PREP BASKETBALL: Port Angeles girls outduel Archbishop Murphy
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Port Angeles’ Hayley Baxley shoots from a crowded lane against Archbishop Murphy.

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles didn't exactly shake off the first-game rust but managed to endure it in the Roughriders' season-opening 44-38 win over Archbishop Murphy.

A trio of extended scoring runs were enough for Port Angeles girls basketball team to beat the Wildcats, who were playing their second game of the season.

“I just think it was a typical early season game between two teams who have aspirations of doing well, and everybody was tight,” Port Angeles coach Mike Poindexter said after Wednesday's game.

“We've had 12 practices; we've had [only] two practices where we had a complete team because of illness.

“So we have not yet found our rhythm. And we're going to be patient with that.”

After falling behind 6-0, the Riders scored nine straight points over four-plus minutes.

They then opened the second quarter on an 11-0 run that was highlighted by 3-pointers from Jolene Millsap, Nizhoni Wheeler and Maddy Hinrichs to take a 20-9 lead.

Port Angeles led 24-14 at halftime, but Archbishop Murphy chipped away and took a 32-31 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Riders and Wildcats swapped baskets before Krista Johnson scored to give Port Angeles the lead for good, 35-34, with 5:32 remaining in the game.

Johnson missed the free throw, but her bucked sparked the decisive 10-0 run that she headlined after struggling with her shot in the first three quarters.

Wheeler, a freshman post, hit a cutting Hinrichs for a layup to make it 37-34.

Johnson sunk a 3-pointer to make it 40-34.

A few possessions later, she stole the ball and made a quick move to the hoop. She made the layup and was fouled.

Her free throw gave Port Angeles a nine-point lead, 43-34, with two minutes to play.

Bailee Jones hit 1 of 2 free throws with 20 seconds left to seal the game for the Riders.

Johnson finished with 10 points in the game, eight coming during the game-winning run.

Poindexter was just as impressed with how the senior guard played the other three quarters.

“I think she might have thought she was struggling, [but] she was taking great shots — all her shots,” Poindexter said.

“And I thought she played more like herself tonight than anybody. And Bailee Jones, too.

“Krista missed some, but I'm not going to call that struggling because she was open and she took the right shots.

“We had some kids forcing shots, and she never did.”

Hinrichs led Port Angeles with 14 points.

The point guard also did some important dirty work, grabbing important defensive rebounds away from bigger players.

“Maddy Hinrichs didn't have her best game,” Poindexter said, “but she hung in, was gritty.”

Poindexter said the first-game tightness led to bad shots and decisions, but the press defense was in fine form.

“The one part of the game I'm happy with is the press,” he said.

“It is exactly what I thought. If we press well, we have a chance to win. And we did.

“That's the only thing I think we did well.”

Poindexter said the Riders' focus will turn to tonight's road game against Olympic rather than dwelling on the mistakes or turnovers.

“Skill wasn't good, decisions weren't good. But it's the first game,” he said.

“And we're done. We're not going to talk a lot about that game. We're moving on. We've got Olympic on Friday.

“We've got a lot to work on. Why would you want to do everything all in the first game? It would be boring.”

Port Angeles 44, Archbishop Murphy 38

Archbishop Murphy 9 5 14 10— 38

Port Angeles 9 15 7 13— 44

Individual scoring

Archbishop Murphy (0-2)

Megan Wall 19, Sam Hayward 8, Gemma Miller 6, Addison Schmidt 3, Jenna Martin 3.

Port Angeles (1-0)

Maddy Hinrichs 14, Krista Johnson 10, Jolene Millsap 8, Nizhoni Wheeler 3, Hayley Baxley 3, Bailee Jones 3, Kylee Jeffers 1, Maddie Boe 2, Payton Lee.

Last modified: December 05. 2013 6:34PM
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