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'Lucky shot' does in Grizz

Last-gasp effort by Redmond spoils rally by Ashland girls

PORTLAND ' The comeback that almost was didn't happen, and the Ashland High girls basketball team learned Tuesday just how unforgiving ' and painful ' the Class 4A girls basketball tournament can be.

Redmond senior guard Jessi Schaumburg grabbed a long rebound and drilled an 8-foot jumper with seven seconds left to give the Panthers a 58-57 first-round victory over the Grizzlies in the tourney-opener.

Schaumburg's shot, her first basket of the game in nine attempts, ruined a valiant Grizzly comeback that erased a seven-point deficit in the last three minutes at the University of Portland Chiles Center.

They got a lucky shot off, Ashland senior post Marla Morin said, and I guess that's kind of how life goes sometimes.

Morin, who led Ashland with 19 points and 10 rebounds, banked in a baseline jumper with 18 seconds left to give the Grizzlies their first lead since midway through the third quarter.

Redmond inbounded and worked the ball to senior guard Nicole Hudson, who fired a wide-open 3-pointer from the left side. The rebound careened directly to Schaumburg, who got the shot off through the teeth of the Grizzly defense.

That was probably one of our only rebounds of the game, but it certainly came at the right time, Redmond coach Wes Owens said.

Ashland quickly inbounded to sophomore guard Hilary Huyett, whose last-gasp, half-court heave was way off.

The loss dropped Ashland (19-8) into the loser's bracket of the 16-team, double-elimination tournament, where it will play the sixth-ranked Sheldon Irish (21-4) at 9 a.m. today.

Sheldon lost 43-32 to Southridge.

That last shot, that's just throw it up there and it's luck, Ashland senior post Julia Sobolik said. And sometimes luck just doesn't turn your way. I don't think we could have done anything to stop that shot. There's always the what-if, if you look back at that. I think we played a solid game and it just wasn't our roll of the dice.

Huyett and sophomore post Abeni Hill, delivering easily her best game of the season, each scored 13 to complement Morin.

Hudson led all scorers with 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. No other Panther scored in double figures.

Ashland High coach Steve Humann talked up Redmond's full-court press prior to the game, and sure enough, the Grizzlies struggled throughout to advance the ball. Redmond's highly-touted press produced 19 steals, helping the Panthers survive being outshot 45 percent (24-for-53) to 37 percent (21-for-57) and outrebounded, 40-31.

The Panthers (21-4) forced 22 turnovers, including eight in the third quarter, when they outscored Ashland 22-15 to take a 47-43 lead into the fourth. Redmond's nonstop press continued to wreak havoc in the final quarter, and the Panthers took a 53-46 lead on Mallory Whipple's steal and fastbreak layup at the 5:10 mark.

They were very tough, Ashland sophomore guard Alysse Carlson said of the pressing Panthers. All the press-breakers that we worked on, we had to work even harder to try to get them to actually work. They were extremely tight on defense.

Two minutes of perimeter passing in an attempt to run out the clock left Redmond in the same position with 3:06 left, but with Whipple at the line for a one-and-one.

But lo and behold, Whipple clanked Redmond's first chance to bury Ashland, and the Grizzlies followed with an assault that very nearly landed them in the second round for the first time in team history.

Huyett, who was held to 5-for-17 shooting, got it started with an inside bucket with 2:52 left. Redmond turned the ball over moments later, and Huyett came through again ' this time with a spectacular three-point play that capped a twisting, falling hook shot.

Candice Miller missed inside on Redmond's next possession, and Morin was fouled grabbing the defensive board. She sank both ends of the one-and-one to tie the game at 53 with two minutes left.

Another turnover by Redmond gave the Grizzlies a chance to take the lead, but Carlson missed a 3-pointer and Hudson banked in one at the other end, putting the Panthers up 56-53 with 1:18 to go.

The fun was just beginning.

Morin scored inside with 56 seconds left to pull Ashland within one again, and the Grizzlies fouled Hudson with 38 seconds to go.

Then, in a wild sequence that had both fan sections gasping, Hudson missed the front end of her one-and-one attempt and Sobolik rebounded. Sobolik dished to Huyett, who threw a deep, errant pass that deflected off players from both teams before dribbling out of bounds.

After a brief hesitation, the officials gave Ashland the ball on the side with 27 seconds left.

After a timeout, the Grizzlies quickly got the ball to Morin, who was isolated on the right side. She easily scored her seventh make in 11 attempts.

Redmond's press looked like too much for the younger, greener Grizzlies early. Behind a flurry of steals, the Panthers reeled off a 15-4 first-quarter run to go up 17-10. But led by Hill, the Grizzlies countered with a 16-4 rally of their own to grab a 26-21 lead.

They led 28-25 at halftime.

Ashland still has a shot at eclipsing its best state tourney showing ' an eighth-place finish in 1999 ' but they must run the table in the loser's bracket to do it. The winner of the consolation championship game is awarded the fifth-place trophy.

Sobolik said the Grizzlies won't lay down today.

The goal now is to go back to the hotel today and regroup and come back tomorrow and win, Sobolik said. That's our goal, and we want to stay. I think we can. We're going to win and keep on winning.

Her coach agreed.

We're not ready to end it right here, Humann said. I think they'll come back with vengeance.

ASHLAND (19-8)

Morin 7-11 5-6 19, Huyett 5-17 1-1 13, Hill 6-9 1-2 13, Carlson 3-9 0-0 6, Hansen 1-3 0-0 2, Sobolik 1-1 0-0 2, Roupp 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-53 7-9 57.

REDMOND (21-4)

Hudson 9-17 1-4 24, Johnston 3-3 1-1 7, Whipple 2-3 3-5 7, Snow 2-6 2-2 6, Miller 2-6 0-0 5, Schaumburg 1-9 2-2 4, Morey 1-7 1-1 3, Perdue 1-4 0-0 2, Billings 0-1 0-0 0, York 0-1 0-3 0. Totals 21-57 10-18 58.

Ashland.......................................17 11 15 14'57

Redmond......................................17 8 20 13'58

3-point goals-Ashland 2-17 (Huyett 2-11, Carlson 0-5, Hansen 0-1), Redmond 6-21 (Hudson 5-9, Miller 1-4, Schaumburg 0-2, Morey 0-5, Perdue 0-1). Rebounds-Ashland 40 (Morin 10), Redmond 31 (Hudson 7). Assists-Ashland 9 (Carlson 5), Redmond 9 (Whipple 5). Total fouls-Ashland 13, Redmond 14.

Joe Zavala is sports editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 482-3456.