OROVILLE – The Oroville girls basketball team might have thought it would have trouble matching up with Omak with leading scorer Kelsey Hughes sidelined after having her wisdom teeth removed.
But it proved to be the perfect opportunity for freshman Lily Hilderbrand to have a breakout game, and her 18-point performance propelled the Hornets to a 52-45 victory over the Pioneers of the 1A Caribou Trail League.
“Lily has always been able to play just with her ability,” said Oroville coach Mike Bourn. “But now that she’s in high school and playing against juniors and seniors, she needs to play with intensity as well. Tonight it was up where it needs to be, and you could start to see what she’s capable of.”
The Hornets looked disorganized through the first half as they adjusted to Hughes’ absence, and Omak built a 24-16 lead late in the half.
Hilderbrand knocked down a 3-pointer with four seconds left that started to tilt momentum Oroville’s way.
She scored nine points in the third quarter as the Hornets started the second half with an 8-2 run. Callie Barker’s up-and-under to end the third put the Hornets up 35-33, and they never trailed again. The Hornets built a 10-point lead before Omak’s Jade Sargent drilled the last of her five 3-pointers to account for the final score.
“Barker, Briana Moralez and Sierra Speiker all played well,” Bourn said. “Omak is physical and plays solid defense. It’s a good win for the girls and good for their confidence.”
Speiker finished with 11 points, Barker had eight and Moralez chipped in with seven.
Sargent led all scorers with 25 points.
Oroville 40, Wellpinit 36
OROVILLE – The Hornets finished off their pre-Christmas schedule with a 40-36 victory over Wellpinit, snapping a 27-27 tie with a strong fourth quarter.
Hilderbrand paced Oroville with 13 points.
The two teams meet again at Wellpinit on Thursday, Dec. 29.