Jesuit falls 24-17 in the second-round state playoff tilt

TIGARD — They’re young.

And the Crusaders certainly look to have a bright future.

But they came close to making something really big happen this DAN BROOD - TO SCORE - Jesuit's Lauren Glick goes up against Tigard Saturday.

The youthful Jesuit High School girls basketball team ended its season one step short of qualifying for the Class 6A state tournament as it fell 24-17 to Tigard in a hard-fought Class 6A state playoff second-round game played Saturday at Tigard High School.

“It was a good season,” Jesuit freshman guard Kate Andersen said after Saturday’s game. “We all played hard and we played well as a team.”

With the setback, Jesuit, the No. 4 team out of the Metro League, finished its season with a final overall record of 11-15. The loss also ended a five-game winning streak that the Crusaders took into Saturday’s postseason contest.

“We definitely improved a lot,” Jesuit junior Emily Allen said. “Everyone grew.”

Tigard, the Pacific Conference champion, improved to 23-3 on the season with the victory and advanced to play in the Class 6A state tournament. They’ll face Clackamas tonight (Thursday) in a state tourney quarterfinal at 6:30 p.m. at the Rose Garden.

Tigard claimed the early advantage in Saturday’s state playoff tilt, taking a 6-1 lead on a follow-up basket by senior Julia Santos with 3 minutes and 25 seconds left to play in the first quarter. But the Jesuit defense wouldn’t allow another point in the period.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders got a follow-up basket of their own from sophomore post Tarea Green, as well as back-to-back buckets on jumpers by Andersen and Green to finish the quarter with a 7-6 lead.

Tigard’s scoring woes continued in the second quarter, as the home team missed its first 12 shots from the field in the period.

Jesuit, despite having some scoring problems of its own, was slowly able to add to its lead. The Crusaders got a follow-up basket by Green with 6:07 left in the quarter and a 14-foot jumper by Andersen with 3:02 remaining to up the margin to 11-6.

Tigard answered with a free throw by junior guard Lexi Carter, who then added a last-second jumper to cut the Jesuit lead to 11-9 at halftime.

The Tigers then got off to a strong start to the third quarter, with junior guard Emilee Cincotta sinking a three-pointer from the top of the circle to give the Tigers a 12-11 lead.

Then, following a free throw by Green, Tigard went on a 6-0 run which included a steal and layup by Cincotta and back-to-back baskets by Carter to open up an 18-12 lead.

Jesuit, with Andersen scoring a pair of baskets later in the period, still trailed 22-16 going into the fourth quarter.

That’s when things really got tense.

Tigard was unable to penetrate Jesuit’s zone defense and was left to the ball around the perimeter, and that’s what Tigard did for most of the quarter.

The Tigers didn’t make a shot from the field in the entire quarter, but thanks to some clutch offensive rebounds and some Jesuit turnovers, they kept possession for a large majority of the period.

In fact, Jesuit’s first shot from the field in the quarter was a three-point attempt by senior Sophie LeRoux with just 1:18 left in the game.

Tigard scored the first point of the final stanza when senior Megan Risinger went 1-for-2 from the foul line with 28.1 seconds left in the game. LeRoux scored Jesuit’s only point of the period on a free throw with 9.1 seconds to play. Tigard got a free throw by senior Meeka Mayhew after that to make the final score 24-17.

“It was a good game,” Allen said. “It was very intense. It was fast-paced, but low scoring.”

“Sometimes, it works out that way,” Andersen said. “But, what are you going to do?”

Andersen and Green led Jesuit with eight points apiece. Green also had seven rebounds while Andersen had five rebounds and a pair of steals.

Carter led all scorers with 10 points.

The playoff contest marked the final high school game for Jesuit seniors LeRoux and Mariah Gibbs. But the Crusaders should have a strong group of players back next season.

“We’re excited for next year,” Allen said.

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