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Cold-shooting Comets fall in 5A quarters

Crater head coach David Heard knew his team needed to be clicking on all cylinders to take down a formidable foe in Corvallis during Wednesday’s Class 5A girls basketball state quarterfinals at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

Unfortunately for the seventh-seeded Comets, it just wasn’t to be against the second-seeded Spartans.

Crater remained in striking distance early on in the matchup but an ice-cold outing from the field ultimately proved to be the Comets’ undoing as Corvallis steadily pulled away for a 45-25 triumph.

“It was my worry that we weren’t going to be able to score enough and that’s what it came down to,” said Heard.

Crater (21-5) finished 8-for-43 from the field (18.6 percent) and was 2-for-17 from 3-point range (11.8 percent) to dampen any hopes of an upset over Corvallis (22-3).

“Part of that reason is because Corvallis defends you so well,” said Heard. “They’re big and they’re long and they’re strong. The game was very physical, as it is sometimes up here, but we just struggled making baskets.”

“It was frustrating that we were 2-for-17 from the 3-point line because about six or seven of those shots were in and then out,” added the coach, whose team averages about 20 shots beyond the arc per game. “It can change a lot if those go in, but the bottom line is they’re just better than us and we did what we could do against them.”

With the loss, the Comets face an elimination game at 10:45 a.m. today against Hillsboro (16-10), which lost 51-27 to Silverton on Wednesday. A win in that game would secure a third state trophy in seven years for Crater, which placed third in 2010 and ‘15.

“If we can figure out a way to win tomorrow we’re going to be bringing home a trophy and that’s exciting for this team,” said Heard. “I think for this team, that would be a great accomplishment.”

In Wednesday’s other quarterfinals, No. 1 seed La Salle Prep dominated Putnam for a 62-25 win, while fifth-seeded Bend upended No. 4 Marist 46-36.

Crater senior Mallory Heard finished with five points to tie junior Alexus Woodard for team-high scoring honors, while Woodard and senior Evie Kent each pulled in six rebounds.

Heard, however, was harassed into finishing only 2-for-12 from the field with five turnovers while Woodward was 2-for-8 from the field and no other Comet made more than one field goal as the team uncharacteristically had only two assists for the game.

Corvallis senior post Grace Corbin totaled 16 points and eight rebounds and the Spartans got a big boost off the bench from Maddie Garretson, who opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and scored all seven of her points in that frame.

Woodard splashed in a rare 3-pointer for Crater in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 25-16 but the Comets couldn’t get a defensive stop to mount a comeback. Corbin followed with a pair of free throws and, after a Crater turnover, Taylor Hurley splashed in one of Corvallis’ three 3-pointers to push the Spartans’ cushion back up to 30-16.

“At halftime we talked about trying to get it (our deficit) to five or six by the end of third to at least make them think about it a little,” said Heard. “Instead of going from nine to then possibly hitting a shot to get to six, it goes the other way there and that’s a big difference between six and 14.”

Crater also tried to switch things up defensively, getting a little more aggressive with its trapping defense and full-court attack in hopes of creating turnovers, added Heard, but Corvallis thwarted that hope with solid passing throughout its lineup to make a relatively close game a runaway in the final 12 minutes.

CRATER (21-5)

Alexus Woodard 2-8 0-0 5, Mallory Heard 2-12 1-2 5, Sydney Gray 0-3 4-6 4, Evelyn Kent 1-5 1-2 3, Rane Jansen 1-2 0-0 3, Mackenzie Ryerson 1-7 0-0 2, Nehkyah Ellis 1-1 0-0 2, Maya Van Hook 0-2 1-2 1, Jamie Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Kelsey Lane 0-0 0-0 0, Eliza Idiart 0-3 0-0 0, Aleesa Yother 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-44 7-12 25.

CORVALLIS (22-3)

Grace Corbin 6-11 4-4 16, Maddie Garretson 3-5 0-3 7, Taylor Hurley 2-4 0-0 6, A. Vallency-Martinso 1-5 3-4 5, Ellie Harding 2-5 0-0 4, Krysta Wilson 1-7 1-2 3, Jordan Taylor 1-3 0-0 2, Maggie Beck 1-2 0-0 2, Maranda Tucker 0-0 0-0 0, Becca Garretson 0-0 0-0 0, Lizzy Garretson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-42 8-13 45.

Crater;4;7;9;5;—;25

Corvallis;10;11;15;9;—;45

3-point goals—Crater 2-17 (Alexus Woodard 1-3, Rane Jansen 1-2, Mackenzie Ryerson 0-4, Eliza Idiart 0-3, Mallory Heard 0-5), Corvallis 3-15 (Taylor Hurley 2-3, Maddie Garretson 1-2, Ellie Harding 0-2, Krysta Wilson 0-5, Jordan Taylor 0-1, Maggie Beck 0-1, Grace Corbin 0-1). Rebounds—Crater 31 (Evelyn Kent 6, Alexus Woodard 6), Corvallis 34 (Grace Corbin 8). Assists—Crater 2 (Alexus Woodard 1, Mackenzie Ryerson 1), Corvallis 16 (A. Vallency-Martinso 6). Total fouls—Crater 13, Corvallis 11.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry