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by: JON HOUSE - Clackamas junior Jordan Rasberry leaps high to claim a rebound in Clackamas state tournament game with Beaverton.It was a tough state tournament for Clackamas High School’s girls basketball team.

The fourth-ranked Cavaliers bowed out of the 2014 Class 6A State Tournament with two straight losses, losing to eighth-ranked South Salem 53-45 in the March 13 breakfast-bracket consolation semifinals, after a stunning 40-26 loss to fifth-ranked Beaverton the day before.

South Salem went on to defeat third-ranked St. Mary’s 50-48 in the Saturday’s consolation final, while Beaverton lost to sixth-ranked Westview 49-40 in Saturday’s third-place final.

The state-quarterfinal loss to the Beavers was especially painful for the Cavaliers, because it was their lowest scoring game of the season, and Clackamas had handled Beaverton twice in preseason, winning 69-51 in early December and 48-30 in mid-January.

But the Beavers had come a long way since the earlier games. They came out confident, held their own with the taller Cavaliers on the backboards, and rallied around an aggressive match-up zone defense to disrupt the Cavalier offense.

The Cavaliers turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter and they went scoreless from the field in the opening period, as the Beavers rolled to a 12-5 first-quarter advantage.

A rebound basket by Beaverton 5-6 senior guard Danielle Hartzog five minutes into the game put the Beavers on top for good, and Clackamas was playing catch-up the rest of the way.

The Beaver lead was 19-9 when 5-5 junior Allison Mueller hit a 3-pointer late in the second period.

Kaitlyn Reiner answered with a trey for Clackamas, and the Beavers went into the locker room at halftime up by seven points, at 19-12.

Reiner made it a five-point game, at 25-20, when she hit a second 3-pointer with 1:42 remaining in the third period.

But a steal and fast-break basket by 5-7 sophomore Alyssa Christiansen made it Beaverton 27, Clackamas 20, heading into the final period.

The Cavaliers turned the ball over on three of their first six possessions of the fourth quarter.

And when Beaver junior post Dagny McConnell hit a 6-foot jumper with 4:23 left to play, the Beaver lead was 34-22, and it was all over but the shouting.

The Cavaliers were an ice-cold 8-of-29 (28 percent) from the field for the game. The Beavers forced 18 turnovers, while committing only six.

And McConnell led the Beavers to a 28-25 edge on the backboards, with six rebounds.

Erica Pagano had eight rebounds to lead Clackamas.

Hartzog headed up a balanced offensive attack for the Beavers with 13 points.

Pagano was high-point for Clackamas, with 9.

When Clackamas and South Salem met in Thursday’s consolation semifinals, the Saxons, like the Beavers, were no strangers.

Clackamas had opened the 2013-2014 season with a 58-49 loss to South Salem, but had avenged that loss in mid-December, with a 51-49 victory.

The Saxons were highly motivated as they faced the Cavaliers a third time, knowing that a win would give them a chance to win a trophy at a state tournament for the first time since 1984.

After trailing briefly at the start of the game, the Saxons went on an 8-0 run, to go up 12-6. And they never trailed after that.

A 3-pointer by 5-7 senior Jenessa Bodine made it 30-21 South Salem at halftime.

Pagano hit a jumper with 2:40 to play to cut South’s lead to 46-42. But the Saxons made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

It was the 13th win in their last 14 games for South Salem, which played top-ranked South Medford tough in a 46-35 losing effort in the state-tournament quarterfinals.

The Saxons had balanced scoring, led by 5-10 sophomore Jordan Woodvine (15 points), Bodine (12 points, 3 assists) and 6-2 junior Katie McWilliams (10 points, 5 assists).

Reiner led Clackamas with 15 points. The 5-5 senior playmaker also hauled down a game-high nine rebounds, to lead the Cavaliers to a 30-27 edge on the backboards.

But the Cavaliers struggled once again with their ball handling, committing 17 turnovers. And they were lukewarm in their shooting, connecting on 16-of-42 (.381) shots from the floor.

The Cavaliers finished the year with an overall record of 21-7, after going 8-2 in the Three Rivers League, losing only to Oregon City.

The Cavaliers should be very competitive next season, as they and Oregon City leave the TRL to join the Mt. Hood Conference.

The Cavaliers will miss senior leaders Reiner, Pagano and Sydney Azorr. Pagano and Reiner were both first-team all-league selections this season, while Azorr gained honorable mention in the TRL all-star balloting.

But Clackamas will return a host of players who saw action on varsity this season, including: juniors Erin McDonald (5-9 guard/wing), Kaleah Walterman (5-8 post), Jordan Rasberry (5-11 post) and McKenzie Giancola (5-9 wing); sophomores Peyton Carroll (6-3 post), Emily Melton (5-6 wing) and Marissa Kelly (5-9 wing); and freshmen Maddy Oakden (5-7 wing), Taylor Morris (5-1 guard) and Miranda Dahmen (5-10 post). McDonald was a second-team selection in the TRL all-star balloting.