Let's hear it for Benson!

PORTLAND - 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.

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