But theyll return tough as ever next season

“I don't think they would want to play us a third time,” said Gladstone girls basketball coach Pat Scott, following his Gladiators' 42-32 loss to defending state champion Mazama in the round of 16 of the 2014 Class 4A state playoffs on Friday.

The two teams had met on Dec. 14, with Mazama winning 46-28.

The Vikings' 42 points on Friday was their second-lowest scoring total of the season, and the Gladiators led through most of the first half, after going up 13-8 in the first quarter. Gladstone trailed by a point, at 19-18, at halftime.

But when Mazama switched to a zone defense, the Gladiators had to shoot from the outside. Their shots refused to drop, and the Vikings moved on top for good.

It was the 12th straight win for seventh-ranked Mazama (20-3) and the win advanced the Vikings to the eight-team Class 4A State Tournament, which runs through Saturday at Gill Coliseum.

Mazama was led by two senior players who have played on teams that have advanced to state every year since their freshmen year. Megan Morris, a 5-6 guard, scored a team-high 14 points; and Caileigh Smith, a 6-0 post, tallied 13.

Molly Webster scored a game-high 16 points to lead Gladstone. She was 6-of-13 from the field, with three 3-pointers.

Mikaela Simac also had a good night, stealing the ball five times and assisting on four baskets.

With the loss, the Gladiators finished the season with an overall record of 18-8 and a 10th-in-the-state ranking in the OSAA power rankings.

“I don't think there's a team around that had more heart than we had this year,” said Gladstone coach Pat Scott. “The only thing Mazama had on us was experience....

“We played a very tough schedule this year and it should be a real good springboard to get us to the next level next year.”

Scott noted that seven of the Gladiators' eight losses this season were to teams that have advanced to their classifications' state tournaments — La Salle (twice), Mazama (twice), Lebanon, Philomath and Corvallis.

Gladstone graduates four seniors — Nichole Petersen (5-8 guard), Kendall Schumaker (5-8 guard), Fiona Burrell (5-8 guard) and Jessica Coiteux (5-10 guard).

But the Gladiators next season will return four players who were starters this year as juniors — Molly Webster (5-9 guard), Mikaela Simac (5-8 guard), Melisa Campos (5-3 guard) and Alicia Feb (5-9 forward).

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