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Myrtle Point Girls Basketball

Myrtle Point's Sierra Smith, right, and Glide's Emily Michel look to rebound Wednesday at Myrtle Point High School.

MYRLTE POINT — For a half Wednesday night, Myrtle Point’s girls basketball team stuck with athletic Glide.

But the Wildcats used a 17-3 run to close the third quarter to pull away for a 43-35 win over the host Bobcats in the season opener for the teams Wednesday night.

“I think we did really good, especially for our first game,” said Nikki Leep. “I’m excited to see how it goes and where we end up.”

The Bobcats led 9-8 after the first quarter and the teams were tied 18-all at the break.

After Myrtle Point scored the first four points of the third quarter on baskets by Kayla Wheeler and Sarah Nicholson, though, Glide went on a big run led by Johanna Pope.

The senior, one of two athletic girls a few inches taller than any of the Bobcats (the other is Jordan Williams) scored nine of her game-high 21 points in the big run. She also finished with 11 rebounds, while Williams had 13 points, five rebounds and four blocks.

Glide’s lead grew as big as 13 points in the fourth quarter before Myrtle Point closed within eight a couple of times.

“I was very pleased, for as young as we are,” Myrtle Point coach Dave Larsen said. “That’s a good team. They are very athletic.

“We just had a few defensive lapses in the third quarter.”

Myrtle Point was able to lead much of the first half by getting the ball inside to Leep and Madison Brown, but suffered some when Nicholson, the team’s freshman point guard, got in foul trouble, picking up two quick fouls in the first quarter, a third in the second and her fourth early in the third.

She still led the Bobcats with 10 points, while Leep and Wheeler scored eight each and Brown six.

Glide packed down in a zone in the second half to limit Myrtle Point’s inside opportunities and the Bobcats weren’t able to capitalize from outside.

“If we can improve our outside shooting, that will help a lot,” Larsen said.

But he was pleased with how the Bobcats played on defense most of the game, especially since he is using a new defense this year.

“I think our defense is really coming together,” Leep said. “I like how we work together as one and how everybody is really encouraging.”

The Bobcats were playing the first of three games in four nights to open the season. They visit Pacific on Friday and North Bend on Saturday.

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Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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