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Prep Girls Basketball: St. Paul shoots past Oakland, 39-36

March 2, 2018 GMT

PENDLETON — The Oakland girls played impressive defense against St. Paul in the Class 2A state basketball quarterfinals, but they struggled offensively and fell 39-36 to the Buckaroos.

“It was a tough loss,” Oakland coach Don Witten said. “They thought they could get a win. Everybody just played outstanding defense, but the difference was not being able to knock down shots.”

Oakland shot 28.6 percent from the field, compared to St. Paul’s 33.3 percent. St. Paul also went to the free throw line 20 times where they picked up 12 points, while Oakland was 3-for-7 from the charity stripe.

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The teams traded leads throughout the game, each going on scoring sprees at one time or another.

The third-ranked Oakers had to battle back from a 29-25 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter.

Emily Nix made a 3-pointer to bring it within one point and about a minute later Cassidy Jones made a free throw to tie the game with a little less than six minutes to go.

“Cassidy Jones did a good job on the interior defense,” coach Witten said. “That’s really St. Paul’s strength and she did really well in there.”

Jones finished the game with six rebounds and two steals. Grace Witten led the team with seven rebounds and five steals, she also had seven points in the game.

No. 6 St. Paul then scored six unanswered points before a layup by Jones brought the game within four points again.

With 19 seconds to go in the game Hadley Brooksby scored on a layup to make it a one-point game one last time.

“(Brooksby) kept us in it with her offensive effort,” coach Witten said. Brooksby finished the game with 20 of Oakland’s 36 points and was named Oakland’s player of the game.

St. Paul’s Erin Counts, granddaughter of NBA and Oregon State basketball player Mel Counts, hit back-to-back free throws to put the Buckaroos up 39-36.

Brooksby tried for another jump shot with six seconds to go in the game, but missed and Megan Tuck of St. Paul came away with the rebound.

The Oakers started strong with a 3-pointer by Grace Witten, followed by another 3 from Emily Nix. At one point in the first quarter Oakland took a 10-3 lead, but then St. Paul mounted a comeback — scoring 14 unanswered points over the Oakers.

By halftime Oakland had an 18-17 lead over St. Paul and the teams were going head to head. After intermission St. Paul came back on a mission and was able to outscore Oakland 12-5 in the third quarter.

Oakland will play No. 7 Gold Beach at 10:45 this morning at the Pendleton Convention Center. Gold Beach fell 71-34 to Monroe.

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“It’s tough to rebound from a tough loss,” coach Witten said. “We played a physical game, but I think we’ll come back and compete. We want to extend the season into Saturday.”

No. 8 Heppner and No. 4 Grant Union will play the other consolation game.

The Class 2A semifinals will be No. 3 Faith Bible vs. No. 1 Kennedy and St. Paul vs. Monroe.

ST. PAUL (39) — Emma Connor 5-8 2-6 13; Logan Robinson 4-8 2-4 10; Isabelle Wyss 2-7 5-5 9; Erin Counts 1-10 3-5 5; Megan Tuck 1-3 0-0 2; Diana Hernandez 0-1 0-0 0; Abby Gonzalez 0-1 0-0 0; Karlee Southerland 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-39 12-20 39.

OAKLAND (36) — Hadley Brooksby 8-14 2-4 20; Grace Witten 3-16 0-0 7; Emily Nix 2-10 0-0 6; Cassidy Jones 1-5 1-2 3; Rachel Arts 0-3 0-0 0; Andrea Bean 0-0 0-0 0; Mady Gibbs 0-0 0-0 0; Gabby Parnell 0-0 0-1 0; Liz Powell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-49 3-7 36.

St. Paul 14 3 12 10 — 39

Oakland 10 8 5 13 — 36

3-point goals — St. Paul 1-10 (Emma Connor 1-1; Logan Robinson 0-2; Isabelle Wyss 0-1; Erin Counts 0-3; Megan Tuck 0-2; Diana Hernandez 0-1), Oakland 5-17 (Hadley Brooksby 2-4; Emily Nix 2-6; Grace Witten 1-6; Rachel Arts 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — St. Paul 38 (Emma Connor 13), Oakland 32 (Grace Witten 7). Assists — St. Paul 3 (Megan Tuck 1; Erin Counts 1; Isabelle Wyss 1), Oakland 3 (Rachel Arts 2). Total fouls — St. Paul 10, Oakland 19. Technical fouls — None.