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Mendez-Oliver sparks Putnam

Senior Mariah Mendez-Oliver burned the nets from downtown in the fourth quarter to lead Putnam’s girls basketball team to a 73-52 win over PIL power Cleveland in a game played at Putnam Dec. 10.

Mendez-Oliver hit four 3-pointers and scored 13 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, as the Kingsmen outscored their guests 28-10 to put the game on ice. Putnam led 45-42 heading into the final period.

Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman said that posts Brooke Snyder, Aliya Taylor-Jones and Haley Brandel also played a pivotal role, as they teamed up to shut down Cleveland star posts Emily Rommel and Taylor Ristvedt.

The 6-2 Ristvedt, who is being looked at by Division I programs, scored only 11 points on the night; and Rommel, who was the PIL 5A Player of the Year in 2012, scored just 7 points.

Senior guard Ali Schooley (16 points) and Taylor-Jones (10 points) joined Oliver in double digits in scoring.

Taylor-Jones, a 5-9 junior, and Brandel, a 6-1 freshman, combined to claim 21 rebounds, and Bolander blocked two attempts at inside buckets by Rommel; Brandel rejected three shots.

Mendez-Oliver and Schooley both had strong passing games, recording 15 assists between them. Mendez-Oliver hit six 3-pointers in the game and she had a team-high four steals on the night.

Next up for Putnam coeds is a 5:30 p.m. Dec. 27 game with McNary in the first round of Lake Oswego’s Nike Interstate Shootout.

After a slow start, Putnam boys held their own with Class 6A Reynolds in a Dec. 10 game at Reynolds.

The Kingsmen got outscored by 19 points, 28-9, in the first quarter, but they played the Raiders straight up after that.

Putnam assistant coach Preston Martin said that his Kingsmen struggled against Reynolds’ full-court press and couldn’t get their shots to drop in the early going.

“Once we got that out of our system, we were able to handle the press and move the ball,” said Martin.”We have several sophomores still learning the game.”

Martin added, “Reynolds is going to be good. They have good size and they can shoot the ball.”

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