Basketball: Sherwood stays unbeaten with its 70-59 victory in the tourney title tilt
by: DAN BROOD, TITLE GAME — Sherwood senior Megan Van Noy (2) keeps the ball away from Hermiston’s Paige Davis.

SHERWOOD - A new contender may have just served notice.

The Sherwood High School girls basketball team may have shown that it very well could deserve mention when the top Class 5A teams from around the state are talked about.

The Lady Bowmen did that by scoring a thrilling 70-59 overtime win over previously-unbeaten, and No. 3-ranked Hermiston, in the championship game of the Sherwood Yuletide Shootout, held Saturday at Sherwood High School.

'That was awesome,' said Sherwood senior Brooke Davis, who scored a game-high 20 points in the tourney title tilt. 'That shows us that we can be that good. A lot of people doubted us, but we proved ourselves.'

Hermiston fell to 5-1 on the season with the loss. The Lady Bowmen stayed unbeaten on the season to that point, improving to 7-0 at that point.

'That was a nice win. I'm happy,' Sherwood coach Liz Barrett said. 'This was important for our confidence, because Hermiston is a very good team.'

Sherwood got off to a fast start in Saturday's tourney championship game. Lady Bowmen junior post Lauren Codling scored six points in the first quarter, which ended with Sherwood holding a 12-6 lead.

Sherwood senior post Megan Van Noy came off the bench go score four straight points in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 18-10 with 5 minutes and 9 seconds to play in the period. But Hermiston came back strong. The Bulldogs cut the margin to 20-18 at halftime, with sophomore Sammantha McCloud getting a steal and layup with just five second left before the intermission.

Hermiston standout sophomore guard Shoni Schimmel, who had been limited to just two first-half points, came alive in the third quarter. Schimmel scored 14 points in the period, sinking a pair of three-pointers from about 23 feet out in the process, helping Hermiston turn a two-point halftime deficit into a 40-36 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldog lead could have possibly been greater if not for the play of Sherwood senior point guard Alex Francis. Francis scored nine points while also having a blocked shot and a steal in the quarter.

Hermiston senior Abbey Royer sank a three-pointer to start the fourth quarter, giving the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game at 43-36. But that didn't concern the Lady Bowmen.

'We just stayed confident,' Davis said.

A follow-up basket by Davis and a short-range jumper by Francis got Sherwood within two, at 45-43, with 6:02 to play. Davis, who scored 10 fourth-quarter points, would go on to tie the game at 47-47 on a layup with 4:47 remaining in regulation.

The Bowmen didn't stop there. They went on to open a 53-47 lead when senior Jessi Ramp sank a three pointer, off an assist from senior Melany Boulton, coming with 3:24 to play.

Now, it was Hermiston's turn to rally. The Bulldogs closed the gap to 53-50 on a layup by senior Michelle Coombs with 1:10 to play. Hermiston then tied the game on a free throw by junior Hannah Whitsett and a follow-up hoop by senior Paige Davis coming with 17 seconds to play.

Neither team was able to score in the final seconds, sending the contest to overtime.

A pair of baskets by Brooke Davis gave Sherwood a quick 57-53 lead in the extra session, but Hermiston came back to tie the game on a three-pointer by Schimmel.

Sherwood answered with a pair of free throws by Ramp, giving the Lady Bowmen a 59-57 lead that they wouldn't relinquish the rest of the way. A free throw by Francis and a follow-up hoop by Codling gave Sherwood a 62-57 lead with 1:01 to play in OT.

Boulton went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and Francis add a pair of late free throws as Sherwood, which forced Hermiston into seven turnovers in OT, closed out its 70-59 win.

'We were able to keep pressure on them and we handled their pressure,' Davis said. 'They got a little razzed when we got the steals in overtime.'

Davis scored her game-high 20 points on an 8-for-13 shooting night. She also had seven rounds and four steals. Codling had 19 points to go with 12 rebounds. Francis had 16 points, four rebounds and four steals while directing the Sherwood offense.

Meanwhile, on defense, Ramp and Boulton each had strong games guarding Schimmel.

'Kudos to everyone that had to guard her,' Barrett said.

Schimmel paced Hermiston with 19 points.

Sherwood opened the tourney on Friday with a 45-18 win over The Dalles-Wahtonka. Davis scored 12 points for Sherwood in that game and Boulton added 11.

The Lady Bowmen opened Northwest Oregon Conference play on Tuesday with a 67-55 victory at Liberty. Davis scored 23 points in that game. Codling had 15 points and Francis scored 14.

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