NWOC GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wilsonville 45, Hillsboro 31

The Wilsonville Wildcats recovered from an icy start to the game to defeat the Hillsboro Spartans 45-31 Tuesday night in a girls basketball game at Charles Campbell Memorial Gymnasium.

Held without a field goal in the first period, the ‘Cats fought back from a 9-2 deficit early in the second quarter to grab a tw0-point lead at halftime and gradually pulled away in the second half. Wilsonville improves to 2-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference and 10-2 overall, while Hillsboro fell to 1-1 and 4-8.

Wilsonville struggled mightily to create inside early as the Spartans effectively collapsed their 2-3 zone and recovered quickly with defensive help after traps and double-teams. And the Wildcats could not effectively shoot Hilhi out of its zone, connectin on just two of its 16 shots from three-point range. However, early foul trouble kept Hillsboro’s starting senior post Isabel Mosley sidelined for much of the night. The Wildcats started to crack the shell around the paint in the second period, with their first six successful field goals coming in the lane.

Junior point guard Cydney Gutridge scored all 11 of her points in the middle periods, when Wilsonville outscored Hillsboro 26-11. Neither team could find the hoop in the early-going, but the Wildcats found their touch in the second half, shooting a respectable 44-percent (12-27) in the second half to stay tied with La Salle atop the NWOC standings.

Kayla Hieb added 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Freshman post Emilia Bishop led all rebounders with nine. Hillsboro sophomore Kylie Fernstrom led all scorers with 13 points, but the Spartans could not overcome 23 turnovers and 26-percent (12-47) shooting.

The Wildcats were limited to two Hieb free throws in the first quarter. After missing a pair of free throws on the previous possession, Hieb’s freebies broke a scoreless tie more than two minutes into the game. The Spartans took more than four minutes to score, but Katherine Salas’ layup tied the score and her three-pointer gave Hillsboro the lead. Rian Porter added a jumper in the final minute of the period. Meanwhile, Wilsonville misfired on its first 16 shots from the field and fell behind 9-2 early in the second period.

Fernstrom knocked down a jumper on Hillsboro’s first possession of the second quarter, but the Spartans would be held to a single field goal over the next ten minutes as Wilsonville gradually found its offensive footing.

Gutridge gave the Wildcats a 12-11 lead with a runner in the lane with a minute to go before halftime. Emilia Bishop added a free throw with 16 seconds left. The Spartans had an inbounds play from backcourt with 4.6 seconds on the clock and got the ball down the floor to a wide-open Fernstrom, but her eight-foot jumper with a second left clanged off the iron and Wilsonville took a 13-11 lead to halftime.

The second half did not begin well for Hillsboro, which struggled just to get the ball to midcourt. The Spartans turned the ball over on their first four possessions, while Wilsonville completed a 10-0 run with a Hieb free throw to take an 18-11 lead. The Wildcats closed out the third quarter with four straight scores, including three-pointers by Reese Timm and Gutridge to go up 28-18 heading into the final period. Hillsboro would not get within single digits the rest of the way.