SPRINGVILLE - Doing all they could to try and slow Springville girls basketball superstar Lauren Wilson from scoring the basketball, there was nothing visiting Starmont could do Tuesday, Jan. 5, as the Oriole junior joined the program’s exclusive 1,000-point club leading the team to a lopsided 66-16 rout over the Stars.
“Starmont made it a point from the start to try and stop Lauren from scoring, but we have a lot of girls on this team who can put the ball through the hoop and we didn’t have any trouble getting a big lead right away,” said Springville girls basketball coach Christina Zaruba, as Wilson topped the 1,000-career point plateau in the second quarter, as the Orioles raced to a 27-2 first quarter advantage and never looked back leading 46-6 at the half and 52-11 after three frames.
“Lauren isn’t just about scoring the basketball. People may not know this but she is one of our best assist girls too. She loves to pass the ball and get her teammates involved and we had no problem scoring at will even with Starmont giving so much attention to Lauren.”
Even while facing double and triple teams, Wilson still managed to score all 13 of her points in the first half while Morgan Nachazel added 13 more for the hosts.
“For Lauren to get to 1,000 points as a junior is very impressive,” Zaruba said. “If she stays on the pace she’s on, she might break the school’s career scoring record before she’s all said and done here.”
Molly Stamp and Grace Matus tallied seven points each for the class 1A sixth-ranked Orioles (12-1, 5-1) while Hannah March came off the bench and scored a career-high six. Ashlynne Zaruba and Isabel Guererro added four points each for the home team in the 50-point Tri-Rivers Conference blowout.
Springville faced their toughest test to date at class 2A fourth-ranked North Linn Friday, Jan. 8, and after getting off to a bit of a slow start against the talented Lynx, came up short in a 47-36 final, their first loss of the campaign.
“This was a pretty evenly matched game for the most part,” said Zaruba, as her team fell into a 12-4 first quarter hole but were able to dig all the way out with a big second quarter spurt.
“While our shots weren’t falling like we had hoped they would, the difference in this game was rebounding. North Linn was able to get 22 offensive rebounds and they scored on 10 of those, so there’s 20 points right there and we lost by 11.”
It also didn’t help that North Linn went to the free throw line 20 times, converting on 10, while the Orioles made just two trips to the charity stripe, missing both shots.
“Yes, that played a factor too,” Zaruba said. “Both teams shot about the same from the field, but the rebounding and free throw discrepancies were the difference. Tough to overcome those against a good team.”
After trailing 12-4 late in the first quarter, the Orioles went on a 17-6 run to take a 21-20 lead mid-way through the second stanza before the Lynx retook control closing the quarter with a 7-0 run of their own to lead 27-21 at the break.
Springville’s offense continued to struggle in the third quarter as well, as their scoring drought from the second stanza stretched to seven minutes before the Orioles finally scored with three minutes remaining to pull to within five points (29-24) of the hosts.
North Linn went on another 7-0 run to close the quarter with a 36-24 lead though the Orioles continued to fight as Wilson, Nachazel, Matus and Stamp all drilled clutch fourth quarter shots. North Linn’s Ellie Ware proved to be just too much, however, closing out the win from the free throw line in what ended as a 26-point night for the Lynx senior.
“I look forward to our rematch with North Linn at our place,” Zaruba said. “We’re going to learn from this. It’s always fun when we get together and it should be another good one in a few weeks (Feb. 2).
Nachazel had a big night scoring a team-best 13 points while adding six rebounds and four steals to her solid all-around effort while Stamp added nine more. Wilson finished with seven points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Springville wrapped up their busy week less than 24 hours later rolling to a lopsided 52-15 rout at Mount Vernon Saturday, Jan. 9.
“This was the best we’ve played defensively all season,” said Zaruba, as her team dominated from the outset leading 13-3 after one frame, 24-5 at the half and 44-12 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We talked well and got out on Mount Vernon’s shooters, and even though they had a size advantage on us, we didn’t allow them anything inside as well. They just couldn’t penetrate our zone all game long.”
Wilson paced the Oriole offense scoring 18 points, 12 coming in the second half while Nachazel added 14 more, 12 coming in the opening two quarters.
“It felt great to get this win after the way things played out the night before,” Zaruba said. “The girls came back with plenty of fight and that was great to see. No one was hanging their head, they were all ready to play and worked hard.”