By Gini Davis
The Creswell Chroncle
The Creswell Lady Bulldogs opened preseason with three victories last week, defeating visiting Siuslaw 42-30 on Nov. 29, host Scio 37-21 on Nov. 30 and host Oakridge 66-33 on Dec. 1.
After jumping out to a 12-2 first-quarter lead against Siuslaw, Creswell held a 20-11 lead at halftime and extended their advantage to 38-20 after the third quarter. Siuslaw outscored Creswell 10-4 in the final period, but the Lady Dawgs held on for the win.
Bellew led all scorers with 17 points (including two three-pointers), four rebounds and six steals.
Aubrie Hatch added eight points and seven rebounds; Howell had six points, four assists, three steals and four blocks.
With several new starters and a new head coach, “I didn’t know what to expect,” said Creswell Head Coach Tyler Hollingsworth, noting that with some players missing practice over the Thanksgiving break, the team had just one “live action” practice before their first game.
“I saw a lot I liked, and some stuff we need to work on,” Hollingsworth said. “We rebounded really well, ran our offense pretty well, but we had 20 turnovers and we’re still trying to figure out the timing on our offense. It was a good test for us, to see where we stand, and I was pleased with our effort.”
At Scio, Creswell was up by 18 at halftime and then stretched their lead to 25, while cutting turnovers from 20 to 13. “We started slowly – it was not a good start for us,” Hollingsworth said. But about halfway through the first quarter, the Lady Dawgs fired up. “We started running a pretty effective press and were able to get some transition buckets,” he said.
Bellew recorded a double-double, with a game-high 23 points (including two threes) and 14 rebounds. She also grabbed two steals.
Howell added five points, four rebounds and two blocks; Lexi McCrory contributed a pair of threes and two steals.
Lady Dawg reserves all saw action. “We had a pretty comfortable second half,” Hollingsworth said.
At Oakridge, Creswell led 42-10 at halftime. Subs again logged quality second-half minutes, and turnovers fell to 11. “Our goal is under 15 a game,” Hollingsworth noted.
Howell paced Creswell with 17 points, two rebounds and three blocks.
Bellew had 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. “She had a really good game overall,” Hollingsworth said. “She’s one of our best shooters and she’s been doing a really good job on rebounds.”
Morgan Janshen had eight points and three rebounds off the bench. Aleesha Fox had two threes and three rebounds, and Freya DeMasters also had six points and three rebounds. Megan Seele added seven boards and four points.
“We’ll take wins anytime we can get them, and it’s good for (the players) to see the positive results from what we’re doing,” Hollingsworth said. “So far, I’ve liked our team energy.”