The Wood River High School girls’ basketball team clenched its teeth down with its stingy defense and came away with a victory Monday night over the visiting Buhl Indians, 30-15.
Head coach Matt Newhouse’s team entered the season with a lot of uncertainties with the loss of senior leadership, but Wood River (2-0, 0-0) found a certain amount of full-court pressure as its backbone to force 18 turnovers. Buhl (0-2, 0-0) was flustered and often looked confused by the Wood River’s stifling defense.
“We had good defensive pressure,” said Newhouse. “We disrupted what (Buhl) wanted to do by applying pressure on the ball.”
Junior post player Rory Cole put up eight points to go along with six rebounds (2 defensive, 4 offensive), two steals and a block.
“(Rory) is a strong girl,” Newhouse said. “She has a lot of experience. We’d like for her to get a lot of touches. She has to increase her productivity and become more efficient. She had a lot of opportunities, but she needs to finish more of them in my mind. I think she would say the same thing.”
Junior guard Kenya Schott was impressive on both sides of the ball, as her hustle on defense showed what this team is all about. She finished the night with a very well-rounded night, tallying up eight points, three steals, two assists and a rebound.
The Lady Wolverines seemingly started the game off cold in the first quarter (4 points) by missing some easy layups; however, Wood River found its stroke in the second quarter (12 points) and put up a hefty 16-5 lead by halftime.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, which isn’t one of our strengths,” said Newhouse.
Wood River shot 29 percent from the field, while Buhl shot just 19 percent.
While Wood River’s defense was what earned the “W”, the Lady Wolverines played smart ball by limiting turnovers. Wood River only turned the ball over four times on the night, while stealing the ball 11 times as a team.
Wood River’s size was a factor in the end, as the Lady Wolverines out-rebounded Buhl 22-11.
Free throws were an issue for Wood River—the team hit only 1-for-9 at the charity stripe.
Junior guard Cicely Peavey started the game hot by racking up four points in the first half before leaving the game with an injury. Late in the second quarter, it appeared that Peavey was elbowed in the face. Her status is still unclear, but the injury didn’t look serious. She left the game with two assists and a rebound, too.
Newhouse said Peavy’s injury is a day-to-day situation.
Freshman guard Blair Radford hit the lone three-pointer in the game for Wood River (Wood River went 1-5 as a team from three-point range). Radford finished with three points, two assists and three rebounds.
Junior post Giselle Andrade finished the night with three points and four rebounds.
The gritty player of the game was junior post Haylee Pettit. Pettit was held without scoring any points, but what she lacked with points she made up with her intensity, defense and crashing the boards. She had five rebounds on the night.
Freshman Michelle Mason turned in two points and a rebound, and junior wing Manuela Cortina-Ortega had two points and two rebounds on the night.
Wood River will travel to Kimberly (1-0, 0-0) next. Kimberly beat Wood River twice last year but the Wolverines will try to open the season with three straight wins.
Wood River 35, Gooding 27
Wood River opened the season with a win at Gooding on Friday, Nov. 15. Junior guard Cicely Peavey threw in a double-double for the game (14 points, 10 steals) and Rory Cole added seven points and a team high 12 rebounds.
The game was tight for most of the contest, but Wood River pulled away by outscoring Gooding 12-4 in the fourth quarter. The Lady Wolverines shot 38.4 percent from the field and caused 35 turnovers. Wood River also out-rebounded Gooding 24-19.
Their defense was the main difference maker by racking up 24 steals on the night and blocking three shots (all by Samantha Sutton who also added six rebounds). Freshman guard Michelle Mason added six points and Kenya Schott had three.