by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Southridge sophomore guard Lexie Dillon and the Skyhawks advanced to the first round of the 6A state playoffs by throttling Thurston on Friday.

The Southridge girls’ basketball team played bulletproof defense throughout Friday night’s home play-in game against Thurston High.

When the Skyhawks used their full court press, Thurston could get nothing going on offense. Even when Southridge took off the press in the second half, it still shut down the Thurston offense. The defense combined with a solid offense performance gave Southridge a 59-24 blowout victory and punched Southridge’s ticket into the Oregon Schools and Activities Association Class 6A playoffs.

“We really worked as a team,” junior guard Dayna Carlson said. “That was the best offense and defense we’ve played as a team yet.”

The Skyhawks began the game with an 11-2 run and took a 17-7 lead into the second quarter.

That was when Southridge’s full court press really kicked into gear. The Skyhawks opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run and did not allow a basket until the 1:16 mark, when Thurston wing Madison Hunter made two free throws. The Skyhawks would only allow one more free throw in the quarter and went into intermission with a 40-10 lead.

“We’ve been working on our half court and full court press a little bit more,” Southridge coach Michael Bergmann said. “We wanted to put pressure on them and not give up easy baskets. The girls did a nice job of containing without fouling and bringing energy. When we play with energy, we’re so much better. And they played with energy right away.”

In the second half, the Skyhawks took off their press, but their defense was still as tight. Southridge had a 48-18 lead at the end of the third quarter.

“I don’t know if I’d call it mercy,” Bergman said, of taking off the full court press. “But, in general when it’s a 30-point lead, it’s better to work on our stuff and prepare for next game. We still put ball pressure on them when they had it in our half court. But, a general rule is when we’re up by 30 or more, we take off the press.”

Southridge did not allow any Thurston players to reach double figures. Allison Rich led Thurston with seven points. Hunter and Anya Gallup had five points each.

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO  - Southridge senior post Dayna Carlson said the Skyhawks played their best defense and offense against Thurston in the 6A play-in game.

Southridge was led by Makenna Bell and Carlson who each had 13 points.

Bell said, “It was a lot of team effort and our team making good passes. We were going for the people who were open. My team and the passing that we did was a big reason why I was able to be successful.”

With the win, Southridge went into the first round of the playoffs where the Skyhawklost to Canby, 52-42. The Skyhawks Bergman said that if Southridge is playing well, the Skyhawks have the potential to make some noise in the tournament.

“When we’re playing well and we have everything clicking we can play with just about anybody,” Bergman said. The question is whether we can put four quarters together in a row. We’ve done it a few times this year. I’m very hopeful we’ll keep working hard. When we bring in that energy that’s when we have a chance of doing that. We have a chance to go somewhere. We’re in a good spot right now. We’ll play as hard as we can and see what happens.”

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