Washington’s girls basketball team continued its dominance over Oregon in the 21st annual Merritt Truax Memorial Northwest Shootout with a runaway 100-61 victory on Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. It was the seventh time in the last eight games that Washington came out on top.
“We just clicked really well,” Washington guard Madison Hovren said. “We have such great players and we love to work with each other, so the passing was great.”
It took some time for Washington to find its groove though. Nine minutes in, the game was tied at 14. Oregon appeared to be the team pushing tempo offensively, while Washington was making adjustments. When Oregon didn’t get a fast-break look, they tried to feed one of its many posts.
Washington opened up a 25-18 lead, but Martina McCowan hit a three-pointer to bring Oregon within four points, with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Long Beach State-bound guard from St. Mary’s Academy scored seven of her 14 points in the first half.
Then, roles switched. Washington used its speed and athleticism to push tempo, which put Oregon, struggling to make an adjustment, on its heels. Washington closed the first half on a 22-6 run, including a 9-0 individual run by Kourtney Eaton, to build a 47-27 halftime lead. Eaton finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.
“When we got the quick outlet pass and head down the court before they could get back is when were able to jump ahead,” Washington guard Savanna Hanson said.
Washington continued to overwhelm Oregon, taking a 82-40 lead midway through the second half, capping a 57-19 run in the span of 17 minutes.
“They ran at us and we ran out of breath,” Oregon guard Katie McWilliams said. “They got down the floor and we couldn’t get back.”
Washington’s defense made it tough for Oregon’s 6A Player of the Year to get going. Oregon State-bound McWilliams was held to just one point and struggled to find an open shot like many of her teammates.
“We just got caught off guard a little bit and we didn’t run through our stuff like we did in practice,” McWilliams said.
Washington’s defense created many fast break opportunities. They forced 25 turnovers, which resulted in 30 points the other way.
“We had good communication and fed off each other’s energy,” Hovren said.
Not only was Washington creating turnovers, but their ball movement on offense was stellar. Washington assisted on 26 of its 40 made field goals, with Gonzaga-bound Laura Stockton, daughter of NBA great John Stockton, leading the way with nine.
Hovren, the game’s Most Valuable Player, was the beneficiary of many of Stockton’s assists as she scored a game-high 22 points on 9 of 15 shooting.
“They were just passing me the ball close to the basket and I was just finishing,” she said.
Hillsboro forward and Oregon State-bound Tarea Green scored 14 points, to tie McCowan as the team leader.
Washington now holds a 13-7 record in the Northwest Shootout.