The Bowmen beat Marist to move on to the Class 5A tourney

by: DAN BROOD - TOP SCORER -- Sherwood junior Mallory Shields, shown here in a game played earlier this season, scored 21 points in the playoff win at Marist. EUGENE — It’s said that practice makes perfect.

Well, the Sherwood High School girls basketball team practiced free throws, a lot, in the time leading up to its Class 5A state playoff game with Marist.

And, in overtime in that game, the Lady Bowmen were nearly perfect.

Because of that, in addition to its usual brand of stifling defense, Sherwood earned a spot in the state tournament.

The Lady Bowmen, making 15 of 17 free-throw attempts in the extra session, advanced to play in the Class 5A state tournament by scoring a dramatic 49-42 overtime victory over Marist in a state playoff game played Friday at Marist High School.

“Who would have thought that we’d make it to state?” said Sherwood junior post Mallory Shields, who led all scorers in Friday’s state playoff game with 21 points. “I thought we could do it from the beginning.”

“We’re super excited,” Sherwood senior Allison Warren said. “We were going crazy at the end of the game.”

Marist, the No. 2 team out of Class 5A Midwestern Hybrid League and the No. 6 team in the final OSAA power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 18-6.

Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference runner-up and the No. 13 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 18-7 on the season with the victory. The Lady Bowmen also advanced to play in the Class 5A state tournament for the first time since 2011.

“This is just enormous for us,” first-year Sherwood coach Wes Pappas said. “We had won some games this season, but we hadn’t played any of the upper-echelon teams. Marist is up there in the upper echelon.”

The Lady Bowmen were scheduled to face Hermiston Wednesday night in a Class 5A state tournament quarterfinal game. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

No matter what happened on Wednesday, and no matter what happens to Sherwood the rest of the tournament, it will likely be a Lady Bowmen squad that will try and enjoy every minute of its stay at the state event.

“At the beginning of the season, I hoped we’d get to the playoffs,” Shields said. “I’m really proud of the team for accomplishing this.”

“I think the key was our defense,” Warren said. “That’s been the main part for us.”

Sherwood also should take plenty of momentum with it to the state tournament, following the hard-fought win at DAN BROOD - STAYING STRONG -- Sherwood senior Jaelyn Funk, showed here in game played earlier this season, had a big game on defense and hit some key free throws in the win at Marist.

“That was intense — the whole game,” Shields said. “I think the lead was at one or two points for most of the game.”

Sherwood, which held an 11-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and was up 14-12 at halftime, trailed the Spartans by a 32-30 score with less than two minutes to play in the contest.

But Lady Bowmen senior post Jaelyn Funk scored on a drive to the basket to tie the game at 32-32 with 1 minute and 14 seconds left to play in the contest.

Marist had a chance to break the tie, as Spartan junior Karson Silver was fouled with 0.7 seconds left to play. But Silver missed on both of her ensuing free-throw attempts, sending the game to overtime.

Marist junior guard Annie Yates scored the first basket in overtime, giving the Spartans a quick 34-32 lead in the four-minute period.

But the Lady Bowmen quickly answered back, scoring seven straight points to go up 39-32.

Sherwood did almost all of its damage in the extra session from the free throw line, going 15 for 17 from the stripe in OT.

“All week in practice, we shot so many free throws,” Warren said.

“It was nice to make those,” Shields said.

Shields went 5 for 5 on free throws in overtime. She also had the Lady Bowmen’s only field goal in the period. Funk and junior Jessica Thiel each went 4 for 4 from the foul line in overtime. Sophomore guard Taylor Corno had Sherwood’s other two free throws in overtime.

Defense also looked to be a key for the Lady Bowmen in the playoff win.

“Some of the kids in our zone pulled off some amazing things,” Pappas said. “They covered more ground than I thought was physically possible. I thought we played as well as we could.”

Shields, Thiel and Funk, playing the bottom three in Sherwood’s two-three zone, created havoc for Marist all contest.

“Jaelyn came up and asked me how was she supposed to cover the block on one side and then get out to guard the corner on the other side,” Pappas said. “I told her she just had to do it, and she did.”

In addition to Shields’ 21 points in the contest, Sherwood got 11 points from Funk, six from Thiel and five from Warren. Sophomore Tiffany McLean led Marist with 14 points.

Sherwood, if it won on Wednesday, will meet either Corvallis or West Albany in a championship semifinal game Friday at 6:30 p.m. If the Lady Bowmen lost on Wednesday, they’ll face Corvallis or West Albany in a consolation semifinal game today (Thursday) at 10:45 a.m.

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