press, which threw off a Chieftains team missing one of its primary ball-handlers, Sydney Flores-Tucker.

The solution, River found, was sharing the ball up the floor.

“It can be a little flustering,” junior Jordan Ryan said. “I’ve got to give props to them, they’re a great defensive team. We trusted in our coach and passed out of the press, it wasn’t one person dribbling through, it was a team effort to get the ball down the floor.”

Ryan, the Chieftains’ leading scorer, finished with a game-high 20 points and provided steady offensive production. Liz Canton added 12 points, most of which came on the fast break.

The Hawks led by five at halftime but led by double digits for much of the second quarter. Jasmine Shigeno hit three of her four 3-pointers in the Kylie Ritter scored on a fast break to put Hockinson up 23-11 — its largest lead of the evening — with around two minutes left in the half.

Jones credited Hockinson’s outside shots in the first half to River’s inability to recover from its press, so he nixed it at halftime, and the Chieftains dropped back into a half court offense.

That made all the difference.

“Defensively we all got involved,” Ryan said, “and there was a point where we were trusting in each other at the end and shooting layups instead of trying to take contested shots.”

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Hockinson pulled within three in the fourth quarter after back-to-back 3s from Shigeno and freshman Gracie Brammer, but River shot 18 of its 31 free throw attempts in the quarter to hang on.

Senior and team captain Emma Dietel, a returning second team all-league selection, was a late decision to play after battling an illness all week.

Hockinson coach Damon Roche said he gave her the option to rest, but she opted to play, and later told him she got out of bed a mere 30 minutes before heading to the Hawks’ evening tipoff.

Shigeno finished with a team-high 12 points and her four 3-pointers keeps her on track to break former guard (and now Clark College standout) Peyton Wangler’s school record for 3s made in a season. The junior has 43 made 3s through 10 games (buoyed by games with eight and nine made 3s), which is 16 shy of Wangler’s record (59) set last season.

The Hawks (5-5, 0-2 2A GSHL), who start two freshmen, said the second half provided valuable experience for a young roster. They’ll take their lumps, Roche said, if it means improving down the road.

Ryan insisted River (8-3, 3-0 2A GSHL) still has plenty of room to work, too. But if Friday was a positive indicator.

“We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re on the right track,” Ryan said. “We’re winning games now, and I think if we just keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to be in a great spot.”


HOCKINSON — Emma Dietel 5, Mackie Kelly 2, Bailey Garner 0, Gracie Brammer 7, Ady Dyer 2, Jasmine Shigeno 12, Meggie Kistler 0, Addie Chappelle 4, Lillie Mueller 0, Kylie Ritter 4, Molly Romanchock 2. 17 (11) 0-4 40.

COLUMBIA RIVER — Sami Myers 2, Liz Canton 12, Halle Jordan 0, Lily Jonas 3, Erin Baker 6, Josslyn Fraiser 0, Bailey Gatten 0, Ari Kuschen 2, Jordan Ryan 20, Ellie Christian 6. 19 (1) 12-31 51.

Hockinson 11 12 4 13—40

Col. River 11 7 18 15—51

Columbian Staff Writer