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Beaverton goes 2-2 but wishes for better at the LO tournament

by: MILES VANCE - HANGING AROUND - Beaverton senior Alexis Montgomery goes up for a shot during her team's Friday game against Clackamas at Lake Oswego.

LAKE OSWEGO — The Beaverton girls basketball team rode the roller coaster big-time at the Nike Interstate Shootout last week.

The Beavers opened on an upswing with a win over South Eugene, plunged down at high speed in losses to Clackamas and Westview, then went on the rise again with a victory over South Salem in their Sunday tournament finale. In all, the 11th-ranked Beavers went 2-2 at the tournament and took their season record to 9-4 overall.

“We just need to keep working as a team, getting to know each other,” said University of Louisville-bound senior guard Alexis Montgomery. “We have a lot of young players, so it’s just getting team chemistry and working toward the goal of winning the Metro League.”

“We’ll be fine,” added junior guard Danielle Hartzog. “I think we’ll just get better from here.”

Beaverton 44, South Eugene 33

The Beavers muscled past South Eugene in its NIS opener and did so behind a great performance by freshman guard Alyssa Christensen. Christensen poured in a game-high 20 points and that effort, along with a strong defensive performance by the team, was more than enough to pave the way to victory.

Beaverton trailed 8-7 after one quarter, but put together a 16-7 edge in the second to lead 23-15, stretched its margin to 32-22 after three quarters and went on to win by 11.

In addition to Christensen’s 20, Hartzog added six in the win, while McKenna Vanderkley led the Lady Axes with seven and teammate Sasha Sims added six more.

Clackamas 64, Beaverton 42

Beaverton really hit the highs and lows in its quarterfinal loss to Clackamas on Friday, racing out to an 11-0 at the start of the game only to be outscored 64-31 the rest of the way and lose by 22 points.

“I think it was just us getting tired and fatigued that allowed them to get the lead,” Hartzog said. “There wasn’t a lot more we could have done except play a lot harder, play like we were in the first half.”

“We had a lot of opportunities to get ahead, but we just weren’t finishing shots,” Montgomery said. “We were expecting contact and we didn’t get calls and we just missed a lot.”

Hartzog and Montgomery both scored twice in the Beavers’ hot start and Tayllor Christensen added a three-pointer, but things went south quickly after that. Clackamas closed the period on a 12-3 run (eight of those by Deeshyra Thomas), then took the lead for good at 29-27 when Kaitlyn Reiner hit a running three-pointer at the first-half buzzer.

The Cavaliers then put the game away with a 17-4 edge in the third quarter, Beaverton’s woes exacerbated by a scoreless drought of more than five minutes.

Westview 53, Beaverton 43

Next up, the Beavers came back to meet Metro League co-favorite Westview on Saturday, and the Wildcats were ready to go. Big-time.

Westview blasted the Beavers with a 22-2 first quarter, still led 44-23 after three quarters and rolled to victory from there despite a 20-9 Beaverton edge in the fourth. Westview star Jaime Nared set the pace with 19 points, teammate Sarah Curl kicked in 14 more, Delanie Parry had eight and both Bridget Eby and Dana Bentz added six each in the win.

For Beaverton, Hartzog and Montgomery ended up with respectable numbers, but they came too late in the game to make a difference, Hartzog ending the day with 13 points and Montgomery with 10.

Beaverton 57, South Salem 48

To their great credit, the Beavers shook off their two losses to beat South Salem in their Sunday tournament finale, with Montgomery going for 19, Hartzog for 11 and Dagny McConnell 10 more.

The Beavers got after it right way on Sunday, racing out to a 16-9 first-quarter lead, extending that lead to 32-22 at the half, and then to 47-31 after three to put the game on ice.

Jordan Woodvine led the Lady Saxons with 13 points and Katie McWilliams added 11 more.

As to lessons learned at NIS, the Beavers said there were plenty.

“I think we just need to work on taking care of the ball and making good passes up the floor and just keeping our heads up on fast breaks,” Hartzog said.

“It’s nice to win, but as long as we get better every game, that’s the main point,” Montgomery added.

To see a complete photo gallery from this tournament, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.

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