METRO GIRLS BASKETBALL: Southridge 67, Westview 35

Playing their first game on the mainland this season, the Southridge Skyhawks proved that even without one of their best players on the floor, they will be tough to stop this season.

The defending 6A champions dominated the game from start to finish, defeating Westview 67-35 in the Metro League girls basketball opener for both teams at Westview High Monday night.

Southridge opened the season last week in Honolulu, going 2-1 at the Iolani Classic Tournament, losing to Nevada champion Centennial on Saturday in the championship game. Westview was also 2-1 with a loss at West Linn its last time out.

Westview’s only lead Wednesday was 1-0 as the Skyhawks raced out to a 17-5 lead after one quarter and led 32-8 at halftime.

Skyhawk senior wing Maggie Freeman, a leading candidate for 6A Player Of The Year, was saddled with foul trouble early and hardly played. The Skyhawks more than made up for her absence as sophomore Cameron Brink and senior Natalie Hoff each recorded double-doubles.

Brink, with Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer looking on from the stands, led the Skyhawks with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while collecting four blocks and distributing five assists. Hoff finished with 10 points and 13 boards.

The Skyhawks dominated the smaller Wildcats on the glass, outrebounding Westview 54-21 with a 24-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

Westview had successful defensive stretches, limiting the Skyhawks to three-point shots from lesser scorers. Southridge chucked up 33 shots from beyond the arc, connecting on nine. Sophomore McKelle Meek had the hot hand from long range early, canning four of her five three-point attempts in the first half on the way to 14 points.

Freshman newcomer Maya Hoff, a 6-0 guard, helped hold Westview’s best shooter Nicole Flennaugh scoreless until the fourth quarter. Meanwhile Hoff knocked down four threes in six attempts and finished with 14 points, giving the Skyhawks four double-figure scorers. Freeman finally stayed on the floor for more than a couple of possessions before fouling out in the fourth quarter with eight points.

Westview’s lone bright spot was Shanice Uwase, who matched Brink for game-high honors with 18 points. Kamryn Jones added 10 points, but was just 4-for-16 from the field. Flennaugh scored all six of her points in the final quarter. No one else had a field goal for the Wildcats, who shot just 28-percent (14-for-50) from the field. Southridge shot 38% from the field (24-for-64).

The Wildcats head to Century Friday before hosting Sheldon in a non-league game Saturday night. Southridge plays Glencoe Friday night in its home opener.