Southridge shoots down upstart St. Mary's Academy, 82-42, in girls quarterfinal

The Southridge Skyhawks didn't take lightly their opponent in the Oregon School Activities Association Class 6A girls basketball quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Skyhawks sprinted out of the gate Thursday and beat St. Mary's Academy 82-42.

St. Mary's (13-12) will face South Medford (21-6) at 9 a.m. Friday in a consolation semifinal at Chiles Center. Southridge (22-2) and Grant (25-2) will meet in the 6:30 p.m. semifinal.

The Blues, seeded No. 25 in the 32-team state bracket, were never in the game. Southridge scored the first 13 points and led 19-2 after 3:15.

"They're stinking good," St. Mary's coach Dewey Taylor III said of the Skyhawks. "I was just really hoping we were going to come out and (play well) and that the bright lights and just being here weren't going to be too much for us. But early on it was."

Truth is, Southridge shot the lights out from the get-go, knocking in six 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Maggie Freeman and Kaelin Immel combined to hit 6 of 8 3-pointers in the first half. On the other end, the size of 6-4 Cameron Brink and 6-1 Natalie Hoff made for rough going for the Blues.

Senior Bendu Yeaney scored a game-high 20 points and made four steals for St. Mary's, and freshman Marley Johnson had 16 points for the Blues.

Yeaney scored 16 of her points in the second half, when St. Mary's scored 26 of its 42 points.

Taylor said his halftime message — with his team trailing 44-16 — was to play hard.

"I told them, 'We're here for a reason. We didn't just fall into a place here. There's no reason why you shouldn't be showcasing that.'"

Skyridge showcased its abundant talent. Freeman finished with 19 points, Immel 17, Brink 14 (in only 10 minutes on the court because of fouls) and Hoff 12. The Skyhawks shot 60.4 percent from the floor, including 10 of 15 from 3-point range.

St. Mary's shot 30 percent, going 1 of 9 on 3-pointers.

Southridge scored 25 points off turnovers and had a 34-16 advantage in the paint.

"It took us a half to adjust to being here, which was too bad," Taylor said. "But our kids shook it off. I'm really proud of what they did the second half. They played a great team. Southridge is legit."

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