By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Mac's comeback falls short against Cardinals

Marcus Larson/News-RegisterMcMinnville guard Nicole Long scored 13 points in the Grizzlies’ 51-45 loss to Lincoln Friday at The Furnace.
Marcus Larson/News-Register
McMinnville guard Nicole Long scored 13 points in the Grizzlies’ 51-45 loss to Lincoln Friday at The Furnace.

The McMinnville girls basketball team is struggling to get warmed up in The Furnace.

“In the first half, we seem to not be ready,” Grizzlies guard Nicole Long said. “Then the second half comes, and we’re ready.”

Friday afternoon’s home game against Class 6A nonleague opponent Lincoln flipped the script somewhat: a competitive first half gave way to a four-point third quarter, and McMinnville was left to play catch-up in a 51-45 loss to the Cardinals.

The Grizzlies (3-5) never trailed the Cardinals (6-5) by more than 11 points, but 35.3-percent shooting (18-of-51) and 18 turnovers proved to be McMinnville’s undoing.

“I think we started – I don’t know if the word is feeling sorry for ourselves, but we got frustrated,” Grizzlies coach Sean Coste said. “We weren’t very aggressive offensively. There was no tenacity defensively. Our effort kind of fell back.”

Long and Montanna Gubrud each scored 13 points for Mac, while Bethany Mohler added nine points. Aden Cador of Lincoln led all scorers with 18 points.

McMinnville ended the second quarter on a 2-minute, 52-second scoreless streak as the Cardinals built a 26-22 halftime lead. Long scored the Grizzlies’ only two baskets of the third quarter – over five minutes apart – but Mac held Lincoln to nine points, keeping the Cardinals within striking distance.

“Our offense broke down,” Long said. “We tried to come down and make one pass and put up (a shot). Then we’d let girls go right past us.”

Gubrud scored seven of her 13 points in the fourth quarter to provide a spark. Mohler cut McMinnville’s deficit to 45-43 when she collected a missed free throw by Audrey McMillan and laid it in with 52 seconds to play.

Cardinals post Hailey McPhee made 1-of-2 free throws on Lincoln’s next possession, and three-point attempts by Gubrud and Long each missed their mark in the waning seconds.

Coste saw the Grizzlies get the right kind of shot attempts against the Cardinals, but too many high-percentage shots were missed.

“They had a hard time really stopping us getting to the basket,” Coste said. “Now it’s about hitting those open looks. We haven’t been explosive on offense.”

McMinnville travels to West Linn tonight to face the Lions at 7:15 p.m.

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