benson girls basketball

Benson, Kentridge ready to battle size

Post players figure to be key to PIL Holiday Classic final
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Benson and Kentridge, which showed significant inside presence during their opening two wins, will put their size to battle each other Saturday night in the first PILO Holiday Classic girls basketball final at Franklin High School.

Benson, with a pair of 6-foot players, and Kentridge, with three notable inside players, moved smoothly into the final with wins Thursday and Friday.

Game time is 7 p.m.

 

FIRST ROUND GAMES

The expected offensive show by the Benson girls basketball team showed up Thursday in the first round of the inaugural PIL Holiday Classic - eventually.

After being stuck on 14 points midway through the second quarter, the sixth-ranked Techsters raced past No. 3 South Medford for a 54-34 win at Franklin High School.

Junior Tayler Lyday had 16 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to lead Benson, which will play Camas, Wash., in the semifinals of the eight-team tournament Friday night at 5:15 p.m.

No. 8 Sheldon of Eugene will play Kentridge, Wash., in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.

Camas won a battle with No. 5 Tigard, 40-35, hitting 6 of 12 3-point shots as the difference.

Sheldon held off Grant, 58-53, in a game that featured 69 free throws, and the Generals rallying from a 14-point deficit to within two points in the final two minutes.

Kentridge's height and solid play overwhelmed Forest Grove, 60-26, holding the Vikings to just 10 points in the second half.

SHELDON 58, GRANT 53

In the tournament opener, Sheldon cruised to a 27-13 lead in the second quarter and appeared to have the game in hand - even their players admitted that afterward. But, behind junior Daryn Hickok, the Generals mounted comeback after comeback before the Irish survived at the final buzzer.

Junior Fallon Hanson led Sheldon with 19 points, hitting 12 of 19 shots from the line. Senior Macie Reinen added 15 points and five steals, and sophomore Aly Mirabile had 11 points and four rebounds. But, the trio also accounted for 17 turnovers, which helped keep scrappy Grant in the game.

Hickok, a 5-foot-10 guard, found space behind the Sheldon press time and again for lay-ups that cut the Irish lead to 32-22 at the half, then as close as 53-51 with 44 seconds left. But, with the Sheldon shooters suddenly going cold at the line - just 10 of 17 in the fourth quarter, the Generals couldn't take advantage. Trailing by just a basket, the Irish managed offensive rebounds on sucsessive free-throw misses, causing Hickok to look toward the ceiling and mutter "can we please get a rebound?" Eventually Sheldon found its touch and the game ended routinely.

Marin Leonard added 10 points for the Generals, who hit 20 of 28 free-throw attempts. Grant dropped to 4-2.

Sheldon, which improved to 5-1, made 27 of 41 free-throw attempts, although it hit 17 of its first 24.

Both teams finished with 21 turnovers.

CAMAS 40, TIGARD 35

The Papermakers led for most of the game, but also struggled with turnovers - finishing with 15 to just seven for Tigard. But, Camas had seven players who scored to just five for Tigard, and that simple depth played a significant role after Tigard junior post Dani Lyons went out with an ankle injury midway through the third quarter and did not return.

Senior Courtney Clemmer finished with 10 points and nine rebounds to lead Camas, which also got seven points from junior Haley Hanson, and seven points from top reserve Jordan Wilds, a senior.

Junior Paige LaFountain had 11 points, and junior Campbell Gray added 10 points to lead Tigard, which dropped to 5-3.

BENSON 54, SOUTH MEDFORD 34

The Techsters played without normal starting point guard, junior Ciera Ellington, who is out with a hamstring strain, but that was merely a speed bump once Lyday, a 6-foot-1 guard, took control against a team that features seven freshmen, one sophomore and a junior.

Benson's post combo of 6-2 junior Imani Harris and 6-foot sophomore Aujae Yoakum combined for 20 points and 18 rebounds, a tally that limited by Harris hitting just 2 of 10 free-throw attempts.

Benson, which improved to 3-0, shot 21-of 53 from the field, to just 12-of-44 for South, and made five 3-pointers to none for the Panthers, who dropped to 4-2.

Freshman Bella Pedrojetti had 10 points and eight rebounds to lead South, which also got eight points and eight rebounds from Shakia Perry.

Both Lyday and junior guard Makenzy Porter, who hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, played all 32 minutes for Benson.

KENTRIDGE 60, FOREST GROVE 26

The Chargers, the defending Class 4A state champions from Kent, Wash., dominated the game behind the scoring trio of sophomore Jordyn Jenkins, sophomore Dayla Ballena and senior Tresai McCarver, who combined for 40 points. They also combined for 14 rebounds, 12 assists and 17-of-27 shooting from the field.

Leading 46-16 at the half, Kentridge won the third quarter 10-0.

Junior JaQuaya Miller added with points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Sophomore post Olivia Grosse tallied eight points and seven rebounds to lead Forest Grove, which was coming off a 71-19 win over McKay Friday. The Vikings dropped to 4-2.

 

Benson, PIL begin quest for respect

Lady Techsters, Grant highlight holiday tournament
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

A standout cast of teams makes the inaugural PIL Holiday Classic one to focus on for girls basketball fans this week. And, maybe many years to come.

No. 3 South Medford, No. 5 Tigard, No. 6 Benson, No. 8 Sheldon and a pair of standout teams from Washington are among the eight-team field in the tournament, which begins Thursday at Franklin High School. Grant, which reached the Class 6A tournament semifinals last season, and Forest Grove are also scheduled to appear.

The tournament kicks off at 1:30 p.m. in the newly finished gymnasium, with games following at 3:15, 5:30 and 7:15.

A JV tournament will also be played during the three days, with games at the Marshall High campus.

The tournament is a huge test for Benson, which heads to an invitational tournament in Washington, D.C., the following week, and the largely overlooked PIL.

Benson next suits up Dec. 21 against No. 7 South Medford in the first round of the eight-team PIL Invitational at Franklin High School. The tournament has three other top-10 teams scheduled to play.

Following the three-day tournament, the Lady Techsters head to Washington, D.C., for an eight-team invitational, Dec. 28-30.

A team from the PIL won the state title three times in the first seven state tournaments, but last won in 1982. A team from the PIL - Benson - last played for the state title in 1991.

Grant reached the Class 6A semifinals last season before losing 36-34 to eventual champion Southridge, and finishing with the fifth-place trophy.

Benson reached the state playoffs last season but lost in the first round.

Lincoln, at No. 11, is the next-highest ranked team in the PIL so far this season, according to rankings compiled by the OSAA, with Grant at No. 20.

Forest Grove is No. 22.

Camas, and Kentridge, Wash., are scheduled to appear as well.

THURSDAY GAMES

Grant vs. Sheldon, 1:30 p.m.

Camas, Wash., vs. Tigard, 3:15 p.m.

South Medford vs. Benson, 5:15 p.m.

Kentridge, Wash., vs. Forest Grove, 7 p.m.

 

BENSON ROLLS IN OPENER

Dec. 13, 2017

After a solid, 17-point win over Jesuit in its opener, the Benson girls figured to beat neighborhood rival Jefferson easily, and it did, 77-29.

But, coach Eric Knox still had starters and fullcourt pressure on the floor for this second-ranked squad into the closing seconds ... and expectations, too.

With two minutes left, 6-foot sophomore forward Aujae Yoakum managed a steal at midcourt, and dribbled to the basket directly in front of Knox, who settled back into his chair and talked to her.

“All right, show me something,” said Knox, who played under legendary coach Ralph Miller at Oregon State in the golden days of the 1980s.

Yoakum showed him a fullspeed brick while being chased down from the side by a Jefferson defender.

Knox smiled off that line of dialogue following the game.

“We talked before the game about how to deal with our own, personal resistance,” Knox said of the game, which stood at 23-2 after the first quarter of the Portland Interscholastic League opener for both teams. “I’m trying to get the girls to shift into a different gear and experiment, get them to do something different.

“This season is very early, and the up-side for these kids is scary.”

Benson finished with four players in double figures for points, and is already in the habit of recording rebounds, assists, steals and blocks on the main scorebook for its girls, who feature just one senior.

Junior guard Makenzy Porter led the Lady Techsters with 18 points, while juniors Imani Harris, Tayler Lyday and Ciera Ellington finished with 17, 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Harris also had six rebounds, Lyday had seven assist, five steals and three rebounds, and Ellington had five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals before leaving in the third quarter with a hamstring strain - and those were “soft” numbers tallied by the team’s very busy scorekeeper.

Knox’s idea of different could easily be called regular action for boys teams. During the game, the Lady Techsters twice ran an alley-oop, just without the dunk. But, it’s a rarely seen play in girls games. The team’s pressure defense turned into steals and lay-ups routinely, but also routinely turned into uncontested lay-ups for the Democrats (although they missed many more than they made).

Junior guard Fara Kelly led Jefferson, which dropped to 2-3, with 14 points.

Lyday, who stands 6-1, is already a target for Div. I college programs, and is likely to be a candidate for Oregon Player of the Year.

 

Benson next suits up Dec. 21 against No. 7 South Medford in the first round of the eight-team PIL Invitational at Franklin High School. The tournament has three other top-10 teams scheduled to play.

Following the three-day tournament, the Lady Techsters head to Washington, D.C., for an eight-team invitational, Dec. 28-30.

Benson, which reached the state playoffs last season but lost in the first round, has played for the state title just once - losing to Lakeridge in 1991. That’s also the last time a team from the PIL played for the state title.

A team from the PIL won the state title three times in the first seven state tournaments, but last won in 1982.

Grant reached the Class 6A semifinals last season before losing 36-34 to eventual champion Southridge, and finishing with the fifth-place trophy.

Lincoln, at No. 21, is the next-highest ranked team in the PIL so far this season.

Benson eyes PIL title, playoffs

Techsters dispatch Cleveland, gear up for playoff run
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Benson's season of success kept moving forward Friday with a 74-36 victory over host Cleveland in PIL girls basketball action.

Sophomore Taylor LyDay scored 20 points, sophomore Makenzy Porter added 15 and sophomore Mahogany Menefee hit four three-point shots and finished with 12 points in the win, which helped the team get one step closer to its ultimate goal: reach the state tournament for the first time since 1996.

The Techsters, who made 11 three-pointers and improved to 18-3 on the season, 13-1 in league play, while Cleveland dropped to 12-8 overall, 9-6.

Junior Julia Downing scored 15 points to lead the Warriors, who honored their three seniors: Elena Matt, Luisa Potestio and Tynesha Parnell prior to the game.

Benson beat No. 3 Grant a week earlier, and sits atop the PIL standings tied with the Generals with two regular-season games to play. Cleveland plays at Benson Monday in its season finale, while Benson follows Tuesday with it's final game at home against Franklin.

The Class 6A state playoffs begin March 1 with the first of two play-in rounds. The state tournament is set for March 9-11 at the University of Portland.

A year after reaching the

Benson started the season with narrow losses to Jesuit and Canby, but has won 18 of its last 19 games, falling just to Grant, 64-44 on Jan. 28. Defense has been the key, coach Eric Knox said Friday, to those wins. Only Grant has been able to score more than 50 points per game against the Techsters. Benson has scored more than 50 points in all but five games - three of them losses.

 

 

 

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