Wildcats defeat top-ranked Lancers

Wilsonville went on the road against a talented Churchill squad and dug out the gritty victory, 60-47.

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Greg Artman

Wilsonville’s starters pose before the tipoff. The Wildcat starting five played the majority of the fourth quarter and led the team to the victory over Churchill.

Coming off a tough loss to the talented West Linn Lions, the girls basketball team had an impressive showing against Churchill. The Lancers are predicted to finish in the top three of the state this year, so Wilsonville knew it was going to be an important matchup.

The Wildcats put a focus on being the more aggressive team in this game, because the team played passively in the loss to West Linn. Right out of the gate, the Wildcats played tough on defense and put pressure on the ball, forcing Churchill into uncomfortable positions.

Even with the hard work on the defensive end, Wilsonville could not buy a basket in the first half. After the second quarter, the score was tied 22-22. 

The Lancers’ star player, sophomore Dani Starr, had a good night despite the defensive focus of the Wildcats. Starr hit shots from outside and had great moves down low, but her efforts were ultimately not enough.

In the fourth quarter, Wilsonville turned up the heat on defense and managed to secure ten stops in a row, while scoring easy buckets on the other end. They broke the game open and finished with the victory, winning 60-47. Senior Kayla Hieb had a number of steals, along with junior Keira McNamee and sophomore Karina Borgen. The full-court zone applied by the Wildcats resulted in many Churchill turnovers, which turned into layups for the ‘Cats.

While it is still early in the season, the Wildcats can learn a lot from this victory. Churchill is one of the strongest teams in the state, and Wilsonville was up for the challenge. There’s always work to do, but if Wilsonville can play with the same fire they did on Tuesday night, it looks like it will be a successful season.