Barlow keeps pace with top tier opponents
Centennial girls tournament
|La Salle Prep Falcons|
The Barlow girls basketball team took on some top competition at Saturday's summer tournament hosted by Centennial High.
The Bruins' varsity highlighted its triple header day by trading punches with La Salle Prep, the reigning 5A state champions.
The teams traded the lead four times in the early stages of play with Barlow center Libby Mathis dominating on the offensive boards and earning repeated trips to the free-throw line.
"Libby really cleaned up inside," Barlow coach Nick Hudson said.
Barlow tied the game 12-12 late in the first half when Rilyn Quirke sent an inside-out pass to Mathis and sank a 12-foot jumper.
La Salle Prep took an 18-15 lead into halftime after Emily Niebergall and Mandy Sisul hit a pair of deep balls.
The teams went quiet through the first four minutes of the second half before Barlow's Kennedie Shuler tracked down a long rebound and went the distance for a layup that brought the Bruins within a point.
Barlow stayed within striking distance when Quirke dribbled to the center of the lane, then spun back the other way to find an open look at the hoop. On the next trip, Lindsay Barden split the defense for a layup that brought the Bruins within 24-23 approaching 10 minutes to play.
Ella Wedin slipped unnoticed into the corner and swished an open 3 for the Falcons only to have Barden answer with a long ball at the other end to keep it a one-possession game.
La Salle Prep pulled away late when Sisul swooped in to grab an offensive rebound. The extra chance eventually turned into two points on a layup by Addi Wedin for a 37-30 lead with two minutes left.
"Barlow came out with a lot of energy and we knew we had to come out and compete," Addi Wedin said.
Barlow tried to mount a late comeback when Melanie Hiu swiped a steal and raced to the hoop to trim the margin to four points, but Addi Wedin finished off the win with a 3 from the top of the arc and a pair of free throws in the final minute.
"We have some girls who are dedicated to hoops, and they were excited when they saw Jesuit and La Salle on the schedule — they wanted that top competition," Hudson said. "We didn't shoot well from the outside in that game, but we took care of the ball and executed. We got great looks, now it's just a matter of knocking them down."
Barlow finished its day with a lopsided 64-16 win over Madison.
Barlow combined to go 4-3 on the day in the varsity and jayvee brackets. The Bruins compete at a showcase tournament in Oregon City this weekend.
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This story is slated for our Tuesday, June 18, print edition.
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