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Challengers tame Tigers to reach playoffs

With the season on the line, the Cascade Christian girls basketball team turned its defense up a couple notches in the fourth quarter.

The host Challengers held Bandon to three field goals in the frame and used a big shot from Megan Hallmark to seal the third and final playoff spot in the Sunset League with a 40-35 victory on Monday.

It's Cascade Christian's first playoff appearance since 2006.

The seeding game broke a tie between the two teams, which both had 9-5 records in Sunset play. The Challengers (15-10) will take on Sheridan on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Hallmark's momentum-swinging 3-pointer midway through the fourth tied the game for the Challengers, who were able to keep the Tigers at bay thereafter.

With the help of Andi Vondra's defense, the Challengers were able to hold first-team all-Sunset pick Briana Valentine to just six points.

Hallmark finished with 11 points and Aleena Cesaro added 10.

Vondra had eight rebounds to go with her four points and Kierstin Barlow notched eight points and eight rebounds.

Senior first-team all-Sunset selection Lindsey Blodgett did not score but had six assists and five steals for the Challengers.

Grace Garrett led the Tigers with 11 points.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (40) — Brown 7, Hallmark 11, Barlow 8, Vondra 4, Cesaro 10, Case 0, Ballard 0, Cochran 0, Kinney 0, Blodgett 0, Martinez 0. Totals: 12 7-12 40.

BANDON (35) — Garrett 11, M. Torres 8, Haueter 5, J. Torres 3, Smith 2, Valentine 6, Chaffe 0. Totals: 8 7-9 35.

Cascade Christian 12 7 9 12 — 40

Bandon 9 10 9 7 — 35

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 3 (Hallmark 2, Brown 1), Bandon 4 (M. Torres 2, Haueter 1, J. Torres 1).