Beavers KO Sunset in Metro girls race

Beaverton's girls come through down the stretch
by: MILES VANCE, IN TRAFFIC — Beaverton junior guard Jenny McKee goes up over Sunset freshman Katherine Salness for a shot during her team’s 45-41 Metro League victory last Thursday at Beaverton High School.

BEAVERTON - Sunset's girls basketball team was ready to challenge for first place.

Beaverton was hanging on for dear life.

But it's a measure of the Metro League's competitiveness that last Thursday, it was Beaverton that walked away from their matchup with a 45-41 win at Beaverton High School. The victory lifted Beaverton's Metro League record to 1-2 (10-7 overall) while Sunset's girls fell to 2-1 (10-3 overall).

'The Metro's a mess now. We really proved to everyone else now that we're not going to be kicked around,' said Beaverton senior guard Ariel Shaw, who scored all six of her points in the second half. 'The Metro League is so, so tough this year. Even teams like Southridge and Jesuit, you're not sure who's going to win the league. Anyone can win this year.'

'We thought it was a must-win for us,' added Beaverton junior guard Jenna Krichevsky, who finished with 13 points against the Apollos. 'Just getting down two games was bad.'

Sunset, meanwhile, left determined to regroup after admittedly playing less than its best against the Beavers.

'We needed to come out more focused and intense and play with our tempo and we just didn't do that,' said Sunset sophomore wing Alyssa Martin, who finished with 11 points in the loss. 'We just want to learn from our mistakes and move on.'

'We were pretty passive on the offensive end, I thought. That was the difference,' said Sunset coach Bill Priester. 'They were more aggressive offensively and we were passive.'

Neither team shot particularly well last week - the Beavers checking in at 42 percent and the Apollos at just 30 percent - but Sunset rallied from a 28-21 deficit midway through the third quarter and eventually pulled ahead 33-32 on Samantha Potter's two foul shots with 4 minutes, 46 seconds left to play.

The Apollos were still dead-even at 39-39 after Martin hit a 17-foot jumpshot from the left side with 2:30 to go, but it was the Beavers that took over down the stretch. Beaverton sophomore Carley Losk took a Shaw pass and scored inside with 2:22 remaining and Krichevsky added four straight free throws in the final 1:37 to lift her team to victory.

Sunset, after Martin's last basket, hit just one of its final six shots - a short jumpshot by Laura Stanulis with 1:24 to go - and turned the ball over twice in its last five possessions.

Beaverton's defense, which forced 21 Sunset turnovers on the night (four on Krichevsky steals), was solid all night, never allowing the Apollos to shoot better than 33 percent in any of the game's four quarters.

'I don't think they were ready for our pressure. We always come out real hard but I don't think they were expecting it,' Krichevsky said. 'We knew where they were going to go so we just got there first.'

In addition to Krichevsky's 12 points, junior Jennifer McKee scored 11 in the victory and her efforts helped Beaverton stay in control throughout the first half. She hit all five of her shots from the floor against Sunset, including a 4-for-4, nine-point effort in the opening half.

For the game, Beaverton shot 13-of-31 (with one three-pointer) from the field and 18-of-21 from the foul line while committing19 turnover.

Stanulis hit 6-of-13 shots and led the Apollos with 14 points. As a team, Sunset made 12-of-40 shots from the field, 17-of-23 from the line and committed 21 turnovers.

In upcoming games, Sunset plays at Southridge at 7:30 p.m. tonight

(Thursday) and at Jesuit at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday while Beaverton plays at Aloha at 7:30 p.m. tonight and hosts Jesuit at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.