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La Salle girls continue on a mission


The second-ranked Falcons stretch their win string to 14 games

La Salle Prep's second-ranked girls basketball team last week continued on a mission, stretching their win string to 14 games with convincing wins over Madras (68-40) and Estacada (94-37).

Friday's win over Estacada was the highest scoring game of the year for the Falcons (20-1, 9-0), who have averaged a state's best 69 points for their first 21 games.

Sterling Swift was big on Friday, scoring 30 points. Swift was on fire, going 11-for-17 from the field (65 percent), with five 3-points baskets.

Many of Swift's baskets came on the fast break, after Ranger turnovers.

Alexandra Jansen (12 points) and Andrea Novak (10 points) also scored in double figures in a balanced attack that saw no fewer than 12 Falcons score.

Allison Ilg sparked the offense with six assists; Katie Buerk corralled 10 rebounds and Novak came up with a team-high four steals.

The Falcons showed up ready to play and took charge of the Madras game from the outset, outscoring the White Buffaloes 17-7 in the first period.

Rallying around their aggressive defensive play at both ends of the floor, the Falcons out-scored their guests 16-6 in the third period, to put the game on ice.

The Falcons ran their offense like a well-oiled machine, with 16 assists on 24 baskets, and six players scoring 8 or more points. Swift (10 points), Novak (10 points, 3 assists), Buerk (10 points), Aleah Goodman (5 points, 4 assists) and Ilg (4 assists) headed the offensive assault.

Novak (11 rebounds) was also tough on the backboards.

The Falcons were a hot-handed 24-of-47 from the field, with five 3-point baskets; and they made 15-of-21 free throws.

La Salle will begin the state playoffs on Friday, March 7, hosting a first-round playoff game, with the winner advancing to the Class 4A state tournament in Corvallis.

Gladstone girls

continue on track

Gladstone coeds put two more games in the win column last week, locking up second place in the Tri-Valley Conference with wins over Molalla (43-22) and Madras (44-29).

Defense was the name of the game for Gladstone in last week's 43-22 rout of Molalla. The Gladiators held their guests to a total of just 10 points in the first three periods.

Nursing a 14-8 lead, Gladstone put the game away in the third stanza, outscoring the Indians 17-2.

“Molalla ran the 1-3-1 zone all of the first half and into the third quarter,” said Gladstone coach Pat Scott. “We talked at halftime and we finally were patient enough to attack it properly.... Tremendous defensive effort all game!”

Molly Webster (12 points), Kendall Schumaker (10 points) and Mikaela Simac (5 assists) led a balanced offensive effort.

Simac was also tough on defense, stealing the ball seven times.

Audrey Riescamp scored six points to lead the Indians.

Webster lit up the scoreboard for 21 points in last Friday's win at Madras.

Trailing 42-18 entering the final period, the White Buffaloes made the game look closer than it was, outscoring Gladstone 11-2 in the final period.

The Gladiators were a ht-handed 19-of-38 from the field. Webster was 9-of-14, with one 3-point basket.

Fiona Burrell tallied 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting, with two 3-point baskets.

Nichole Petersen had a big night, with 10 rebounds, 4 steals, and three assists.

With last week's wins, the Gladiators (16-7, 7-2) clinched second place in the TVC.

“We will definitely host a state playoff game on Friday (Feb. 28),” Scott said.

La Salle boys

tough as nails

La Salle's boys basketball team continued tough last week, winning 70-55 at Madras and 70-53 at Estacada.

Friday's win over the Rangers kept the Falcons (18-3, 8-1) tied with Gladstone in first place in the Tri-Valley Conference, with only a Feb. 25 league game with Molalla (5-18, 3-6) remaining.

La Salle coach Jared Curtiss was pleased with his charges play at Madras, especially considering the circumstances.

It was a long snowy and windy bus ride, on a school night. But the Falcons showed up ready to play.

Rallying around sharp outside shooting and rebounding on offense, and aggressive play on defense, the Falcons built a 37-25 lead by halftime and widened the gap from there. They led by as many as 22 points with 5:25 left to play.

Led by Reece Smith (17 points), the Falcons made 10-of-23 3-pointers, with five different players connecting from downtown. Smith hit four treys.

Three other Falcons hit double figures — Matt Berger (15 points), Keeston Smith (14 points) and Luke Kolln (11 points).

The margin of victory would have been even greater, except for Madras sharpshooter Jered Pichette, who scored a game-high 26 points, on 12-of-17 shooting — with two 3-point baskets.

“He's definitely the best opponent we face in league, by a wide margin,” Curtiss said of Pichette. “He played well, but our depth, size and shooting got us the win.”

The Falcons crashed the boards hard, with Keeston Smith (9 rebounds) and Berger (8 rebounds) leading La Salle to a 45-24 domination of the backboards.

Ranked second in the OSAA power rankings, the Falcons will begin state playoff action on Saturday, March 8, when the host a Class 4A state playoff game.