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Cougars derail Beavers in first round 56-50

Canby eliminates the Beavers from the Class 6A state playoffs
by: JAIME VALDEZ, INTENSE — Beaverton's Emily Shoemaker strips the ball away from Canby's Julianne Erbe in her team’s 57-50 loss in Tuesday’s Class 6A state playoff game.

BEAVERTON - The Beaverton Beavers' chances of advancing in the 2007 OSAA state playoffs fell just short on Tuesday.

Hampered by cold shooting and a suffocating Canby defense, the Beavers were forced to play catch-up for most of their Class 6A state playoff game, a task that was very nearly completed.

In the end however, it was the Canby Cougars (15-10) - bolstered by 17 points from junior post Julianne Erbe (the state's ninth-ranked scorer) - that held on for a 57-50 victory at Beaverton High School.

'We were a little tentative to start the game and we had a hard time scoring,' Beaverton coach Jay Ego said. 'You have to give a lot of credit to Canby. They have a great inside game and it forced us to expend a lot of energy on the inside and they hit some big shots from the perimeter.'

The Beavers (14-11) were looking to get back on track Tuesday after finishing the season with a pair of losses.

And while the evening didn't get off to the prettiest of starts, the Beavers found a way to stay in contention, thanks to seven first-quarter points from senior guard Emily Shoemaker.

'I knew for me, this was an important game,' Shoemaker said. 'So I did everything I could to keep our team together and our intensity up. I tried having confidence in every shot I took. My motivation was to help the team out any way I could.'

Shoemaker gave the Beavers an 11-9 lead with under three minutes to go in the first quarter after draining a three-pointer The Cougars answered right back, scoring the final five points of the first quarter and the first two of the second, giving them a 16-11 lead. The Beavers then cut that lead to one, following a three-point play by sophomore Jenny McKee and another big three-pointer by Shoemaker with 7 minutes, 13 seconds left to play in the first half. Shoemaker finished the game with 14 points.

'Tonight was not different than any other night on how hard she competes, how hard she plays,' Ego said of Shoemaker.

McKee, who scored 11 points, tied the game at 21-21 with 4:50 left in the second, but the Cougars - as they did all night - came up with an answer. Canby outscored Beaverton 10-5 in the last four and a half minutes of the period, including a three-pointer by freshman Ruth Fife to make it 31-26 at halftime.

In the second half, the Beavers cut the lead to four, at 33-29, after another three-pointer by Shoemaker, only to see the Cougars score six straight and extend their lead to 39-29. The Beavers went nearly four minutes without scoring in the third, until senior Claire Velaski broke the drought with a bucket to make it 39-31.

The lead then jumped to 10 points until the fourth quarter, when the Beavers scored the first four points - a pair of baskets by McKee and junior Ariel Shaw - to cut the deficit to 45-39.

The Cougars pushed the lead back to 55-45 with under a minute to play in the fourth, but the Beavers answered with five in a row, highlighted by senior Gillian Frackelton's three-pointer to make it 55-50.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, the comeback would end there.

'The season was good,' Shoemaker said. 'We came a long way from the beginning and it was one of the better seasons we had and we came to play every day.'

The Cougars, the third seed from the Pacific Conference, will play at Lake Oswego Friday night for a berth to the eight-team Class 6A state tournament.