Oregon City rallies in crunch time to edge visiting Grant, 50-49
Very little came easily for Oregon City High School's girls basketball team against the Grant Generals on Friday night.
The Generals made the Pioneers work for everything they got.
Oregon City's Tyra Bradford scored seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead free throw with 2:15 to play, helping lead the Pioneers to a 50-49 non-conference victory over the visiting Generals.
Jalissa Lugo led Oregon City with 13 points and Zaryah Hill had 13 points to pace Grant in a physical, personal foul-packed game that saw four ties and 10 lead changes before it was ultimately decided at the free-throw line.
Grant used an 11-4 run at the start of the fourth quarter to take a 44-39 lead with 3:58 remaining, but the Pioneers answered with an 11-5 run and sealed the decision by going 9 for 12 from the foul line in the closing 2:40.
"That game was a grind," Pioneers coach Tiffani Traver said. "It was a great game in terms of our mental toughness down the stretch. We were able to fight back in a hard-fought battle that was very physical both ways.
"I'm very happy with our girls and their resiliency. I don't know that a lot of people knew what we would be this season after graduating Brooke Bullock and her classmates, but I think this shows that we're here and we're ready to compete."
Both teams hit the floor with aggressive, high-pressure defenses that were particularly physical under the basket. Turnovers were nearly a push (Grant 27, Oregon City 25), but the teams also combined for 46 personal fouls – the Generals with 28 and the Pioneers with 18 – which translated into a combined 57 free throws.
Grant shot 56 percent (14 for 25) and Oregon City shot 59.3 percent (19 for 32) at the line.
"Both teams played hard and Oregon City made a lot of free throws," Generals coach Michael Bontemps said. "They called it right. No problems with the referees. I didn't see anything I would argue with in terms of a call.
"One of us had to earn it, and Oregon City did. We made a lot of little mistakes. We're still young, but I wanted to see them battle the whole game and they did, so I'm happy with that."
Grant twice led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter, the second time when junior post Schuyler Berry made two free throws to give the Generals a 44-39 lead with 3:58 to play.
The Pioneers then went on a 9-1 run that started with Bradford hitting a runner in the lane and then ended with Katie Kathan knocking down a pair of free throws to make it 48-45 with 1:05 remaining.
After Grant's Adrianna Franco scored to cut the lead to one point, 48-47, Bradford made one of two free throws with 43 seconds left, and then Josie Willard hit one of two at the foul line with 26 seconds to play to make it 50-47.
Grant's Rakyah Clayton knocked two free throws with 17 seconds left to cut Oregon City's lead to 50-49, and then the Generals forced a Pioneers turnover on the ensuing inbound play.
The Generals drew up a play for sophomore wing Quinci King, whose jumper under pressure from Oregon City's Kaydyn Guelsdorf fell short of the mark and went out of bounds with 11 seconds left.
The Pioneers then got the ball inbounds and into the frontcourt to run out the clock.
Oregon City returns to action Wednesday against Red Mountain (Ariz.) in the opening game of the 2019 Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz.
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