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Cougars defeat Vernonia, Riverdale to open winter season with tourney championship

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Gervais Cougars celebrate with their Vernonia tournament trophy after defeating the hosting Loggers 41-25 and the Riverdale Mavericks 42-21 over the weekend.
If the rest of the season begins as well as the opening weekend for the Gervais girls basketball team, the Cougars are going to be in a good place come March.

The Gervais girls opened the 2017-18 season with a championship performance, winning back-to-back games at the Vernonia Tournament on Friday and Saturday to come home with the tournament trophy and an unblemished record.

In Friday night's tournament opener, the Cougars were led by its freshman class in a 41-25 win over the hosting Loggers.

Gervais took an opening lead and didn't relinquish it, outscoring Vernonia in each quarter and going into the half with a 26-17 advantage. The Cougars saved their best for last, leading by 13 points heading into the final period, where they held Vernonia to just two points to win by 16.

Freshman Katie Hansen and classmate Mary Davidson scored nine points each to lead the team, followed by seven from fellow freshman Lily Welburn. With four more points coming from Celi Vasquez, the Gervais freshmen combined to score 29 points in the win.

The Cougars continued with more of the same in the championship game against the Riverdale Mavericks on Saturday, using a combination of strong defense and a team-wide offensive attack to come away with a 42-21 victory.

Gervais was quick to take a 15-8 lead after the first quarter, but the Cougars blew the game open in the second period by holding the Mavericks scoreless for eight minutes to head into halftime with a commanding 27-8 lead.

The Cougars were content to slow it down and trade barbs with Riverdale in the second half to cruise to the win and advance to the tournament's championship game against the hosting Loggers on Saturday.

Senior Daisy Correa led the Cougars with 12 points in the win, followed by nine from Hanson. Eight Gervais players finished the game with at least two points in the win.

Gervais (2-0) continues its season when it faces the St. Paul Buckaroos (2-0) in its home opener on Wednesday, followed by a road contest at Sheridan (0-2) to close out the week.

Phil Hawkins can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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