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High school sports round-up: Newberg rallies to beat Liberty 16-14 in season finale, earns home playoff game

SETH GORDON -  Midfielder Miranda Piros looks upfield during Newberg's 16-14 home win over Liberty May 9. With the win, the Tigers earned the right to host a first-round home playoff game Tuesday versus Summit in the Silver Bracket of the OGLA state playoffs.

Having lost three games this season by a single goal, the Newberg girls lacrosse team was beginning to feel a little bit snakebitten.

So when Liberty scored three consecutive goals to go up 14-12 with 5:38 remaining in the season finale May 9, the Tigers could have tightened up or become despondent, especially considering they were coming off a 15-14 overtime loss to Sherwood just the day before.

Newberg, however, answered the bell as well as coach Terry Paskett could have hoped for, scoring four consecutive goals to pull out a 16-14 victory and finish in a tie for third place with the Falcons in the Northwest Oregon Conference.

"I think our team bounces back especially well from stuff like that," senior Josie Duey said. "We definitely responded well to it and learned some things to help put this one away and not go into overtime."

A big key to turning the tide was getting a quick goal from Jezzy Fair, assisted by Duey, just 40 seconds later to make it 14-13.

"It was really intense, but we've definitely come a long way working on mental toughness and getting to a point where we can slow ourselves down, make sure we're passing the ball around and not forcing anything," Duey said.

Newberg was unable to get possession back until Daisy Vande Brake drew a charging foul, which set up a full-field run from senior Miranda Piros, who evaded a couple of defenders by dodging and switching to her left hand before finishing in traffic to tie the game 14-14 with 1:34 to go.

Liberty had been dominating draw controls for much of the second half, but Newberg won the ensuing restart. Piros promptly drew in the defense and dished to Duey, who put away the game winner with 1:10 to play.

"It's a crucial part and when you're not winning it's really hard to get that momentum going forward," Duey said of draw controls. "I think that's what really changed the game in the end."

The Tigers added an insurance goal after picking up a loose ball, as Hannah Huchette scored a fast-break goal on an assist from Isabella Osborn with 30 seconds to play.

"You could definitely feel all the adrenaline on the field, but it came to a point where we just had to trust each other, that we could make each pass and take it one step at a time," Piros said. "I think that's what we did."

Newberg (8-10, 5-5 NWOC) finished No. 20 in the final statewide rankings and hosted No. 22 Summit in a first-round OGLA Silver Bracket playoff game Tuesday night , winning 16-6. The Tigers will now travel to play No. 14 Oregon City in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Friday.

Boys rugby

Newberg 27, Battle Ground 24 – The lead changed five times in the second half of the Rugby Oregon state semifinal match Saturday at Delta Park, with Max Boenisch scoring a penalty try late to give the second-seeded Tigers (6-2) the victory. Also scoring tries for Newberg were Cam Sutton (2), Thomas Larkin and Ben Uribe. The Tigers will face No. 4 Reynolds in the state championship match at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

Baseball

St. Paul 14, Regis 0 – Justin Herberger and Campbell Smith combined to toss a one-hitter May 9 in a crucial Tri-River Conference road victory.

St. Paul 22, E. Linn Christian 0 – The No. 9 Bucks (14-3, 10-3) wrapped a top-three league finish with the win Saturday, amassing 15 hits. St. Paul played at Santiam Tuesday and with a win would guarantee at least a tie for second-place with Western Mennonite (12-8, 9-3).

Tigard 10, Newberg 2 – Tigard completed a three-game sweep Friday by limiting Newberg (2-24, 2-15) to four hits.

Boys lacrosse

Newberg 8, Aloha 7 – The Tigers closed out the regular season with a non-conference road win May 9.

Tualatin 15, Newberg 5 -- The No. 9 Timberwolves (13-4) were too much for Newberg (8-10) in a conference playoff semifinal Friday night, but the Tigers should earn a place in the Cascade Cup playoff bracket based on their No. 24 ranking.

Softball

St. Paul 7, Regis 6 – The Bucks (8-13, 5-12) won for the second time in three games Monday at home.

Lakeridge 8, Newberg 7 –The Tigers (5-21, 4-10) scored twice in the top of the seventh Friday to pull ahead 7-6, but the Pacers (8-17, 4-10) answered back with two of their own in the bottom half to win the season finale.

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