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Crusader girls can't tame Tigard in second round


by: TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Jesuit sophomore Ellie Sears (left) is under heavy pressure from Tigard senior Lexi Carter during the Crusaders' second round loss.

TIGARD — Not this night.

Not this year.

But, as for the future, that might be a whole different story for the Jesuit High School girls basketball team.

The youthful Crusaders saw their season come to an end one game short of qualifying for the Class 6A state tournament, as they fell 57-32 to Tigard in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game, played Friday at Tigard High School.

“It definitely wasn’t our best game,” said Jesuit sophomore guard Kate Andersen, who led the Crusaders with six points in the contest. “But everyone has those games.”

“They’re a good team,” Jesuit sophomore wing Kory Oleson said. “They force a lot of turnovers. We had some plays set up, but we forced our passes. Give credit to Tigard for that.”

Tigard, the Pacific Conference champion, improved to 21-5 on the season with the win. The Tigers also advanced to play in the Class 6A state tournament. They opened tourney play Wednesday with a quarterfinal contest against Oregon City. Results of that game weren’t available when the Valley Times went to press.

Jesuit, the No. 3 team out of the Metro League, finished its season with a final overall record of 16-9.

“We had a good season,” said Andersen, who was a first-team, all-Metro League selection. “This is a great group of girls. I really enjoyed the season, and I’m happy we got this far.”

“I thought we had a good season,” said Oleson, who was a second-team, all-league pick. “We just needed to work on playing all four quarters.”

The future does appear to be bright for Jesuit, which started three sophomores and a junior in Friday’s state playoff game at Tigard.

“That Jesuit team is going to be amazing,” Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. “They played hard tonight.”

“We’ll go farther,” Andersen said. “We’ll miss our seniors, but it’s fun to think about what will happen next year.”

Jesuit did get off to a fast start in Friday’s game. The Crusaders took a quick 3-0 lead when senior Emily Allen sank a three-pointer from the left corner just 19 seconds into the game.

That would turn out to be one of the few open looks the Crusaders would get all night against Tigard’s swarming zone defense.

Jesuit would go on to hold a 5-4 lead, after junior point guard Keara Vu sank a foul-line jumper with 5 minutes and 32 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

But Tigard answered on an 8-0 run on its way to claiming a 12-7 lead at the end of the opening period.

by: TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Jesuit's Kate Andersen tries to get around Tigard's Lexi Carter on the left wing during the Crusaders' 6A second round playoff loss.

The Tigers kept rolling in the second quarter, outscoring Jesuit 8-2 in the opening 4:25 of the period to push their lead to 20-9.

The Crusaders tried to battle back. They got back-to-back baskets from sophomore post Alzena Henry and Oleson. And, after Tigard sunk a hoop on a bank shot by senior guard Lexi Carter, Oleson drilled a three-pointer from the top of the circle to trim the Tigard lead to 22-16 with 1:55 left in the first half.

But Jesuit wouldn’t be able to get any closer the rest of the way.

Tigard, which held a 25-18 advantage at halftime, outscored the Crusaders 14-3 to open the third quarter.

Jesuit did get a buzzer-beating 17-foot jumper by senior post Lauren Glick to end the period, trimming the Tigard lead to 39-23 going into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers, not letting up, outscored Jesuit 8-2 in the first 2:08 of the final stanza to up the margin to 47-25.

Jesuit, not giving up, got a short-range bank shot from Allen and a three-pointer by junior Connie Parker to make the score 47-30 with 4:44 to play.

But Carter answered with four quick points, igniting another Tigard run, as the home team went on to cruise to the 57-32 victory.

“We didn’t want to give up,” Oleson said. “We wanted to play with a lot of heart.”

In addition to her team-high six points, Andersen also had six rebounds and a pair of steals in the contest.

Oleson had five points to go with four rebounds and two blocked shots. Allen scored five points, and Henry had four points and four rebounds.

by: TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Jesuit sophmore power forward Kory Oleson drives baseline against a Tigard defender.

Jesuit, as a team, made just 13 of 40 shots from the field against Tigard’s potent defense. The Crusaders also had 22 turnovers.

Carter led all scorers with 20 points. Sophomore post Elise Conroy added 14 points for the Tigers, and senior guard Emilee Cincotta scored 12.

Friday’s state playoff contest marked the final high school game for Jesuit seniors Alexis Mendelsohn, AnneMarie Minniti, Glick and Allen.