Clackamas girls basketball races past Lakeridge 70-48 in Class 6A quarterfinals
The Clackamas girls basketball team — its roster stacked with seven freshmen (including four starters) — proved it was ready for the big stage.
The fifth-ranked Cavaliers, facing No. 4 Lakeridge in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state tournament on Thursday, March 10, blasted out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter, kept their foot on the accelerator for three quarters and coasted home to win 70-48 at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus.
"We just came out with a lot of energy like we knew we needed to," said Clackamas freshman guard/forward Jazzy Davidson, who finished with 12 points (on 5 of 12 shooting from the field and a 2 of 4 day at the free throw line), along with 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. "We knew we needed to hit first to win and win big like we did."
"We just came out and had good energy," said freshman point guard Avery Peterson, who led her team with 17 points (on 6 of 8 shooting from the field, including four 3-pointers and a 1 of 2 day at the foul line), along with one rebound, two assists, one block and two steals. "We knew we had to play hard, play together, play as a team (and) get the best shots, and we executed well."
With the win — Clackamas' 17th straight — the Cavaliers improved to 26-2 overall after tying for the Mt. Hood Conference championship. Next up, Clackamas will face top-ranked Metro League champion Beaverton (24-1) — a 42-19 winner over No. 8 West Linn on Thursday — in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 11.
Lakeridge, meanwhile, saw its nine-game winning streak snapped and fell to 22-5 after winning the Three Rivers League.
"It didn't go the way we wanted it to, but we weren't going to just roll over and die," said Lakeridge junior wing Keelie O'Hollaren, who led all scorers with 18 points (on 4 of 17 shooting from the floor, including four 3-pointers and a 6 of 8 day at the free throw line), along with six rebounds and one steal. "We didn't want to go out on a low. We wanted to play our game to the end."
"(Clackamas was) just working really hard today. They're a great team," said senior point guard Reese Ericson, who added 13 points (on 4 of 15 shooting from the field, including one 3-pointer and a 4 of 5 day at the foul line), along with three rebounds, eight assists and one steal. "They're young, they're athletic, they play well together, and going forward, they're going to be much better than they are today."
The Pacers hung with the Cavaliers early, trailing 6-5 when Ericson took a pass from senior Kemper Flood and buried a 3-pointer from the right corner just over two minutes into the game.
But Clackamas took over then and took over big-time. Over the final 5:39 of the first quarter, the Cavaliers outscored the Pacers 22-3 to take a 28-8 lead at the end of the period.
In that stretch, Clackamas scored on nine of 10 possessions, with Peterson knocking down two 3-pointers and scoring eight points, Davidson pouring in six more and junior Eliza Buerk tacking on four to leave Lakeridge behind.
The Pacers tried to rally with their long-range shooting — they hit 10 3-pointers in the game — in the second frame and closed within 32-16 when sophomore Natalie Langer took an Ericson pass and drilled a "three" from the right corner with 5:57 to go in the half.
But Clackamas had just too much firepower in this game. The Cavaliers answered with an 8-0 run — including four straight points by junior Rhyan Mogel — that pushed their lead to 40-16 on a Peterson foul shot with 3:39 left in the half and to 48-24 at the break.
To their credit, the Pacers kept battling in the second half, getting a pair of Langer "threes" in the third quarter and two more by O'Hollaren in the fourth, but on this night, it just wasn't enough.
"This is somewhere we've never been before and I'm very proud of everyone," Ericson said, referring to her team's first tournament berth since 2005. "They kept their heads high and that's all you can ask for."
For the youthful Cavaliers, their ability to shine on the state's brightest stage came as no surprise.
"We're solid and we know that we're solid and that's all that really matters," Davidson added.
For Clackamas, Buerk had 14 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and one block, while freshman Sara Barhoum added 12 points, five rebounds and one steal. For Lakeridge, Langer finished with nine points and one steal, while Flood added eight points, two rebounds and one assist.
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