|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Willamette girls upset Springfield for 5A title

  • EUGENE — Willamette's Lexi Bando scored 23 points and the Wolverines brought a shocking end to the Mercedes Russell-era with a 48-41 upset of top-ranked Springfield in the Class 5A girls basketball championship game at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday.
    • email print
  • EUGENE — Willamette's Lexi Bando scored 23 points and the Wolverines brought a shocking end to the Mercedes Russell-era with a 48-41 upset of top-ranked Springfield in the Class 5A girls basketball championship game at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday.
    Autumn Baumgartner also had 12 points for Willamette (23-4), which lost to the Millers (24-4) in the 2012 title game.
    Russell, Springfield's McDonald's All-American senior center, was held to 12 points and six rebounds in the final game of a standout prep career that included two state championships.
    After falling behind 3-0 on a 3-pointer by Ashley Richey in the opening minute, Bando answered with back-to-back 3s from the corner on consecutive possessions and the Wolverines led the rest of the half.
    Baumgartner and Bando added two more 3-pointers in the final two minutes and Willamette led 12-7 after one quarter.
    Bando opened the second quarter with her fourth 3-pointer of the game and Baumgartner followed with a runner from the baseline as the Wolverines extended their lead to 17-10.
    Springfield answered with five-straight points to cut its deficit to 17-15 with under four minutes to play in the half, but Kalani Kast ended the Millers' run with Willamette's sixth 3-pointer of the half and the Wolverines went into the break on a 7-2 run to lead 24-17.
    Russell, who had 61 points combined in Springfield's first two tournament games, had just four points in the first half and took only four shots.
    She finished 6-for-9 from the field but never made it to the free-throw line.
    Bando, a junior guard, was 7-for-15 from the field, 5-for-7 on 3s and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
    Willamette led 37-28 with under 5 minutes to play when Springfield went on an 11-2 run ending with a layup by Russell that made it 39-37 with 2:07 left.
    But Baumgartner was left alone in the corner on Willamette's next possession and she drained the open three-pointer for 42-37 advantage and the Wolverines scored their final six points from the free-throw line.
Reader Reaction
      • calendar