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Damascus survives a scare against Lions

PORTLAND - On paper it appeared to be a mismatch. The Damascus Christian girls are ranked No. 5 in the latest Class 1A basketball poll and are unbeaten in the Valley 10 League. Meanwhile, City Christian is lagging near the bottom of the standings with just one league win.

The host Lions almost doubled that total with a near upset Friday night, keeping pace with Damascus until the fourth period.

The Eagles broke a 16-16 deadlock when Laramie Woods found her groove through the final eight minutes. She hit all three of her shot attempts down the stretch and would have added a 3-pointer had a whistle not blown to call an official timeout as the ball left her hands.

'It was just a matter of finishing our shots,' Woods said. 'I was finally able to start sinking some, and it felt like it was about time.'

The Eagles struggled to find the basket all night, hitting just 6 of 28 (.214) shots through the first 24 minutes of play.

'It was just one of those nights,' Damascus coach Dave Wakefield said. 'We had to keep ourselves in position to win by playing solid defense, and the girls did a great job with that tonight.'

The Eagles built a quick 22-16 lead to start the fourth period, highlighted when Woods swished a 15-footer from the right side. Damascus relied on its defense the rest of the way, holding City scoreless for a four-minute stretch to seal the victory.

Katie Mullen paced Damascus with 12 points, hitting all four of her free throws in the fourth period.

The Lions' game plan was to outscore the Eagles from behind the 3-point line, and it worked early on as Genovieve Belindean and Sumitra Crow each hit from distance to give City a 6-2 lead that it would carry all the way into the second period.

Damascus (5-0) gradually came back and took its first lead in the final minute of the first half when Rebecca Holding stepped between two City players to corral a long rebound. Holding never slowed down, sprinting to the basket and hitting an off-balance layin that she sent up from her hip.