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Barlow girls win 5th grade hoops crown

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The Barlow Bruins celebrate their championship win in the fifth-grade state tournament in Bend. The Barlow girls traveling team won the 5th-grade bracket at the middle school state basketball championships earlier this month in Bend. The Bruins finished with a 4-1 record over the weekend capped by a 37-17 win against West Salem in the title game.

It was a balanced offensive effort for Barlow in the finale with Kennedie Shuler and Haidyn Sobella sharing the team scoring load with eight points apiece, while Kaydin Hopkins scored seven and Camryn Sobella and Anveigh Carter had six apiece.

“Our girls played out of their minds and were contesting every shot on the defensive end,” Barlow coach Donny Payne said. “We rebounded well and that let us get out on fast breaks to get our offense going.”

The Bruins picked up a key 30-29 win over Oregon City in pool play, carrying a slim lead most of the way before seeing the Pioneers get a couple chances to pull ahead late.

“Our defense rose to the challenge and came up with a lot of big stops at the end,” Payne said.

Hopkins led the Bruins with eight points, while Olivia Payne scored six.

Barlow opened the tournament with a 38-29 win over Kaizer with Shuler scoring a team-high 10 points and Hopkins adding nine. The Bruins suffered its only loss 40-39 to Willamette Valley in a game that saw Payne and Shuler shared the team lead with 10 points apiece.

The Bruins wrapped up pool play with a 36-13 win over Tigard, led by Haidyn Sobella with 14 points. The sizable victory proved vital, as Barlow came out on top in a three-way tiebreaker that went down to ‘total points allowed’ to earn a berth into the championship game.

Rilyn Quirke is also a member of the squad, along with assistant coach Jason Shuler.

Barlow finished first in the Three Rivers League with a 15-1 regular-season record.