Creswell girls back on winning side against Toledo

Kendrick Murphy/CG Sentinel

In each of their previous three wins, the Creswell girls basketball team scored 54 or 55 points against their opponents. But against Toledo, the Bulldogs well exceeded that number scoring nearly 70 and getting the 69-28 win over the visiting Boomers securing a winning record (4-3) before their next game on Jan. 4 against Junction City. 

“Winning always makes you feel better,” said Head Coach Tyler Hollingsworth. “So it was good to go into Christmas break on a positive note and let our team enjoy it. But now that they have come back and we have some work to do to take the next step.”

The Bulldogs totaled 29 steals in their win, Samairah Quinones made her presence felt in the paint grabbing 15 rebounds and tying her teammate Emme Whitson with 18 points. Whitson also added 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Emma Maness contributed 11 points. 

“We came out to play,” said Creswell Point Guard Karinna Leonard. “We’ve been focusing on our defense so even when our shots aren’t falling we still have a chance to win. Against Toledo we got ahead early and then just kept building on our lead.” Leonard added, “Over the break we’re looking to keep improving on our defense and skill work. We have a lot of potential so we have to keep working hard and competing together as a team to prepare for the rest of the season.” 

Creswell pounced on Toledo early with their full-court pressure forcing the Boomers to turn the ball over left and right. The Bulldogs got out to a very quick 12-2 lead midway through the opening quarter with Quinones and Whitson leading the scoring charge for the team. The Boomers only totaled four points in the first quarter after not being able to find any open space on offense due to the relentless full-court pressure by Creswell who held an 18-4 lead at the end of the quarter.

Whitson and Quinones picked up right where they had left off in the first quarter heading into the second quarter as the pair were able to knife through the Toledo defense multiple times for close-range buckets. Toward the end of the second quarter, the Boomers were able to connect on a couple of long-range passes for scores but the Bulldogs had already built a comfortable 36-14 lead heading into halftime. 

“First quarter, our press did a pretty good job,” said Hollingsworth. “Second quarter, we were just causing Havoc. In the same quarter there were some communication errors that were kind of happening. And we talked about that, as you know, we’re able to get steals early. Then girls started trying to just go for steals and not let the defense create the steal. So you know, I liked the really aggressive play, but we can’t gamble to where we’re hurting ourselves.”

Coming out of the locker room, the Bulldogs continued to build on their lead after halftime with Karinna Leonard and Kendyl Whitson each scoring baskets in the third quarter. With just under five minutes left in the third quarter, Toledo’s Sierra Ferguson hit two three-pointers as the Boomers made four three’s total in the quarter. Creswell was still firmly in control leading Toledo 51-28 at the end of the third quarter. 

Kylie Warfield for Toledo unknowingly scored the last Toledo points in the third quarter as the Bulldog’s defense didn’t allow a single point from their opposition in the fourth quarter marking the second time the Creswell defense hasn’t allowed an opponent to score any points in a quarter this season. 

Maness scored 9 points for Creswell in the final quarter and Kaitlyn Machado and Chloe Halgren also scored as the girls polished off the final minutes to earn a big 69-28 win over Toledo. 

“Overall, I was really pleased,” said Hollingsworth. “I was really proud of our second unit going in there and not giving up a bucket, and they played really hard. I think that’s hopefully growth for the bench, like we need to be deeper as we go on into the season. And so as your legs get tired you’d like to be able to count on other people so hopefully it gives some of those bench players confidence in their abilities and know what they need to do to be successful so we can count on them later on in the year.” 

The Bulldogs will be back in action on the road against Junction City for their first game of 2022 on Jan. 4 at 7:15 p.m.

Stat Leaders

Samairah Quinones 18 points, 15 rebounds 5 steals

Emme Whitson 18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 9 steals

Emma Maness 11 points, 4 steals

Dakota Carson 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists

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