T-Birds can't get rolling in loss to Hilanders

Jan. 15—Box Score

At Lower Columbia College


Kelso13 6 12 10 — 41

Tumwater10 6 10 4 — 30

Tumwater (30) — Kolb 8, Gjurasic 8, Wilson 7, Sumrok 5, Cahill 2

LONGVIEW — Tumwater coach Nathan Buchheit knew that this upcoming week was going to be a big one.

Battling injuries to key players, Buchheit knew that he and his coaching staff would have to see which JV players would be able to step in and contribute when needed.

While the Thunderbirds left Lower Columbia College with a 41-30 loss to Kelso on Monday, Buchheit was pleased to see how his players handled the environment.

"The girls played tough for about three quarters," Buchheit said. "Just couldn't get over the hump."

The T-Birds (8-6, 5-2 2A EvCo) were within three at the half and got as close as one early in the third quarter, but the Hilanders held on to a slim lead entering the fourth.

In the final frame, the Thunderbirds couldn't keep up, as Kelso turned several turnovers into scoring opportunities to pull away late.

"Girls just need more reps in varsity games," Buchheit said. "And we'll build from there."

Among the JV players who stepped up on Monday was Kamryn Wilson, who played most of the game as the team's point guard. She finished the game with seven points, and she was often able to get the ball to her teammates underneath.

"She has gotten a lot thrown at her to be point guard," Buchheit said. "But she does a really good job of being able to create some things and give opportunities."

Seniors Kendall Gjurasic and Makenzie Kolb led the T-Birds with eight points each, and Sydney Sumrok added five.

Tumwater's next test will come Wednesday at Rochester, and Buchheit will continue to evaluate as the postseason draws closer.

"The big thing is just us as a coaching staff being able to put these girls in a good position to try to be successful," Buchheit said. "These reps are as good as reps are gonna get."