The Rams at 6A, and Willamette at 5A, upend defending champions
March 9, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
PORTLAND - The Central Catholic girls basketball program won its first state title Saturday night, and celebrated like it had just won the lottery
Kailee Johnson scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds and Jordan Reynolds scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Rams past defending champion South Medford, 57-36, at the Rose Garden.
South Medford dominated the early part of the game, jumping to a 10-3 lead, but the Rams owned the game thereafter and avenged a loss to the Panthers in the semifinals last season.
South got 18 points from Ashley Bolston, but just six points from Yaremi Mejia, who picked up her third foul early in the second quarter and ended up playing just 19 minutes.
The win was historic for girls basketball as coach Sandy Dickerson became only the second woman to coach a girls team to the large-school state title. Roberta Perkins coached South Salem to the the state title in 1976, the first year girls basketball was a sanctioned sport.
Central Catholic finished its season at 26-3 and with a 23-game winning streak.
South Medford finished at 24-5, but lost only two games to in-state schools: Saturday to Central Catholic and Dec. 7 to Springfield, which lost in the Class 5A girls final Saturday in Eugene.
WILLAMETTE 48, SPRINGFIELD 41
EUGENE - Lexi Bando hit five three-point shots on the way to a game-high 23 points and the Wolverines avenged a loss in last year's title game at Matthew Kight Arena.
Bando made 7 of 15 shots overall to help Willamette overcoe Mercedes Russell, who hit 6 of 9 shots from the field, but didn't get to the free-throw line once.
Oregon City, Central Catholic survive upset bids, but Clackamas falls to Tigard
March 7, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
Beaverton and Westview were sizable underdogs entering Friday's quarterfinals at the Rose Garden, but both put forth determinted efforts before falling into the consolation round during the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament.
Top-rated Oregon City led just 39-37 at halftime, but pulled away thereafter for a 70-53 win over Beaverton, while Central Catholic with its two major-college signees on the court and playing well, pulled away from a 24-22 haltime advantage for a 55-50 victory.
Tigard, though, pulled the tournament's key upset, 34-30, over Clackamas, one of the four top seeds in the 32-team playoff bracket. Lexi Carter scored 12 points and Megan Risinger pulled down 17 rebounds for the Tigers.
Defending champion South Medford had little trouble with St. Mary's, 68-38.
OREGON CITY 70, BEAVERTON 53
Senior Jo Paine had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Pioneers shot 52 percent from the field for the game, but couldn't shake the spunky Beavers until a 14-1 run in the third and fourth quarters game them a 57-43 lead. Oregon City got 15 points from Catelyn Preston and six points and six assists from Montana Walters, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
The Beavers got 17 points from Danielle Hartzog and 15 points from Alexis Montgomery.
CENTRAL CATHOLIC 55, WESTVIEW 50
Senior post Kailee Johnson had 17 points, 18 rebounds, six blocked shots and ever a pair of assists and senior point guard Jordan Reynolds had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists, and yet the Wildcats wouldn't surrender quietly even with their star, Jaime Nared, struggling against Johnson - hitting just 4 of 25 shots. Nared still finished with 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Wildcats outscored the Rams 28-10 in second-chance points - largely because of their 25 offensive rebounds.
Westview rallied from a 16-5 deficit at the end of the first quarter and trailed just 34-31 when an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter pushed the Rams ahead 42-31 and only a late run of scores by Westview made the score closer.
TIGARD 34, CLACKAMAS 30
In a game in which neither team made a three-point shot, Tigard prevailed at the free-throw line, making 12 of its 14 attempts, while Clackamas made just six of 12. Carter's two free throws with 24 seconds left from a 30-all tie and Meeka Mayhew added two more with seven seconds left for the final margin.
Sydney Azorr scored 13 points and Deeshyra Thomas added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Clackamas, which made just 12 of 54 shots from the field. Tigard made just 11 of 39 shots, but did not attempt a three-pointer.
SOUTH MEDFORD 68, ST. MARY'S 38
The Panthers broke free of the Blues with an 18-10 second quarter to build a 33-22 lead at the half and it only got bigger. All 10 players who reached the floor scored for South led by Kylie Towry with 15 points. South made just 4 of 17 three-point shots, but fired up 65 field-goal attempts and caused 23 turnovers.
Central Catholic heads for Rose Garden at No. 1, but South Medford holds title
March 3, 2013
The list of title contenders looks as it did last year, but Central Catholic is at the top, not South Medford.
The Lady Panthers, though, are the state champs until beaten and enter the Class 6A quarterfinals as one tough opponent - especially having not been seen much by Portland-area fans.
Central Catholic won its first two playoff games by an average of 41.5 points behind standout efforts by seniors Kailee Johnson and Jordan Russell. Those two combined for 51 points in a 74-39 win over Roseburg Saturday.
Oregon City and Clackamas enter as the other top seeds in the eight-team tournament bracket.
At Class 5A, defending champion Springfield and Midwestern League rival Willamette are again the favorites, having met in the title game last year with Springfield the victor.
At Class 4A, Sutherlin aims to cap an unbeaten season with a title. The Bulldogs have been tested only a handful of times - one of those times against Brookings-Harbor, 41-40, in overtime, Feb. 15. Those teams could meet in the final.
CLASS 6A At Rose Garden, Portland THURSDAY Oregon City vs. Beaverton, 1:30 p.m. Central Catholic vs. Westview, 3:15 p.m. Clackamas vs. Tigard, 6:30 p.m. South Medford vs. St. Mary's Academy, 8:15 p.m.
CLASS 5A At Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene THURSDAY Springfield vs. Lebanon, 1:30 p.m. Bend vs. Hermiston, 3:15 p.m. Willamette vs. Milwaukie, 6:30 p.m. West Albany vs. Corvallis, 8:15 p.m
CLASS 4A At Gill Coliseum, Corvallis THURSDAY Mazama vs. Brooking-Harbor, 1:30 p.m. La Salle vs. Cascade, 3:15 p.m. La Grande vs. Banks, 6:30 p.m. Sutherlin vs. Junction City, 8:15 p.m.
The Rams beat Norcross, Ga., with fresher legs in Shootout finale
Dec. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
LAKE OSWEGO - In the second half of the fourth game in four days, the Central Catholic Rams showed off that having two major college recruits is better than having one and beat Norcross, Ga., 68-61 in the championship game of the Nike Interstate Shootout girls basketball tournament at Lake Oswego High School.
With the game tied at 45, the Rams scored the final four points of the third quater and then extended the lead to 62-52, which effectively decided the game.
Jordan Bailey, who is headed for Tennessee, scored a game-high 25 points and Kailee Johnson, who is headed for Stanford, added 18 to lead the Rams, who were focused on showing their collective skill after losing two of three games in an eight-team tournament in Arizona last week.
Norcross got 27 points from Diamond DeShields and 13 points from Shayla Cooper, but could not overcome Central Catholic's depth.
"We could tell they were getting a little tired," said Johnson, who was an all-tournament first-team pick. "We knew we just had to gut the game out to win."
The Rams upend Oregon City, will play Norcross, Ga., in Interstate final
Dec. 29, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
LAKE OSWEGO - Central Catholic wanted to make a statement about its game to the rest of Oregon this weekend, and the Rams did with a 59-48 win over Oregon City Saturday in the semifinals of the Nike Interstate Shootout at Lake Oswego High.
Next, they get a shot at making a statement to the nation as they'll face national power Norcross, Ga., in the final Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Norcross, pressed to perform in their first two games, pulled away from a 27-20 lead over Clackamas to 31 at the end of three quarters on the way to 82-45 their victory.
The start time got moved from 8 p.m. to accomodate the Lady Blues and their travel plans.
Diamond DeShields had 20 points and Shayla Cooper added 17 to lead Norcross.
Kailee Johnson scored 21 and Jordan Reynolds added 20 to lead Central Catholic. The Rams played in a tournament in Arizona a week ago and lost two of three games, but returned to Oregon motivated to show off what they learned in those three games.
"We definitely wanted to make a statement here," Reynolds said. "Beating Oregon City did that, now we really want to win the tournament."