Lady Lions Earn First Sky-Em Win
After a long, difficult 13-game losing streak, the Cottage Grove girls basketball team got a taste of victory last week against the North Bend Bulldogs, winning 45-38. It was the Lady Lions’ first league win of the season.
“The girls were ready and excited to play this game. We had really good practices and a good prep day yesterday. They were focused, they showed up early today to shoot. They were focused on getting our first league win today and they did,” said Lions coach Pete LeMay.
Cottage Grove had lost a tough one at North Bend in late January, but they remained competitive. So, the After a long, difficult 13-game losing streak, the Cottage Grove girls basketball team got a taste of victory last week against the North Bend Bulldogs, winning 45-38. It was the Lady Lions’ first league win of the season.
hope for a win was there.
With a strong defensive performance from both teams, mixed with a share of turnovers, the first quarter started slowly. North Bend opened the game with a 4-0 lead but, with 4:35 left in the period, Lions senior Summer LeBow put Cottage Grove on the board. Shortly after, Lions senior Logan Zolezzi recorded a big block that prevented the Bulldogs from extending the lead.
Cottage Grove junior Jaylee Lima added a free throw to make the score 4-3, but Bulldogs junior Lennon Riddle scored before the end of the first quarter, making it a 6-3 North Bend lead to enter the second period.
Lions junior Addison Hitt scored two free throws to start the quarter, but the Bulldogs appeared to gain some momentum, going on a 8-0 run to build a 15-7 lead.
But the Lions had a run of their own coming.
Zolezzi scored in the post for Cottage Grove to get the run started, Lima then went 2-2 at the free-throw line, and freshman Mariah Bailey hit a 3-pointer to make it a 1-point North Bend lead.
Riddle scored a pair of free throws for North Bend to put them back up by 3 points, but the Lions offensive momentum continued. Lima hit a baseline jumper and LeBow scored on the next Lions possession, putting Cottage Grove up 18-17 late in the second period.
North Bend was able to score a few more times in the second quarter. But after a 3-pointer from junior Carli DeGarlais, the Lions appeared to have all the momentum — and a 21-20 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Lions take control of the game. Bailey came out hot for Cottage Grove, scoring 6 points in the opening moments of the period. After a turnaround post shot by Zolezzi, the Lions held a 32-23 lead.
But the Bulldogs didn’t want to give up just yet. In the fourth quarter the Bulldogs slowly chipped away at the Cottage Grove lead, mostly behind scoring the efforts of senior Avery Pex, Lennon Riddle and Ayla Riddle.
With 1:58 left in the game, Bulldogs freshman Mila Davidson put the Lions chance at a win in doubt when she hit a 3-pointer, cutting the Lions’ lead to 37-36.
But Jaylee Lima came up big in the clutch for the Lions, converting all six of her free throw attempts in the final two minutes. Playing excellent defense — and getting another big shot from Zolezzi in the final minutes of the game — the Lions earned their first Sky-Em win of the season over North Bend, 45-38.
Bailey finished the night leading the Lions in scoring with 12 points while Lima had 11 points.
“Our defense is really picking us up. We are playing really good man defense, helping each other,” LeMay said. Overall, I think the girls are getting better, they are trusting each other, the relationships with the coaches and them is getting better cause we have known each other longer. Overall, we have two games left, I think they are ready.”
The Lions played at Junction City on Tuesday but fell 27-58. They host Marist tonight (Feb. 17).