The St. Mary’s Blues (2-2) opened league play with a 64-47 win over Newberg (2-2) Friday night.
Sophomore guard Bendu Yeaney led the Blues with 21 points. Seniro post Tyschal Blake added 19 points.
After losing two games at a tournament in Spokane to start the season, the Three Rivers League favorites won their last two games in impressive fashion.
Like many teams early in the season, St. Mary’s has plenty to improve on. At the top of the list for head coach Dewey Taylor III is developing a team that works as hard as they are talented.
1.) How do you think the girls played tonight?
“Tonight was by far not our best night. We found a way to win. We faced all kinds of adversity tonight. I tip my hat Newberg. He (Luke Lindell) coached his kids up great and they played hard. The statement I make to my kids constantly is when hard work and talent meet each other, that team that works hard is going to beat the team with talent. You almost saw that tonight. We found a way to never let it get under ten. Things we could have done better, we didn’t do. It came down to relying on talent and not work ethic.”
2.) What did you want to see your team do better?
“Be able to play off each other, have better chemistry and play for one another. I don’t want to call my players selfish. At times it’s hard to not focus on ourselves and not put the team first. It’s something big we got to change.”
3.) Your team is obviously talented. Are you hoping they take the hard work aspect away from this game?
“It’s not a hope. I’m the head coach, that’s my job. That’s my job to not let this team rely on talent. It’s a beautiful thing to coach kids that are headed to Weber State and Long Beach State. It’s a pleasure to coach those kids. Right now, here for St. Mary’s, we have to find a way to put St. Mary’s first.”
4.) What did your team do well tonight?
“I think when it came time to get to the basket, take advantage of bonus situations, we did a good job. We did a good job of playing fast and pushing the pace of the game. Not the greatest job boxing out and rebounding every play. Their guard (Taylor Rarick) had a beautiful ball game. I’m very proud of her. She had a great game for them.”
5.) Bendu and Tyschal led your team in scoring tonight. Is that something you expect from them each game?
“It’s not just something I expect, I know every night they’ll lead us in that category. I know they’ll also lead us in rebounding, in hustle. They do those intangible things. They’re lunch pail kids. They get those things not just from their talent, but their work ethic.”
6.) What did you learn from your team in the tournament in Spokane?
“That was a great tournament and situation for us. We were going against teams that were really well coached. Coach Arte for Gonzaga Prep, his team is so disciplined. We learned we have to be a better rebounding team. Giving up fourth quarter offensive rebounds cost us two games.”
7.) What do you expect from the rest of the Three Rivers League?
“I expect to get pushed like this every night. Coach Naylor at Tigard is coming up. Casey Bunn at Tualatin is a great coach. There are some great coaches in this league. They’re going to have their teams ready to play.”
The Blues will go on the road to take on coach Steve Naylor’s Tigard team Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.
Check out photos from the game!