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Vikings finish third in Tri-River Conference, to play at Central Linn Friday

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Colton senior Madie Beguelin scored 13 points against Gervais Thursday.

After a three-year hiatus, Colton is returning to the state playoffs.

The Vikings received the good news Sunday morning when OSAA's Class 2A girls basketball rankings froze.

Colton, the No. 14 seed, will play at No. 3 Central Linn Friday.

"I'm extremely proud of these girls and what they've accomplished this year," Colton coach Valerie Wakefield said. "It's been a phenomenal season for them."

The Vikings finished third in the Tri-River Conference behind Kennedy and Gervais, the top two teams in the 2A coaches poll, and the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds in the state playoffs.

After finishing 9-5 in league play during the regular season, Colton defeated Santiam 43-38 in the Tri-River Conference tournament last Tuesday.

Sophomore Olivia Haines had 19 points and eight rebounds. Senior Madi Olsen added 16 points, five assists and five steals.

"Olivia has been a nightmare matchup for everyone all season," Wakefield said. "She played exceptionally well against Santiam and they had a real hard time guarding both of those girls (Haines and Olsen)."

The Vikings split their two regular season matchups against Santiam, losing 40-37 on Jan. 7, and then winning 26-23 on Feb. 1.

"From the beginning of the year until now, they've improved tremendously," Wakefield said of her team. "I thought we played very, very well on Tuesday."

Colton lost at Santiam in the first round of the league playoffs last season.

"It was sort of a revenge game and kind of fun for them, I think," Wakefield said.

Playing for second place in the Tri-River Conference, Colton then lost 54-31 Thursday at Gervais.

The Vikings led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter before Gervais went on a run in the second period to take control of the game by halftime.

Madie Beguelin had 13 points in the loss.

"I'm not disappointed with how we played against them at all," Wakefield said. "The girls played really hard. Hats off to Gervais because they're tough. I'm very proud of our girls."

Gervais then lost to Kennedy 53-48 Saturday in the Tri-River Conference championship game.

Kennedy and Gervais have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Class 2A coaches poll for most of the season.

"Both of those teams are just really, really tough," Wakefield said. "We know that we're playing in a hard league. That's just what it is. I'm really proud of the girls for competing."

Haines and Beguelin were selected to the all-league second team. Madi Olsen was voted to the third team. Courtney Weinberger and Olivia Spitzer were honorable mentions.

Colton finished third in the Tri-River Conference after tying for fifth last year with a 6-8 record.

The Vikings also finished 15-11 this season after posting a 9-16 record last year.

"It's (third) a big accomplishment, and they have worked so hard this season to earn that," Wakefield said. "I think that's just a testament to the hard work and effort these girls have put in all year long. It's really cool. I'm very proud of them for that."

Derek Wiley
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