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Gophers win big in tourney opener

A quick start sends Gresham to an easy win over a former Mount Hood Conference foe


by: THE OUTLOOK: PARKER LEE - Greshams Melissa Smith and Sandys Paola Phipps battle for a loose ball near midcourt during the Gophers 42-20 win in the first round of the Gresham holiday hoops tournament Thursday.

Sandy may have thought it had a chance to upset Gresham in the opening round of the Gophers holiday tournament, but the host team wasted no time dispelling such ideas.

Gresham jumped out to a big lead right from the get-go Thursday on its way to a 42-20 win on its home floor.

“That start was huge for us,” Gresham junior forward Amber Peschka said. “We really needed energy and fire at the beginning so that we could go out and dominate.”

Gresham did have all the energy and was in control for the entirety of the game. Peschka scored on the Gophers’ first two trips down the court, and they led by at least four points for the rest of the night.

Gresham began the second quarter with even more intensity than it had to start the game. The Gophers cranked up the pressure on defense and forced Sandy into several turnovers, which turned into a series of Gresham fast breaks. With those easy buckets in transition, Gresham scored the first eight points of the period to open up a 20-3 lead. For all intents and purposes, the game was over before the Pioneers knew what hit them.

Gresham fell 38-18 to Forest Grove on Friday night and will face East County rival Barlow in the third-place game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Forest Grove meets Milwaukie in the tournament title game at 7:15 p.m.

Look for additional first-round coverage of the East County holiday tournaments in the New Year's Eve edition of The Outlook, with placing-game recaps scheduled to appear in our Friday, Jan. 4, issue.