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Gophers pull to within three points coming out of halftime only to fall in opener

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Greshams Emily Goodwin (2) and Jaelene Diaz Chavez tie up North Salems Adreanna Mendoza on a rebound during the Vikings 53-40 win Wednesday night.

Nonleague game

Team Score
North Salem

The Gresham girls basketball team put on a surge to start the second half, but North Salem righted the ship in time to keep its lead and sail away to a 53-40 win in Wednesday's season opener.

Trailing by 11 points late in the first half, the Gophers climbed back into contention when Melia Smith corralled a rebound in the corner of the court and handled some heavy pressure on her way across halfcourt. Smith then found teammate Jaelene Diaz Chavez in the paint for a layup at the front of the rim.

Smith struck again moments later, this time swiping a North Salem inbounds pass and beating the clock in a dash to the hoop. Smith's layup took a couple hops on the rim before falling through the net as the buzzer sounded, bringing the Gophers within 28-21 at the break.

Gresham returned to the court for the third quarter and kept it rolling with high pressure full-court defense.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Greshams Heaven Schab squares up for a shot in the second half.

Heaven Schab beat her defender around the right side for a layup, and a turnover in the backcourt led to a layup by Chavez.

The Gophers were within three points less than a minute into the second half.

That was as close as they would get.

North Salem solved the pressure defense with quick passes over the top to build its margin back to double digits. The highlight coming when Talhaya Powers made an inbounds pass from in front of the scorer's table. The ball went cross-court to Raena Hurtado, who pin-balled a pass across the lane to Krystal Andreas for an easy finish.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Gresham rookie Brook Wood draws a foul, while dribbling down the sideline.

Gresham tried to climb back within striking distance early in the fourth quarter when Brook Wood forced a five-second count along the baseline. The Gophers converted the turnover into points when Aleena Baisden hit a trey from the top of the arc.

But North Salem maintained a comfortable margin when Powers chased down a rebound and zipped down the sideline, going coast-to-coast for a three-point play that put the Vikings up 16 with five minutes left.

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This story is slated for our Friday, Dec. 6, print edition.

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