The young Lady Bowmen team goes 0-2 at 5A tourney

by: DAN BROOD - ON THE MOVE -- Sherwood sophomore guard Taylor Corno (right), in front of West Albany's Saylor Siegner, looks to get the ball up court in a hurry in last Thursday's game at the Class 5A girls basketball state tournament in Eugene. EUGENE — At the beginning of the season, the Sherwood High School girls basketball team wasn’t sure what to expect.

That makes sense, after all the Lady Bowmen had a new coach and they were going to have to play in a whole new system.

Well, as it turned out the youthful Sherwood squad likely exceeded any and all expectations, as it finished its season at the Class 5A state tournament — with a feeling of accomplishment and promise for the future.

“No one thought we’d make it here,” Sherwood junior post Mallory Shields said following the Lady Bowmen’s 55-34 loss to West Albany in a Class 5A state tournament consolation semifinal game played last Thursday at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. “We thought it would be possible, but even we didn’t know. To end the season here is special.”by: DAN BROOD - FOCUSED -- Sherwood High School junior post Mallory Shields (right) has her sites set on the basket during the Lady Bowmen's state tournament game with West Albany.

“To make it here was big for us,” Sherwood junior wing Jessica Thiel said. “I think we had a lot more fun this year.”

“It was a lot better than the past few years,” Sherwood junior guard Jennah Stobie said. “I think our bonding was stronger.”

“We really played as a team,” Shields said.

West Albany, the No. 4 team out of the Mid-Willamette Conference, improved to 16-12 on the season with its win over Sherwood in last Thursday’s state tournament game.

Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference runner-up, finished its season with a final overall record of 18-9.

“It was a great season,” first-year Sherwood coach Wes Pappas said. “The girls did a fantastic job of buying into the new system. The girls are really smart players and they were all team-first. Unfortunately, we came here and lost our two games, but only three teams here get to finish their season with a win.”

The Lady Bowmen, with their season on the line, sure seemed determined to try and come away with a win in last Thursday’s tourney consolation semifinal contest.

“I thought we played hard all game long,” Shields said.

That hard work paid off for the Lady Bowmen in the beginning of the DAN BROOD - ON THE DRIVE -- Sherwood High School junior guard Jennah Stobie looks to sprint to the basket ahead of West Albany's Corey James during last Thursday's game at the Class 5A state tournament.

Behind baskets by senior post Jaeyln Funk and Stobie, and a pair of free throws by Shields, Sherwood sprinted out to a 6-1 lead with 4 minutes and 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

West Albany cut the lead to 6-4 on a three-pointer by junior Kyia Duvall, but that would be the only field goal the Bulldogs would get in the quarter, on 14 attempts, going up against Sherwood’s stifling 2-3 zone defense.

Meanwhile, Stobie went 4 for 4 from the foul line in the final 1:22 of the opening period, getting the last two of those free throws after she was fouled on a drive to the hoop with 8.3 seconds left, helping Sherwood claim a 10-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Bowmen kept up the strong play in the second quarter. Shields sank a pair of free throws, Stobie followed with a steal and layup and then, after coming up with another steal, she went 1 for 2 from the foul line to give Sherwood its biggest lead of the game, at 18-11, with 3:00 left in the second quarter.

West Albany, getting another three-pointer by Duvall, cut into the Sherwood lead.

But the Bowmen, getting a basket on a drive to the hoop by sophomore Gabby Johnson and a short-range turnaround jumper by Funk, went on to hold a 22-18 advantage at halftime.

“We did a good job taking care of the ball,” Shields said of Sherwood’s strong first half. “And we didn’t foul.”

“And we drove to the basket a lot,” added Stobie, who scored nine first-half points.

by: DAN BROOD - FAST BREAK -- Sherwood's Gabby Johnson (22) looks to get the bal up court ahead of West Albany's Alyvia Sams.Duvall started the third quarter with another three-pointer, trimming the lead to 22-21. Sherwood would push the margin to 24-21 when Shields sank a 16-foot jump shot off an assist from sophomore guard Alyssa Walker, but the Lady Bowmen wouldn’t be able to hold off the Bulldogs much longer.

Duvall and junior Corey James sank back-to-back three-point baskets to give West Albany its first lead of the game, at 27-24, with 2:58 left in the period.

Sherwood, getting a free throw by Thiel and a basket on a drive by Shields, came back to tie the game at 27-27, but James scored four unanswered points in the final 36 seconds of the quarter to give West Albany a 31-27 lead at the end of the period.

Thiel sank a three-pointer early in the final stanza to keep Sherwood close, at 34-30, but the Bulldogs were able to take control from there. They sank three more three-pointers, two by Duvall, in the quarter. Meanwhile, Sherwood had to play the final period without Funk, who suffered an elbow injury late in the third quarter, while also mixing in some younger players in the final minutes.

by: DAN BROOD - TAKING IT IN -- Sherwood head coach Wes Pappas and assistant Cindy Olvera (left) watch the action during last Thursday's game at the Class 5A state tournament.That all added up to West Albany being able to pull away to get the 55-34 win.

“They missed their shots early, and we made some good adjustments,” Pappas said. “But we knew it might be a matter of time before they started making those. And their full-court press got to us.”

“We knew they’d keep shooting those long shots,” Stobie said.

“It felt like they hit about 20 threes,” Thiel said.

Shields was Sherwood’s leading scorer in the contest with 12 points. She also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Stobie added nine points while also having three steals. Johnson scored five points and had five rebounds. Funk and Thiel each had four points.

Sherwood, as a team, made 10 of 33 shots from the field and 13 of 25 free-throw attempts.

Duvall, sinking seven of 12 shots from three-point range, led all scorers with 24 points. James added 19 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs.

West Albany had nine three-pointers in the contest.

Sherwood opened state tournament play with a 46-24 loss to Hermiston in a quarterfinal game played March 12 at the Matthew Knight DAN BROOD - DRIBBLE DRIVE -- Sherwood junior Jessica Thiel moves up the court in the Lady Bowmen's game with West Albany.

Hermiston, the Columbia River Conference champion, improved to 20-5 on the season with that win.

Shields led the way for Sherwood in that contest with 13 points and six rebounds. Funk had eight points, five rebounds and two steals. Lady Bowmen sophomore guard Taylor Corno had three assists.

Senior post Shelby Sanders led Hermiston with 14 points.

The Lady Bowmen are hoping that the state tournament experience will help them next year, when they move up to play in the Class 6A Three Rivers League.

“It will be a lot different, but it will be good for us,” Shields said. “I think this shows that we can be a good team.”

“I think we can play with the 6A teams,” Thiel said.

“I think this will get our confidence built up,” Pappas said. “The girls worked hard to improve. Now, we need to keep working to get stronger and faster.”

Last Thursday’s state tournament game marked the final high school basketball contest for Sherwood seniors Funk and Allison Warren.

Other players on the Lady Bowmen state tournament roster include sophomore Josie Funk, sophomore Kaitlyn Buys, freshman Cami Reuter, junior Kira Jedan, junior Jessica Dailey and freshman Ellaina Langvin.

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