With senior point guard Kilee Hoylman out indefinitely with an Achilles injury, The Dalles girls basketball team put forth gritty performances on consecutive nights in a 57-44 loss to No. 8-ranked St. Helens Friday and a 56-52 home setback at the hands of Milwaukie Saturday.
In Saturday’s matchup, Milwaukie sophomore and reigning league Most Valuable Player, Cali Denson, had her second 40-point game of the year and season-high 44 points.
Denson tallied 29 at the half, but TD’s defense held her to 15 second-half points.
Milwaukie finished with 24 field goals, 10 3-pointers, and made 12 of 16 free throws.
For The Dalles, Rainie Codding and Lauryn Belanger totaled 14 points apiece, Jenna Miller chipped in seven, Gus Decker sank six and Grace Schatz went for five points.
In all, the Hawks netted 20 field goals, four 3-pointers, and connected on 8 of 16 free throws.
Milwaukie led 35-22 at halftime and swelled its lead to as much as 44-29 at the 7:20 mark of the third quarter.
The Dalles ended the last five minutes on an 8-0 run to inch to within a 44-40 deficit.
In the last 1:16, Decker made a 3-pointer, Belanger swished a jump shot, and as time expired, Codding drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Friday, TD was down 18-13 after the first quarter, had two players in foul trouble, and could only watch as the Lady Lions went took a 36-20 halftime lead in what was a 57-44 road win.
The Dalles cut the lead to seven points in the second half, but couldn’t overcome foul trouble and deft St. Helens free throw shooting down the stretch.
Codding totaled 17 points, and the duo of Belanger and Miller tacked on eight points each.
Decker finished with six points and Pearl Guzman added five for the No. 17 Riverhawks, who heads to Prineville Friday in versus Crook County.
“The girls did play hard and well today. They just made eight mistakes in the second quarter that were mental errors and passes they shouldn’t make. Defensively, they left the shooter open three times and she swished all three 3-pointers,” TD head coach Brian Stevens said. “Jenna really stepped up. She broke the press multiple times, played good defense and led us in rebounding.”
Big plays lift TD boys to close win
The Dalles was on the wrong end of a miscue and a last-second shot that produced a 61-60 loss at Scappoose last Wednesday.
Friday at Kurtz Gym, a St. Helens traveling call with 15.1 seconds left opened the door for a jumper and a foul to Jacob Hernandez at the 3.3-second mark of the fourth quarter.
Hernandez missed the foul shot, but Dalles Seufalemua tipped the loose ball to Aidan Telles for the rebound as time expired, which gave the Riverhawk boys a 47-45 victory.
Spencer Taylor and Hernandez combined for 29 points, Conner Cummings and Styles DeLeon had four points each, and Skyler Leeson chipped in three points as TD shot 17 of 48 from the field, 2 of 17 from long range, and made 11 of 22 free throws.
TD fell behind 26-21 at halftime, then used a 17-9 third-quarter rally to go ahead, 38-35, entering the final period.
St. Helens tallied 14 field goals, six 3-pointers, and sank 11 of 13 from the line. Joe Rea dropped 28 points to lead the Lions.
TD (5-9 overall) hosted Goldendale, Wash. Tuesday and hosts league opponent Crook County at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17.