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Lady Pirates sail into state playoffs

PHOENIX — In a recent meeting, host Rogue River stunned the Phoenix girls basketball team when Chieftain stars Angie Caschera and Shawna Hamre combined for 33 points and 23 rebounds.

With the stakes much higher in Saturday's Skyline playoff game, Phoenix coach Randy Kirkland made sure it wasn't dejavu all over again.

The Pirates (17-10) limited the senior duet to just 20 points and Kelsey George poured in 17 points as Phoenix earned a 48-28 victory and a trip to the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Pirates snagged the third and final playoff spot in the Skyline. They will host Baker on March 4 at 7 p.m. in the first round.

"We put a concentrated effort on Shawna Hamre tonight," said Kirkland. "We wanted to make sure and shut her down by settling in our zone.

"Caschera likes to drive so we shut down the lanes for her by having that zone packed in down there, which made it difficult for her."

Phoenix stormed out of the gates with an 11-0 run. Rogue River cut it to seven before the Pirates extended the margin to 28-15 at halftime.

The Pirates forced 23 turnovers in the game and were able to control the flow of the Rogue River's offense by pressuring its guards on the inbound.

Although the Chieftains got the best of Phoenix on the boards, as they did in their 44-40 victory on Feb. 15, the Pirates made the most of their possessions by getting the ball down court as quickly as possible.

George was the cog that made Phoenix's offense go. She also dished out six assists while Kiana Helm and Chelsea Passante contributed with eight rebounds apiece. Passante added eight points and two 3-pointers.

Caschera, the Chieftains' all-time leading scorer, capped her career with a 10-point, eight rebound performance. The Chieftains finished with 13 wins — the most in seven years.

ROGUE RIVER (28) — Hamre 10, Smith 4, Caschera 10, Phillips 2, Reyes 2, Cauble 0, Updegraff 0, Fry 0, Fricke 0, Turnham 0. Totals: 11 6-11 28.

PHOENIX (48) — Singleton 4, Baker 3, Ke. George 17, Tally 1, Helm 5, Ka. George 1, Smith 9, Passante 8, Welburn 0, Scowden 0, Main 0. Totals: 17 10-17 48.

Rogue River 6 9 6 7 — 28

Phoenix 14 14 9 12 — 48

3-point goals — Phoenix 4 (Passante 2, Baker 1, Smith 1). Fouled out — Phillips.


PHOENIX 46, ILLINOIS VALLEY 41 — At Phoenix, Phoenix made three straight defensive stops in the final 1:30 of the game to advance to the Class 4A state playoffs.

In a game slated to be a match-up of each team's strong posts — the Pirates' Codey Barrett and Mike Shepherd against Illinois Valley's Kevin Snook and Will Crowl — Phoenix's guards were the ones to come up big.

Neil Emerson and Andrew George forced IV's guards into bad shots down the stretch while combining for 21 points. George added four assists and three steals.

Barrett, Shepherd, Snook and Crowl all picked up two early fouls and were seldom used for stretches. Barrett and Shepherd each had eight points and combined for 15 rebounds.

Phoenix (19-8) plays at North Bend on March 5 at 7 p.m. Phoenix won a preseason game against North Bend 65-58 back in December.

ILLINOIS VALLEY (41) — Snook 14, Paul 10, Hults 6, Crowl 6, Augustadt 5, Bergman 0, Escalante 0. Totals: 17 6-8 41.

PHOENIX (46) — Emerson 12, George 9, Barrett 8, Shepherd 8, Robinson 4, Workman 3, Sauceda 2, Locken 0, Crichton 0. Totals: 19 8-18 46.

Illinois Valley 10 9 15 7 — 41

Phoenix 17 12 8 9 — 46

3-point goals — Illinois Valley 1 (Augustadt). Fouled out — Crowl.