Beaverton leads late in the first half but can't get the victory

PORTLAND — The Beaverton girls basketball team knew that Oregon City would push it to the limit.

And the Beavers survived the Pioneers' first push, rallying from an 11-point deficit to take the lead late in the first half of their quarterfinal game at the Class 6A state tournament at the Rose Garden on March MILES VANCE - MINE - Beaverton's Annalise Beshears (center) and Gigi Stoll battle Oregon City's Johanna Paine for a rebound in the Beavers' quarterfinal loss on March 7.

But when Oregon City hit the accelerator again in the third quarter, the Beavers had no answer. That second run by the Pioneers paved the way for their 70-53 victory and sent them on to meet Central Catholic in the state semifinals.

“In the third and fourth quarters, our shot quality went down a little bit and that kind of led to the result,” said Beaverton junior Danielle Hartzog, a second-team all-tourney selection who led all scorers with 17 points, as well as five rebound and two assists. “Our legs were tired on the much longer court, and ... they were packing it in a little more and trying to keep us from getting to the basket so easily.”

The third quarter “was a tough scoring quarter for us — we just weren't finishing,” added senior Alexis Montgomery, who added 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in the loss. “It was just us and the shots we took. We just didn't finish well.”

The statistics bore Hartzog and Montgomery out — the Beavers shot just 34 percent from the floor and 22 percent from three-point range, while the Pioneers knocked down 52 percent of their shots, including 43 percent shooting from long range.

Early on, the Beavers were dead-even with the Pioneers, tying the score at 6-6 when Gigi Stoll drilled a three-pointer off a Montgomery pass with 5 minutes, 33 seconds to go in the first quarter.

But the Pios took off from there on a 12-2 run over the next 3:32, opening that stretch with a Catelyn Preston jumpshot, then adding a Johanna Paine free throw, a Jessica Gertz “three,” back-to-back Paine hoops, and finally, a short Preston jumper to make it 18-8 with 2:01 left in the period.

But the Beavers weathered that storm, steadied themselves, began to break the OC press and played their way back into the game. Still down 28-17 a couple minutes into the second quarter, the Beavers rallied with a 12-0 run over a span of just 2:12.

Hartzog got that started with a layin set up by Montgomery, Montgomery followed with a three-pointer, Hartzog turned in a three-point play, and Montgomery and Hartzog added jumpshots to push Beaverton into the lead at 29-28 with 3:10 to go in the half.

The Beavers were still within 39-37 at the half, but saw the Pioneers take off again at the start of the third period and put together a 13-4 run that game them the lead for good at 52-41. Paine and Gertz were right in the middle of things for OC, with Paine hitting three times from the floor and scoring seven of her team-high 15 points in that stretch, while Gertz hit another “three” and had five of her 12 points.

This time, the Beavers could not respond. They went just 2-for-8 from the field the rest of the way, and their 8-of-11 performance at the foul line wasn't good enough to keep it close. The Pioneers extended their lead to 69-51 late in the game and rolled home from there.

“I think it was us,” Hartzog added. “Now we're just going to try our best tomorrow, forget about this for now, learn from our mistakes and get a good win.”

Beaverton's Alyssa Christiansen added eight points and teammate Annalise Beshears five rebounds in the loss, while Preston had 15 points for OC.

The loss dropped eighth-ranked Metro League co-champion Beaverton's record to 21-6, while the top-ranked Three Rivers League champion Pioneers improved to 25-1. Oregon City went on to lose to Central 57-52 in the semifinals, then beat Tigard 68-29 in Saturday's third-place game to end its year at 26-2.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to

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