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Skyhawks battle, learn, improve at NW Invite

Southridge wins its way into the tourney semifinals at home


BEAVERTON — The Southridge girls basketball team had a number of goals in mind as it entered the annual Northwest Invitational Tournament.

The Skyhawks wanted to represent their school well, wanted to play top-notch competition on each of the tournament’s three nights, and wanted to learn as much as they could to help their team improve.

While Southridge went just 1-2 at the elite annual event — held Nov. 29 through Saturday at Southridge High School — the Skyhawks absolutely achieved all three of their main goals.by: MILES VANCE - FOULED - Southridge guard Nica Loo gets fouled as she tries to drive past a South Medford defender on Saturday night at Southridge High.

“The Northwest Invitational is a great way for us to start the season,” said Southridge coach Matt Humphreys. “We played three quality teams and learned a lot about where we need to improve as a team.”

The Skyhawks opened the eight-team tournament with a convincing 72-43 win over Lincoln on Nov. 29, battled defending Class 6A state champion South Medford in a 66-42 semifinal loss on Friday, then fell to talented Central Catholic 73-56 on Saturday.

While the Skyhawks, now 1-2 on the season, certainly would have liked to have fared better at their home tournament, they know that getting better is the most important thing right now.

“The team knows that a tough preseason schedule is going to get us ready for the tough Metro League and the playoffs,” Humphreys said. “We came away from the tournament motivated to prepare for our next challenge and the season ahead of us.”

In their opener, the Skyhawks pushed ahead 14-8 after the first quarter, saw Lincoln close within 28-23 at the half, then left the Cardinals in the dust in the second half. Southridge, led by Kylie Dummer’s 12 points, 11 from Kayla Fieldhouse and eight by Margaret Brock, caught fire in the second half and outscored Lincoln 44-20 to pull away and win easily.

Brock added 10 rebounds and five steals in the victory, while Tupu Loo had five rebounds and three steals to go with her five points.

In Friday’s semifinal, Southridge held its own early against South Medford and trailed just 13-12 after the first period. But the Panthers, led by Ashley Bolston’s 14 points and Kylie Towry’s 12, used a 20-9 edge in the second quarter to push their lead to 33-21 at the half, then extended that lead to 49-27 after three quarters and pave the way for their victory.

Dummer led Southridge with nine points and Brock had seven, but Southridge shot just 38 percent from the field (15-of-40) and turned the ball over 24 times against South Medford’s aggressive defensive pressure.

Turnovers were a big problem again in Southridge’s tournament finale against Central Catholic. The Skyhawks turned the ball over 22 times on Saturday and the Rams, led by Kailee Johnson and Jordan Reynolds, were only too happy to help their team take advantage.

Hannah Rose led Southridge with 12 points, while Loo and Brock added eight each in the contest, but the Skyhawks’ struggles with turnovers and free throw shooting (they went just 16-of-31 at the line) sealed their fate. Rose also made five steals for the Skyhawks in the loss while Dummer had three steals.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please visit milesvance.exposuremanager.com.




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