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Wildcats made the most of their first game at Gill, outhustling the Raiders en route to lopsided win

FILE PHOTO - Wilsonville High School logoWilsonville and Crescent Valley initially met up in the preseason jamboree, and three months later they met again in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Wilsonville carried the No. 1 ranking and seed into the tournament, having won 19 of its last 20. Crescent Valley meanwhile snapped a three game skid when it entered the playoffs, downing Redmond in the opening round.

Sophomore Sydney Burns drew first blood with a layup off the outside drive, and was responsible for Wilsonville's first four baskets from the field. The Wildcats run and gun offense was lethal, and creative passing led to go ahead baskets in the paint.

"We talked after the Pendleton game about starting strong," Wilsonville head coach Justin Duke said. "We knew there would be nerves, so we wanted to play with those nerves but with intensity."

Towards the end of the first quarter, Crescent Valley picked up steam thanks to senior Cali McClave, but the talented senior could not overcome the Wilsonville defense for a prolonged period of time. Wilsonville led after the first quarter 14-9.

"I'm proud of the way our defense was able to limit Cali and Ana McClave," said Duke. "Those two are two of the very best in the state at 5A, and I thought we did a good job of containing them."

Cali and Ana would go on to score 14 and 13 points respectively, but the duo was limited from the field to a combined 7-of-30 by the Wildcats defense.

In the second quarter, Wilsonville started to get its outside shots going. A pair of "3's" from seniors Reese Timm and Cydney Gutridge helped to extend the Wildcats lead to 14 towards the middle of the second quarter. A second deep basket from Gutridge extended the lead to 16 points at the end of the first half, 31-15.

The long ball was another factor that helped decided the outcome of the game. Wilsonville drained three "3s" to Crescent Valley's one. Burns, Gutridge, and Timm had two apiece.

The second half of play was more of the same. Wilsonville consistently found a way to the basket in transition, and was able to make the most of its trips to the free throw line when the opportunity arose. From inside, Wilsonville shot 15-of-33, and from the charity stripe went 12-of-18. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Wilsonville led 49-26.

In the final stanza, Crescent Valley found its most successful eight minutes of play, outscoring the No. 1 ranked Wildcats 12-11 thanks to the efforts of the McClave sisters and senior Lexie Garrett.

Wilsonville wasn't without its moments in the final quarter though, as centers Emilia Bishop and Hannah McKinney battled for points in the paint, and got them. When the game finished up, Wilsonville secured the "W" 60-38.

"We were really nervous," Burns said. "For most of the team, this was our first time playing at Gill. We just also were excited because it's an amazing facility and opportunity for us to play, so we kind of wanted to just go hard in the beginning and play our nerves out so we could get back into our normal rhythm as a team."

Burns led the way for the Wildcats with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and a pair of steals. Right behind her was senior Reese Timm with 12 points in 14 minutes of play. This was Timm's first game back after a devastating knee injury. Sophomore Emilia Bishop had 6 points, as well as 12 rebounds.

Wilsonville (22-5) plays the winner of Silverton and La Salle Friday, March 8 at 6:30.

"La Salle and Silverton are both great teams, so it'll be a really interesting, competitive game to be playing in, no matter if people are coming out for the game," Burns said.

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