Southridge beats West Salem, but falls short of tourney with loss to OC

The emotional and physical roller-coaster that called itself the Southridge girls basketball team's 2010-11 season finally came to a halt last week, but not before the injury-plagued Skyhawks had played themselves back within a game of yet another state tournament berth.

Southridge, the fourth-place team from the Metro League and the 2010 state champs, earned their way into the Class 6A state playoff field by winning a Play-In game against Reynolds on Feb. 26, then knocked off West Salem on March 2 to set up a Saturday game at Oregon City for a berth in this week's Class 6A state tournament.

But perennial powerhouse Oregon City stopped the Skyhawks short in their bid to return to the state tournament, using a 21-9 edge in the game's middle two quarters to pull away and win 42-30. Southridge, after starting its season at 0-5, finished at 13-13. Oregon City, the Three Rivers League runner-up, improved to 22-4 with the win.

'The kids felt good about what they'd done this year,' said Southridge coach Dave Immel. 'I don't think I could have asked any more from them.'

The Skyhawks, controlling tempo and stretching possessions to slow the pace at Oregon City, got 15 points from junior Jordyn Peacock another eight from senior Allison Greene, and led 13-10 after one quarter at OC.

But the Pioneers, following the lead of sophomore post Johanna Paine's 16 points, took over with a 10-4 edge in the second period, then added an 11-5 scoring advantage in the third to push ahead 31-22. The Skyhawks fought back vainly in the final period, but couldn't quite get over the top and saw their season come to an end.

'We tried to run with a tempo we hadn't used all season,' Immel said. 'We tried to keep the tempo down, be more disciplined and patient, and it worked out real well.'

The loss marked the final game for seniors Greene, Kaley Vincent, Kendall Knotz, and the injured Callie Mikesell and Lyssa Greene.

'Our approach was good. We were just a couple of possessions away,' Immel said. 'And the kids knew they gave everything they had. They knew they were close.'

And given the plethora of injuries and changes the team had endured over the year, the Skyhawks were proud of what they'd accomplished.

'I felt like we were trying to reinvent ourselves a lot. We had to keep figuring out who we were,' Immel said. 'And I know our record doesn't look great, but we went 13-8 to end the year. We felt pretty good about what we'd done by the end of the season.'

In the win over West Salem, the Skyhawks dropped a 15-5 scoring edge on the Titans, survived a second quarter comeback attempt, then pulled away in the second half to win 45-37.

'It was a good win,' Immel said. 'West Salem is a nice team, they're well coached and they executed well.'

The Skyhawks were led by Allison Green's 11, and eight points each from Kelli Derrah, Kylie Dummer and Tupu Loo, while Peacock added six. West Salem, the Central Valley Conference champ, ended its year at 13-12. Mikaela Greenwade led the Titans with 11, and Steffani White added nine.

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