The Huskies lost their second-to-last game of the season in Selah Tuesday, Feb. 5, falling by a score of 66-28 to the Vikings. Selah did their damage early, scoring 40 of their points in the first half, leaving Othello with a huge deficit to try and overcome. Othello head coach Clyde Woods said a big source of their problems in the first half came from a lack of protecting the ball. As the coach, he said he has to take responsibility when he feels his team wasn't prepared for a game, which he felt was the case Tuesday night. "We were not ready to play last night," Woods said the day after the game." "For whatever the reason might be, we came out and looked flat. We gave the ball away four or five times like it was free and they got the jump on us." When Selah landed, they had outscored Othello 40-8 by halftime and had already put the game out of reach. In the locker room, Woods reminded his players they were better than what they had shown during the first half. "I realized that they scored less points than they did when we played them the first time (this season) and we scored more points," Woods said. "I just believe we're a better team than we demonstrated and we'd probably like to get that one back." The fact of the matter is Othello is a young team but Woods said that shouldn't weigh in as much as it did against Selah. He stressed avoiding the thought of being out on the court and under the spotlight having an effect on his team's performance. "We know how to play basketball," he said. The Huskies came out a bit stronger in the second half and were able to cut down on Selah's scoring while boosting theirs up to 20 points over the two quarters. Woods was pleased the girls pulled themselves together after halftime to limit the damage. "We played a much better second half, but we have to put four quarters together," he said about their better effort. "It's what I expect." Some highlights for Othello included a 10-point scoring effort from Stephanie Tolley and fellow senior Kim Bullis picked up seven of her own. Woods praised efforts from two of his bench players who came in and gave the team a much-needed boost of energy. "I was looking for energy and put Claribel Dominguez in a couple times because we were getting killed on the inside; she brought us a little energy," Woods said. "Jailene Alvarez went in and immediately got us three rebounds." Successes like those go a long way to helping the team and reward the hard work they've put in. One thing Woods hopes his team takes away from this loss is that offseason training needs to be more of an emphasis. "Hopefully, one of the biggest lessons we learn is that the season starts before the season starts," he said. "You need more than the 12 days before the first game to have a ball in your hand and work on fundamentals."
Huskie girls close out season with 24-58 loss to the Rams For Kim Bullis and Stephanie Tolley, Friday, Feb. 8, would be their last chance to lace up their basketball shoes as a Huskie. Prior to the game, announcer Raun Jensen assured the Huskies that even though their win-loss record indicated they were last in the league, their hard work and perseverance spoke a great deal about the quality of these young ladies. Othello went on to lose 58-24 against West Valley, but it was obvious to those in attendance, the team was doing their best to enjoy themselves for their last game of the season. Coach Woods described the mindset of his team as lighthearted but still felt like the team played tough. Considering the Huskies had a solid first quarter and took a 10-8 lead after eight minutes, the team might be onto something with their nothing-to-lose mentality. "I thought it was an excellent start, especially after our last performance," Woods said. "We had a lot of energy, working hard and communicating on defense ... we were in it and I think we learned from that." Othello had a basketball game and the lead going into the second quarter, but West Valley scored a number of unanswered points in the first six minutes of the second quarter and built themselves a commanding lead. Combined with some foul trouble and turnovers, the Huskies couldn't get much of anything going. Their first and only bucket came with 2:30 left until halftime off a Sophia Rodriguez jumper. "We got into some foul trouble and that caused us to make some substitutions I probably wouldn't have made in that point in time," Woods said. In the second half, West Valley - which has four players at 6-feet or higher - used their size to their advantage on defense. Othello did their best to draw fouls and made four free throws in the third quarter but by the start of the fourth had built a 43-20 lead. Even with the lead and size advantage they had, the Rams still employed aggressive defense against the Huskies and Woods saw that as a sign his team was fighting hard. "I don't think they smoked us," Woods said. "They were up by 20-plus ... but they were still trying to half court trap us so there has to be some concern in their minds." With the season wrapped up, Woods hopes to take advantage of the offseason by getting his returning players and even players as young as seventh grade into the gym and playing games. With some more time on the court, Woods hopes his team will have more success. "When you're playing in a tournament during the summer, you might play two or three games in a day and you play three or four tournaments, you play a season's worth of games," Woods said. Woods and the Huskies would like to thank the fans for supporting them this season. "We'll play hard and we'll play proud, we are the Huskies," Woods said. "We'll represent Othello to the best of our ability."