Crusaders eliminated from 2A tournament
PENDLETON — After suffering through another sluggish start, the St. Mary's girls basketball team appeared to have righted the ship over a sensational 16-minute stretch during Thursday's Class 2A state tournament tilt against Glendale.
Then the bottom dropped out for the Crusaders at the Pendleton Convention Center.
St. Mary's suffered through a rough final eight minutes of the consolation contest, watching almost helplessly as its 10-point lead dwindled with each ensuing missed opportunity. When the dust finally settled, Glendale outscored the Crusaders 16-2 in the fourth quarter to rally for a 48-44 triumph.
"Unfortunately," said St. Mary's assistant coach Jolyn Marshall, "they started pressing us and we turned the ball over. We just couldn't take care of the ball, and our shots weren't falling."Nikki Steinsiek converted 7 of 14 shots for a team-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds to lead St. Mary's (21-6), but the Crusaders were undone by a nightmarish fourth quarter that saw them go 0-for-12 from the field with eight turnovers.
Sophomore Katie Bates added 10 points and five rebounds for St. Mary's, while junior Kelsey Gross chipped in with six points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Gretchen Owens paced Glendale with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and teammate Ashley Marriott had 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Owens "honestly is one of the best 2A players in the state," said Marshall. "We worked hard on her."
Glendale took a 19-10 lead through nine minutes of play before the Crusaders marched back with a string of 12 unanswered points. Steinsiek, a 5-foot-6 junior, drilled two of her five 3-pointers during the stretch.
St. Mary's built a 31-26 advantage at halftime, then cranked it up a notch to double its lead heading into the fateful fourth.
Glendale scored the first 13 points of the final quarter to take a 45-42 lead, but senior Whitney Adderson was able to stem the tide with a pair of free throws with 1:57 to go.
Both teams went cold from there until Marriott scored with 39 seconds to go to give Glendale a 47-44 cushion.
After a timeout, St. Mary's freshman Domonique Valdez missed a 3-pointer to tie but was given another chance when Steinsiek tracked down the rebound and fed Valdez for another jumper that missed the mark. Owens grabbed the rebound and was fouled, making one foul shot to put Glendale up 48-44.
Adderson missed a hurried 3-pointer with eight seconds to go, and then Valdez and Adderson missed again as time ran out on rebounded efforts.
Steinsiek scored 13 of her points in the first half.
"She had a great game," said Marshall. "She wanted the ball, found the open spot and didn't hesitate. She wanted to take over, and she did."
Glendale (23-5) will face Heppner in today's fourth-place game. Heppner beat Lakeview, 52-33, in Thursday's other consolation action.
"Our team is young, and this was a great experience for them," said Marshall. "We'll definitely be back next year. I think the next three years we have a shot at getting back here and doing very well."
ST. MARY'S (21-6)
Steinsiek 7-14 0-0 19, Bates 4-6 2-2 10, Gross 3-8 0-1 6, V. Valdez 2-5 0-4 4, Williams 1-9 0-0 3, W. Adderson 0-7 2-2 2, Carini 0-0 0-0 0, K. Adderson 0-0 0-0 0, Street 0-1 0-0 0, Bladek 0-0 0-0 0, D. Valdez 0-7 0-0 0. Totals: 17-57 4-9 44.
Owens 8-18 8-14 24, Marriott 7-17 3-8 17, Lovemark 0-5 3-4 3, Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Phelps 1-7 0-0 2, Lovelady 0-1 0-0 0, Prock 0-0 0-0 0, Henry 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-50 14-26 48.
St. Mary's 10 21 11 2 — 44
Glendale 17 9 6 16 — 48
3-point goals — St. Mary's 6-17 (Steinsiek 5-6, Williams 1-4, V. Valdez 0-1, W. Adderson 0-2, D. Valdez 0-4), Glendale 0-3 (Owens 0-1, Lovemark 0-2). Fouled out — Lovemark. Rebounds — St. Mary's 43 (Steinsiek 10), Glendale 39 (Marriott 15). Assists — St. Mary's 14 (Gross 6), Glendale 10 (Owens 7).