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Lady Bowmen make a game of it

Sherwood, after trailing McNary big in the first half, comes back strong
by: DAN BROOD PASS INSIDE — Sherwood freshman Mallory Shields (left) grabs the ball off a lob pass from Emily Harris in Friday’s game.

SHERWOOD - To be honest, it had all the makings of a mismatch.

And, for a half, that's exactly what it appeared to be.

But, thanks to a strong, unending effort and hustling defense, the Sherwood High School girls basketball team turned it into a heck of a game.

The Lady Bowmen, after trailing McNary by a 36-13 margin at halftime, came up with a huge second-half rally before falling 55-48 to the Celtics in a non-league game played Friday at Sherwood High School.

'We started off slow, but we worked hard and got back in the fight,' said Sherwood senior guard Kendall Birch, who turned in a strong overall game of the Lady Bowmen. 'After halftime, we came out and played smarter. We worked hard and put in a lot of effort.'

Class 6A McNary improved to 6-0 on the season with the win. Undermanned Sherwood, which put a young team on the court while other members of the squad are out of action, moved to 0-4 on the season.

'You can't fault the effort,' Sherwood coach Liz Barrett said. 'And it's exciting to give these kids this opportunity. We played in lulls tonight, but we're excited by the effort.'

Still, it was definitely a less than promising start to the game for the Lady Bowmen.

McNary, led by standout 6-foot-3 senior post Deven Hunter, sprinted out to a 13-0 lead before the game was even four minutes old.

The Lady Bowmen didn't get on the scoreboard until freshman post Mallory Shields scored on a layup off an assist from sophomore Emily Harris with 3 minutes and 30 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

Sherwood found itself trailing 24-6 at the end of the opening period. Things didn't get much better for the Lady Bowmen in the second quarter.

McNary opened up its biggest lead of the game, at 32-6, after Hunter sank a short-range bank shot with 4:35 left in the period.

The Lady Bowmen got a 17-foot jumper by Birch, a pair of free throws by senior post Jackie Long, and a three-pointer by freshman point guard Kira Jaden with just 10 seconds left in the period to cut the lead to 36-13 at halftime.

But it seemed to be a different Sherwood team on the floor to start the third quarter. The Lady Bowmen, getting a free throw by junior post Mikaela Doherty and a driving jumper by Birch, scored the first three points of the period.

Sherwood also ended the quarter with a 9-2 run that included baskets by Long, Shields and Birch, and free throws by Harris, Shields and Birch, trimming the margin to 44-27 going into the fourth quarter.

That's where the Lady Bowmen seemed to really turn up the intensity.

Jaden opened the final stanza with a layup off a pass from Birch following a steal. Doherty then scored off a pass from Harris following a steal. Junior guard Hannah Huntington then went 1-for-2 from the free throw line after Birch came up with yet another steal, cutting the lead to 44-32 with 6:11 left to play in the game.

McNary came back to up its lead to 55-36 with 3:01 remaining to play, but the Lady Bowmen came storming back again.

Shields went 2-for-2 from the foul line and Harris and Doherty followed that with back-to-back baskets to trim the lead to 55-40 with 2:13 remaining. Sherwood then got an 18-foot jumper by Harris followed by consecutive steals and layups by freshman Abby Muller and Harris in the final minute to make the final score 55-48.

'We all really picked it up at the end,' Birch said. 'Everyone was cheering. We all lifted our spirits. I think this was a big improvement tonight.'

Harris and Shields led a balanced Sherwood scoring attack with nine points apiece. Birch added seven points to go with four steals and three blocked shots. Long added six points while Jaden and Doherty each had five.

Sherwood, as a team, made 19 of 33 shots from the field in the contest. The Lady Bowmen shot at a 14-for-20 clip in the second half. They also had just 10 turnovers in the second half after turning the ball over 23 times in the first half. The Sherwood defense also helped force McNary into 15 second-half turnovers.

'Defense is going to be our main strength,' Barrett said. 'Our two seniors, Kendall and Jackie, both have had fantastic attitudes.'

Hunter led all scorers with 20 points.

Sherwood will be back in action Tuesday when it starts play at the Nike Interstate Shootout behind held at Lakeridge High School. The Lady Bowmen will open tourney play with a 10 a.m. game against The Dalles-Wahtonka.