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Blue Jays win on the power play


Portland Lutheran is left a player short down the stretch, but holds off Waldorf for its first Valley 10 league win

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Portland Lutherans Rose Ngo puts defensive pressure on a Waldorf ball handler during the Blue Jays 44-43 win Tuesday night.

MILWAUKIE — Hollywood uses cardboard cutouts to fill in crowd shots in sports movies. On Tuesday night, Portland Lutheran girls basketball coach John Roady would have settled for those kind of extras, as foul trouble left him looking at an empty bench.

The Blue Jays carried a double-digit lead most of the way before seeing host Portland Waldorf rush back in the fourth quarter when Lutheran saw starter after starter head to the sideline after fouling out.

With three minutes to play, guard Gabi Rush was the only starter left. To make matters worse, the Blue Jays brought only eight players to the game, leaving them one short down the stretch.

“Waldorf sensed we were in trouble and it was like pirahna,” Roady said. “They forced some turnovers and hit a few shots and made it close. Luckily, we had an 18-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.”

Portland Lutheran held on for a 44-43 win despite putting up just a single point, a free throw by Lauren Lowrey, in the final period.

The Blue Jays’ Morgan Sprengle pulled down a key rebound after a Waldorf miss with :06 on the clock to keep it a two-possession lead.

Waldorf did just that and got the ball back with three seconds left. Roady had his players walk to the far end of the court and simply stand there as the final seconds ticked away.

“I didn’t want any chance of seeing a four-point play — we simply couldn’t end up in overtime,” Roady said.

The strategy proved sound when Waldorf sank a half-court 3 at the buzzer, leaving them one point short of tying the game.

Portland Lutheran (3-2) plays at Open Door (3-1) at 6 p.m. Friday.

Look for extended game coverage in the Friday, Dec. 14, print edition of The Outlook.