ADAIR VILLAGE — With eight returning varsity players, the Santiam Christian High girls basketball team looked anything but rusty on opening night.
The Eagles utilized their speed on both ends of the floor to rout Toledo 69-35 at home Tuesday in a nonconference game.
Rebeka Preston led a balanced SC (1-0) attack with 21 points. Jocelyn Porath added 11, Sarah Kessi nine and Ally Watson eight.
Ten different Eagles scored in the win.
“I was excited that our whole team played near their best tonight,” Preston said. “I was happy that we were able to back each other up with everything.”
SC — which went 16-9 a season ago and finished third in the West Valley League — and Cascade Christian were the only 3A schools who didn’t play last week. Toledo (0-4) dropped its opener to Central Linn and was blown out twice last weekend at a tournament in Medford.
“Half my team went to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip over Thanksgiving. We were supposed to play last week and moved some games around to accommodate the trip,” SC coach Wendi Miller said. “So we waited a really long time to start playing, but we needed it.”
The Eagles wasted no time recording their first points of the season as Preston took the opening tip and raced to the hoop for an uncontested layin.
Seven straight points from Preston put SC up 14-2 midway through the opening quarter. The Eagles led 26-11 after one and 42-20 at the break.
Preston had 15 of SC's 26 points in the first quarter. Many of the sophomore wing’s buckets came in transition.
“We really like fast-paced things, which gives us an advantage,” Preston said. “Our weakness is that we’re not very big, so speed is our strong point.”
Miller said the Eagles will regularly go up-tempo this season.
“I have the horses to run and they’ve been in the system for three years now, so there’s not a whole lot for them to learn,” Miller said. “Fast-paced games are always more exciting. We are challenging them to think more than just go out and play, and that’s going to come with pushing the ball.”
Illy Blacketer and Adrianna Perez had 14 points apiece for Toledo.
SC will be back in action Wednesday night with a road game at Toledo. The Eagles open West Valley League play at home on Jan. 6 against Willamina.