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Reynolds sees its playoff run end in overtime

GIRLS BASKETBALL - Sheldon ties game with five seconds left in regulation
by: David Ball, Reynolds sophomore Renee Tzeo rushes upcourt after stealing the ball away from Sheldon's Mohona Doe during the Raiders' 60-53 playoff loss Friday night.

EUGENE - The Reynolds girls basketball team had victory in its grasp before losing an overtime heartbreaker 60-53 against Sheldon in the second round of the OSAA Class 6A playoffs Friday night.

After seeing 10 lead changes in the second half, Reynolds had reason to celebrate when guard Renee Tzeo drove through the middle of the lane, spun past a defender and hit a runner at the front of the rim. The acrobatic play put the Raiders in front 45-43 with 20 seconds left.

'I really thought we had it,' Reynolds coach Robert Scarpelli said. 'Just 12 seconds away.'

Sheldon moved the ball to halfcourt and called timeout to set up a final play with 12 seconds left. Irish coach Luke Roth put the outcome in the hands of top scorer Teresa Brown, who took a pass on the baseline and hit a lunging one-handed jumper with five seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Sheldon raced to a 53-45 lead in the opening minutes of the four-minute extra period. The Irish forced three straight turnovers, and pounded the ball inside where Katie Steigleman and Brown combined on four quick baskets.

'That was the most important part of the game,' Steigleman said. 'We weren't going to give up anything, but we still knew we had to play hard and finish it off.'

The Raiders were in desperation mode in the final two minutes and could never pull closer than five points down the stretch.

No. 8-ranked Sheldon advances to play Three Rivers champion Lake Oswego in the first game of the state tournament at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7.

Brown finished with a game-high 27 points, hitting 13 of 15 (.867) from the free-throw line. Tzeo paced Reynolds with 22 points.

Expanded coverage will be published in the Saturday, March 3, issue of the Gresham Outlook.