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Crater pulls shocker in End of Trail tourney

OREGON CITY — The Crater High girls basketball team played giant-killer at the End of the Trail tournament on Saturday.

The Comets squeezed out a 45-44 victory over West Valley High of Yakima, Wash., then stunned Kennewick 54-47 in the semifinals of the 72-team tournament.

Crater meets Westview of Beaverton in today's championship game in what will be a rematch of last season's Class 4A state championship game. Tip-off is at 10:15 a.m.

Kennewick went 29-0 last season, won the Class 4A Washington state tournament and returns all five of its starters. The Washington team clobbered Lake Oswego 75-40 earlier Saturday.

But the Comets were up for the task. They broke out to a 12-2 lead, led 36-29 at the half and withstood a couple of Kennewick rallies after the intermission to run their tournament record to 4-0.

Amy Denson had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Comets. Sarah Pool also contributed 14 points, while Jody McLeod added 12 points and five rebounds.

Kennewick's Wendy Slagle, a 6-foot-1 senior-to-be, led all scorers with 18 points.

Crater confounded the Falcons with myriad defenses, including 2-3 and 3-2 zones, a half-court trap and man-to-man.

Kennewick clawed back to within 42-40 with five minutes to play, but Crater got two quick transition baskets from Pool and Janelle Sapienza to put the Falcons at bay.

In its one-point victory over West Valley earlier Saturday, Crater rallied from a 37-23 second-half deficit to pull out the win.

The Comets clamped on a half-court trap that fueled the comeback. Pool scored seven straight points that narrowed the gap to 37-30 with five minutes to play.

The Comets moved to within 44-41 in the final minute. Sapienza hit a driving layup with 16 seconds left and was fouled on the play. She missed the free throw, but McLeod grabbed the rebound and scored, giving the Comets their first lead of the game.

West Valley still had 12 seconds to work with, but Dachelle Davis? jump shot with two seconds remaining missed and McLeod again collected the rebound. McLeod was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the clock expired before West Valley could get off a shot.

McLeod finished with 14 points and six rebounds to pace the Comets, and Pool added 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Denson chipped in 10 points.

West Valley's Teresa Borton, a 6-foot-2 post who is being recruited by UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and Washington, registered game highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds.