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Skyhawk girls hoop team stumbles

Southridge loses a second straight game and its third in the last four
by: MILES VANCE, REBOUNDERS — Southridge seniors Brittany Santucci (front) and Michelle Jenkins battle for a rebound in their team’s Tuesday loss to Skyview in Vancouver, Wash.

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Southridge girls basketball team lost on Tuesday night for the second straight time and for the third time in four games.

What next? Rain falling up from the ground? The government paying taxes back to the people?

If you ask the Skyhawks, the three-time defending Oregon big-school state champions, the answer to what's next is that they'll get their act together and start winning games again. And Southridge, which fell to Skyview 54-49 on Tuesday at Skyview High School, seems to know that better things lie ahead.

'We just need to all be supportive of each other, try to make it fun and stick together,' said freshman wing Allison Greene, who led Southridge with 14 points on Tuesday. 'It will come.'

'We just have some things we need to work on, and hopefully, we will,' said USC-bound senior post Michelle Jenkins, who added 12 points in the loss.

'We're kind of at a time of a year where there's a lull against a lot of the teams we've played, and we've got to do a better job of fighting through that,' added Southridge coach Mike Meek. 'The coaches have to do a better job of helping the kids play through it too.'

There were some positives for the Skyhawks, who played without injured Arizona State-bound senior guard Alex Earl, on Tuesday, though. After falling behind 7-2 at the start of the game, they rallied back with a 13-2 run paced by Greene's nine first-quarter points and grabbed a 15-9 edge when Kiara Tate rebounded a Janelle Weiss miss and scored two minutes into the second quarter.

But the Storm, which got 18 points each from Ashlee Smith and Dayle Powell, closed the half on a 12-6 streak - seven of those from Powell including a three-pointer and the other five from Smith - to tie the game 21-21 at halftime.

In the third quarter, it was Skyview senior guard Shelby Leverenz who got it going, knocking down three three-pointers in a span of just 1 minute and 21 seconds as the Storm built its lead as high as nine points in the frame.

South-ridge stayed competitive the rest of the way, but just didn't seem to click often enough offensively to make the big push it needed to get back in front. Marissa Metier knocked down a three-pointer late in the third period for Southridge, and while the Skyhawks never led again, they did cut the gap to 50-47 when Tate hit one free throw with 46 seconds remaining in the game.

But Skyview's Abby Olbrich hit 4-of-6 foul shots in the final 44 seconds and Southridge managed just a Jenkins putback with two seconds left on the clock.

'Something wasn't right,' said Greene, who hit 6-of-8 shots from the floor Tuesday. 'We got down; we tried to stay up but it didn't help.'

'They were just a better team tonight,' said Jenkins, who connected on 6-of-13 shots against the Storm. 'We're not trying to make excuses. We just have some things we need to work out.'

'They're a great team and they made some adjustments at halftime and we didn't respond very well,' Meek added. 'Honestly, I think that's happened to us all year. We've got to learn how to fight through it.'

In upcoming games, Southridge hosts Mountain View, Wash., at 7:30 p.m. Friday, then opens Metro play by hosting Beaverton at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.