Stunning girls upsets averted

Top-seeds Southridge and Tigard get pressed before winning
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com
Southridge senior Natalie Hoff heads to the basket in the second half Friday.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com
Tigard junior Dani Lyons, right, gets fouled on the way to the basket.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

The state's top girls basketball teams got pretty good reminders Friday that at playoff time anyone can be dangerous.

Defending Class 6A champion Southridge - the top seed among the 36 playoff teams and a winner by at least 15 points in all of their games since Dec. 9 - trailed 16th-seeded Canby after one quarter and led just 46-42 with five minutes left in the third quarter before pulling away for a 70-54 win. The Skyhawks, 26-1, lost all-league guard Cameron Brink to an ankle sprain in the first half, but got a solid effort from its bench in returning to the Chiles Center.

No. 2 Tigard led 15th-seeded Grants Pass just 48-46 inside the final minute of their duel when the Lady Cavers went cold and the Tigers made three of four free throws in the final seconds for a 51-48 victory.

Tigard returns to the state tournament after a one-year absense having reached the title game in 2016.

Overall, the state's rankings played out as they were set with only one road team - Clackamas - scoring an upset and that being the 9th-seeded Cavaliers winning at No. 8 Jesuit, 37-32.

The eight-team tournament begins for girls on Wednesday with the boys portion beginning Thursday on the campus of the University of Portland.

Oregon City, which lost to Southridge in last year's final, fell to neighboring West Linn Friday, 43-39, and had its season end.

In the Class 5A ranks, the seeding played out with six of the eight home teams winning Friday, led by top seeded Marist, 61-31, over Milwaukie. No. 9 Crescent Valley won 54-53 at Pendleton and No. 10 Crater won at Wilsonville to advance to Gill Coliseum beginning on Tuesday. The Class 5A tournament is set to wrap up Friday night.

The Class 4A ranks played out exactly as the 5A ranks - with only the No. 9 and 10 seeds winning on the road. Top-seed Marshfield, looking to win its first title, advanced 59-19 over Yamhill-Carlton.

SOUTHRIDGE 70, CANBY 54

The Cougars, who lost only 43-40 at Tigard two weeks ago, continually challenged the Skyhawks by getting to the basket and shot a high percentage to forge the 32-all tie, with Southridge playing the final three quarters minus Brink, a key figure from last season's title run as a freshman.

After falling behind by eight to start the second half, Canby again rallied to within 46-42. But Southridge scored only seconds later and the game drifted away from there.

Brink's condition seemed tender following the game, but sideline prognosis was that she likely would return early in the week.

TIGARD 51, GRANTS PASS 48

Grants Pass made seven 3-point shots in the first half, but trailed 34-26 after 16 minutes. Their grit rallied time again and they had a chance to tie or take the lead within the final minute led by senior Alyssa Etheridge, who finished with 14 points.

Delaney Leavitt led Tigard with 21 points, and Campbell Gray added 14.

 

 

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