For a half, Roseburg played right with Willamette, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, trailing 21-16.
“We gave it to them in the first half,” Roseburg junior post Amy Carpenter said.
But the unbeaten Wolverines capitalized on some mistakes by the Indians in the third quarter Thursday to take control and essentially seal the deal. Willamette went on to post a 44-29 victory in a nonconference girls basketball game at Robertson Memorial Gym.
Brynn Smith, one of three freshmen in Willamette’s starting lineup, finished with a game-high 18 points, 10 coming in the first half. She hit four 3-pointers.
Carpenter led Roseburg (1-9 overall) with 14 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Emelie Morello grabbed seven rebounds for the Tribe.
Roseburg held the Wolverines (13-0, 6-0 Midwestern League) 12 points below their season scoring average.
“We played a great first quarter. We were playing as a team,” Carpenter said. “We came out and executed, and put some pressure up against a team that really hasn’t seen that much pressure in the first half before. We don’t have that much confidence, but really stepped up our game today.”
Willamette opened the third period with a 12-0 run to hike its advantage to 33-16. Smith had five points, Kayla Morris made a 3-pointer and Victoria Nguyen added a pair of baskets during the spurt.
“I thought our girls really stepped up to the challenge,” Roseburg coach Chad Smith said. “They knew what they were getting into, that this might be the best club in the 5A ranks.
“We played a heck of a first quarter, a heck of a second quarter, then the third quarter was our nemesis. We played them strong again in the fourth. I was super proud of how they played ... we just need to work on a few execution things here and there.”
The Indians struggled against the Wolverines’ full-court pressure. Willamette didn’t attempt a free throw in the contest, while Roseburg only had three.
“You’ve got to be able to take care of the ball. We had 20-plus turnovers tonight and you can’t do that against anybody, let alone a quality program like Willamette,” Smith said.
“But this group keeps coming back and keeps trying,” Smith added. “There was no quit in them tonight, and that’s highly commendable.”
Freshman Maddy Warberg chipped in 11 points and Morris scored nine for Willamette.
It was only Roseburg’s second game since Dec. 19.
“We’ve had issues trying to get the timing down,” Carpenter said. “I think that comes with experience and playing together. We’re still a young team. Once we just keep playing and get that team bonding, we’ll notice how fast someone can cut and hit them at the right time.”
Due to some postponements, Roseburg has yet to play a Southwest Conference game. The Indians are scheduled to travel to Eugene Saturday to face Sheldon (8-7, 1-0 SWC).
South Medford (7-2 overall), tied with Jesuit for No. 4 in the 6A coaches poll, is the conference favorite.
“I’m excited for our next game,” Carpenter said. “This game we noticed a lot of good stuff and we’ll come out with a lot more confidence.”
WILLAMETTE (44) — Brynn Smith 18, Warberg 11, Morris 9, Nguyen 4, Hopkins 2, Wagner, Coffman, Obie, Marshall, Rush, Garcia, Johnston, Ireland. Totals 19 0-0 44.
ROSEBURG (29) — Amy Carpenter 14, J. Muntifering 4, Cunningham 4, Mohlsick 2, Murphy 3, Bowman 2, Morello, S. Muntifering, Smith, Klopfenstein, Weidemier, Miller. Totals 14 0-3 29.
Willamette 11 10 14 9 — 44
Roseburg 6 10 4 9 — 29
3-Point Shots — Will. 6 (Smith 4, Warberg 1, Morris 1), Rose. 1 (Murphy). Total Fouls — Will. 6, Rose. 5.
JV Score — Willamette 44, Roseburg 24.
Freshman — Roseburg 41, Willamette 35, OT.