Next stop: Mac Court

The Grizzlies weren't satisfied with how they played when star point guard Allison Gida was stuck on the bench in foul trouble.

The other three quarters worked out just fine.

Gida missed most of the second quarter after picking up three quick fouls, but led a dominating second-half charge that catapulted the Ashland High girls basketball team to a 41-28 victory over Sherwood in a Class 5A playoff game Friday night at Mountain Avenue Gym.

The win, Ashland's 15th in a row, advanced the third-ranked Grizzlies (22-5) to next week's eight-team 5A state tournament at McArthur Court in Eugene. Ashland's quarterfinal opponent will be a familiar foe: the fourth-ranked Willamette Wolverines, who were the last team to beat Ashland back on Dec. 30.

"We really wanted this so bad," Gida said. "I was just really concerned about their tall people, but our defense pulled it out."

Gida scored eight of her game-high 24 points in the third quarter to help Ashland extend a slim one-point halftime lead to eight heading into the fourth. There, the Grizzlies, employing a press that proved to be a nightmare for the visitors, scored the first eight points to wrap up a 17-0 run that put the Bowmen (15-11) away.

Ila Sturges had five points, four steals and four rebounds for the Grizzlies, and Callie McCoy added eight points and three steals. Gida also had five steals and four assists.

Sherwood, which won seven of its previous nine games coming in, was led by junior post Megan Sheilds, who scored 14 points. No other Sherwood player added more than four points as the Grizzlies limited the Bowmen to 12 field goals thanks in part to 14 steals.

"We had it and we just chose to not take care of the ball," Sherwood head coach Liz Barrett said. "If I knew the answer to it I would have fixed it. The difference, I think, was seniors versus juniors and sophomores "¦ and (the Grizzlies') ability to keep their head on straight and roll with the punches."

Ashland jumped out of the gate, finishing the first quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 14-6 lead into the second quarter. There was bad news, too, though. Gida picked up her second foul with 2:31 to go while plowing through Sherwood's Leanne Snyder on a fastbreak.

Gida was whistled for her third foul trying to block a shot by Sherwood post Jacquelyn Long early in the second quarter. She was pulled by Ashland head coach Tom McCracken soon thereafter, and spent the last 6:19 of the half on the bench.

The Bowmen capitalized on both ends of the court, attacking Ashland's interior defense on offense and pushing the Grizzlies away from the basket on defense. A layup by Shields tied the game at 14-all, and a free throw by Sherwood's Amanda Shelton gave the Bowmen their first lead of the game, 15-14, with 2:29 to go.

McCoy's inside bucket put an end to the streak and gave the Grizzlies a one-point halftime edge.

"I was disappointed in the second quarter because those other girls are better than that," McCracken said.

The teams traded scoring runs in the third quarter, with Sherwood's 8-2 spurt, capped by Snyder's jumper, giving the Bowmen a 23-22 lead.

The rest of the game belonged to the Grizzlies and their full-court press, which demoralized the Bowmen, who struggled to get the ball past half court and seemed to run out of gas three days after earning a first-round win at Mountain View.

More than eight minutes elapsed between points for the Bowmen, who turned the ball over 16 times, many against Ashland's 2-2-1 press.

"We're pretty confident in our press," McCoy said. "We've been doing it the whole season and it's worked well for us."

SHERWOOD (28) — Shelton 1, Snyder 3, Shields 14, Griffin 4, Hendryx 2, Long 4, Birch 0, Francis 0. Totals: 12 4-11 28.

ASHLAND (41) — Van Vleck 2, Sturges 5, McCoy 8, Patton 2, Gida 24, Shulenberger 0, Minor 0, Kasiah 0, Reynolds 0, Pavlich 0. Totals: 16 9-15 41.

Sherwood 6 9 8 5 — 28

Ashland 14 2 15 10 — 41

3-point goals — Sherwood 0, Ashland 0. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.

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