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Skyhawks survive at the buzzer

Southridge knocks off Scots; faced Lake Oswego at 6A state


BEAVERTON — When Caleb Herzberg made the Southridge varsity basketball team his sophomore year, he promised coach Phil Vesel one thing — before he graduated, the Skyhawks would play on the Rose Garden court.by: DAVID BALL - DRIVING - Southridge's David Kim tries to drive the baseline during his team's Friday-night home win over David Douglas in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

On Friday night, Herzberg delivered on that promise, helping the Skyhawks to a thrilling 53-51 win over David Douglas in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs at Southridge High School.

The No. 9-ranked Skyhawks (13-10) took on No. 1 Lake Oswego (24-0), the state’s only unbeaten team, in the state quarterfinals when the Class 6A tournament began at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the Rose Garden.

“We’re ending our careers by starting a legacy for this program,” Herzberg said.

Friday’s victory wasn’t a done deal until the final buzzer sounded, as the teams battled within a few points of each other throughout the game. Herzberg did his part late in the game when he snatched a missed three-pointer out of the air and converted the putback for a 52-47 lead with three minutes to play.

Skyhawks teammate Caleb Dozier made a similar play on a long-range miss a few minutes earlier.

“David Douglas was tough on the boards, but we kept coming and were able to get some big ones late — that’s how we won the game,” Herzberg said.

Just seconds after Herzberg’s big play, David Douglas’ Sirgio Palmore swished a “three” at the other end to cut Southridge’s lead to 52-50.

With 38 seconds left, David Douglas’ Aickelson Samuel hit one free throw, but Southridge point guard A.J. Monterossi matched him at the other of the court to make it 53-51 before David Douglas called timeout with :19 left on the clock.

Southridge stopped David Douglas’ first chance to play for a tie, then forced a timeout with six seconds remaining on the clock. With the crowd on its feet and screaming full throttle, David Douglas inbounded and passed to Palmore, only to have the ball squeeze inches past his fingertips and out of bounds.

“We were all playing the ball,” Monterossi said. “It was total team defense, all of us playing as one.”

Monterossi then dodged David Douglas defenders in the backcourt to dribble out the final six seconds of the game without being touched.

“That’s what I work on every day in practice — creating space,” he said. “It felt great to be able to close it out that way.”

Monterossi and Herzberg led Southridge with 14 points apiece, while Wallace totaled 15 for the Scots.

The teams traded the lead eight times in the first half, with Southridge up 12-11 at the end of the first quarter when Griff Christensen blocked Kaeden Speer’s buzzer-beating attempt.

The Skyhawks took a 24-21 lead late in the half when Monterossi dribbled down to the baseline, escaped a Scots’ trap and set up Herzberg for a layup.

After a Southridge miss, Aickelson pulled down the rebound and fired to Palmore, who took one dribble and hit an off-balance shot from the free-throw line with :01 showing on the clock.

To see a photo gallery from this game, go to daveball.exposuremanager.com.




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