Portland Lutheran overcomes a 17-4 first-quarter deficit to beat Echo

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Portland Lutherans Lauren Lowery looks to make a pass out of the corner during the second half of the teams 48-46 playoff win Tuesday night. The Portland Lutheran girls basketball team wasn’t content simply to reach the 1A state playoffs. The Blue Jays wanted to make some noise once they got there, and make noise they did Tuesday night with a wild 48-46 win over visiting Echo.

The Cougars carried a double-digit lead most of the night only to have Portland Lutheran hit its first three shots of the fourth quarter to cut the gap to three points.

“We saw the momentum was going our way. The girls kept attacking, getting to the basket and making good decisions,” Blue Jays coach John Roady said.

Portland Lutheran took its first lead of the night on its next possession when guard Danica Roady sank a pair of free throws with 2:07 left. She would hit seven straight down the stretch to keep the Blue Jays in front.

Echo had a chance to tie with 5.3 seconds left, but a missed free throw and an errant field-goal attempt at the buzzer allowed Lutheran’s fans to rush the court.

“This is huge for our school,” Danica said. “It is crazy how much energy we got from our fans tonight. That helped us push through and keep going.”

Portland Lutheran (14-12) advances to Friday’s second round and will face No. 1 Condon-Wheeler (26-0) at 6 p.m. at Fossil High.

Look for expanded game coverage in our Friday, Feb. 28, print edition.

View a photo gallery from the game at …

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