Lincoln's boys awoke Wednesday morning hoping to be the 'Cardiac Kids' of the Portland Interscholastic League, but by nightfall that honor had been grabbed by Jefferson's boys and girls.
Coupled with the girls team in a doubleheader, the Jefferson boys rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Lincoln 77-66. Then the Demo girls came back from eight down in the fourth quarter to beat Clackamas 59-55 in the second round of the OSAA Class 4A state playoffs.
The Democrat boys finished 18-0 in the PIL. But it was the girls who saved most people in the gym from walking away disappointed: Their win moved them one game closer to the state tournament.
The girls play host to Redmond on Saturday night.
'We've had trouble with this game, trying to get to the round of 16, in the past,' Jefferson senior Brookielle Boddie said. 'But we knew we could come back. This is my final year, and I want to get to the tournament.
'We watched the boys win with defense in the fourth quarter. That's what did it for us, too, our defense. The boys game inspired and motivated us.'
Lincoln's boys, who beat Benson on Tuesday night, were on their way to beating the Demos, too, leading 35-29 at halftime and 56-47 entering the fourth quarter. Lincoln needed a win to force a one-game playoff with Wilson for the PIL's No. 4 playoff spot in the state tourney.
But the Jefferson defense spurred a 30-10 run in the fourth quarter. And that, coupled with Wilson's 62-45 victory over Franklin, ended Lincoln's playoff hopes.
Jefferson hosts the No. 3 boys team from the Intermountain Conference in a second-round playoff game Wednesday.
'We wanted to go into the playoffs with a lot of confidence, so this game was important for us to win,' Jefferson junior guard Mac Hopson said. 'Our defense really kicked in for us.
'Everyone thinks we're all about offense here, but it's our defense that drives everything. We get a lot of things done with our defense.'
Lincoln junior Latravis Turner said the Cardinals, who lost three league games by one point, were disappointed but ready to focus on the future.
'We have a couple holes to fill with seniors graduating, but we have guys ready to step up next year,' said Turner, who bumped up his play significantly this year. 'Everyone is coming back, and we're going to be very strong.
'Next year, we win this league.'
Wilson, which began the season as a long shot to reach the state playoffs, will play host to the No. 4 finisher from the Valley League on Monday night in the first round of the state playoffs. In other first-round boys games, Three Rivers No. 4 plays at Midwestern No. 4, Metro No. 4 travels to Mount Hood No. 4, and Pac-9 No. 4 plays at Intermountain No. 4, with the winner playing at Barlow on Wednesday in the second round.
More girls hoops
There were no upsets among the 16 second-round playoff games Wednesday, although Clackamas had Demo fans scratching their heads when they looked at the scoreboard into the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers needed a 44-37 win over Centennial in the first round on Monday just to reach the second round, but they led the Demos 45-37 with six minutes left.
Then the Jefferson defense kicked in, and the Demos finished the quarter with a 22-10 burst that included a 12-0 run.
Senior Brittney Davis finished with 23 points, and sophomore Simone Jordan scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter.
If Jefferson beats Redmond, which beat Corvallis 64-47 on Wednesday, it'll reach the state tournament for the first time since 1999. The last two years, Jefferson lost its third-round playoff game.
At Southridge, the second-ranked Skyhawks cruised to an 85-45 victory over Bend, keeping pace with top-ranked Oregon City, which beat Hermiston 87-30.
Southridge, which has been ranked No. 1 this season, sees itself on the same level as Oregon City.
'Oregon City is a great team that has won a lot of championships, but we see ourselves beating them,' Skyhawk senior Gretchen Gottfried said. 'We're on target as a team and we're working together really well.'
Gottfried said Oregon City's third-round game Saturday with Jesuit, a Southridge rival from the Metro League, will be interesting because it'll be a common opponent.
'We're different teams, but we'll be watching that score,' she said.
At Lincoln, the Cardinals were working on being at Southridge's level, hoping to squeeze themselves into the 'Cardiac Kids' role because they play at Southridge Saturday night with a spot in the state tourney at stake. They beat St. Mary's 56-37 in the second round.
Southridge beat Lincoln by 12 points in December during the Lake Oswego tournament.
'We've gotten a lot better since then,' Lincoln junior forward Hannah Oken-Berg said. 'We're playing more as a team.
'We think we're the sleeper team in the playoffs.'
In other Saturday games, Tigard plays at Central Catholic, Lakeridge plays at Crater, and Lake Oswego plays at Tualatin.