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Turnovers, poor shooting hurt Cougars in return to Pendleton; team faces Coquille Friday

The Gervais girls basketball team had its championship aspirations dashed in a 43-34 loss to the Bandon Tigers in the quarterfinals of the 2A Girls Basketball State Championships Thursday in Pendleton.

Now the Cougars have less than 24 hours to recover and keep their season alive in Friday's consolation semifinals.

Making their first trip to the Pendleton since 1995, Gervais (23-5) was seeking to forge ahead to the state semifinals to face off against league rival Kennedy (24-4), which had beaten the Coquille Red Devils 50-36 earlier in the afternoon.

But the Cougars were first forced to contend with the a streaking Bandon team (26-1) that entered the contest on the heels of a 22-game win streak.

After spotting the Tigers a 6-0 lead to open the contest, Gervais went on a 10-2 run, connecting on four consecutive field goals by Katie Hansen, Araceli Vasquez, Isabel Contreras and Lilly Welburn, to take their first lead of the game.

The Cougars finished the first quarter with a 14-11, but would not lead again the rest of the game.

Bandon's Traylyn Arana sparked an 8-0 run to open the second quarter, taking advantage of six Gervais turnovers before the Cougars broke the streak when Isabel Vasquez connected on an assist from Mayra Perez to cut it to 19-16.

Eduardo Reolon answered with a jumper to extend the Tigers' lead.

Turnovers continued to plague the Cougars, but Hanson and Salma Villegas finished with a 5-0 run to end the quarter, tying the game at 21-21 heading into halftime.

Coming out of the break, the two teams went on the defensive. Arana opened the third with a quick basket that was answered by Isabel Vasquez, but the two teams were largely unable to score on each other for the next five minutes, trading baskets at the end of the quarter as Bandon led 27-25 going into the final period.

Gervais freshman Izzy Boyd tied the game on an assist from Perez, only for Reolon to answer on the next possession to take back the lead.

The Cougars were unable to respond, turning the ball over on their next three possessions as Bandon continued to pad its lead.

Lilly Welburn broke through for Gervais on an assist from Perez, sparking a 6-2 run that brought the Cougars to within 35-33 on a layup from Araceli Vasquez.

But with less than three minutes remaining, Gervais was forced to send the Tigers to the line, where they gradually extended their lead en route to the nine-point victory.

Isabel Vasquez led the team with eight points, seven rebounds and two steals. Katie Hanson had five points, eight rebounds and five steals before fouling out while Welburn had five points, seven rebounds.

Gervais had a tough time against Bandon's defense, turning the ball over 23 times while shooting 14-of-45 from the field (31.1 percent) and 1-of-9 from 3-point range.

Arana led all scorers with 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and six steals.

Gervais returns to action Friday at 9 a.m. against Coquille at the Pendleton Convention Center. The winner advances to the consolation finals on Saturday.

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