After watching McKay guard Leva Mike heat up from outside against Gresham Tuesday, Ashland coach Antione Perry decided the Grizzlies should play man-to-man defense against the Scots in the Crescent Valley girls basketball tournament third-place game the following day.
The result was the best defensive performance of Ashland’s young season.
Mya Elder-Hammond had a sensational all-around game and the Grizzlies held McKay to eight field goals and a season-low 24 points en route to a 43-24 victory Wednesday in Corvallis.
The win snapped the Grizzlies’ three-game losing streak and earned them the tournament’s third-place trophy.
“It felt really good,” Perry said of claiming third place. “The girls are pretty happy. They’re still building, they’re still learning where we need to be. I just told them they we gotta look forward to January when league play starts if they want to try to make the playoffs. We’re back to one game at a time.”
Ashland (3-5) jumped out to a 13-7 lead after one quarter and led 21-15 at the half before breaking the game open by blitzing the Scots 17-5 in the third.
Elder-Hammond scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the opening quarter. The junior guard also finished with five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
“It was really a well-rounded performance tonight,” Perry said. “The last few games we’ve been kind of on this stretch where everyone has been scoring kind of evenly. This is was one where (Elder-Hammond) jumped out and had the hot hand early and really got us going. But everyone did all the little stuff today.”
Mikayla Titus added seven points and four steals, Malia Rodriguez six points, four rebounds and two steals and Alie Voskes six points and three steals for the Grizzlies, who don’t play again until Jan. 3 at Klamath Union.
Perry was impressed with the Grizzlies' assault on the passing lanes — they finished with 21 steals.
“We watched them a little bit in the game before and they had one really good shooter [Leva Mike], and so we just said we’re going to be aggressive and just play man-to-man,” Perry said. “We were about the same size — they weren’t bigger than us, so we were able to match up well. We’ve been working on changing our defenses and playing different for each game but our man-to-man was just really good. (Mike) wanted to shoot 3s and we took that away from her.”
Mike finished with a team-high seven points for the Scots, who fell to 0-6.
ASHLAND (43): Voskes 6, Titus 7, Barry 5, Rich 2, Osorio-Walls 3, Elder-Hammond 14, Rodriguez 6, Altig 0, Munson 0. Totals: 19 3-8 43.
McKAY (24): Arellano 4, Williams 2, B. Mike 6, L. Mike 7, Medina 2, Abdelrasul 1, Wilson 2, Allmond 0, Arevalo 0, Allen 0, Miranda 0. Totals: 8 8-12 24.
Ashland 13 8 17 5 — 43
McKay 7 8 5 4 — 24
3-point goals: Ashland 2 (Osorio-Walls 1, Titus 1).
JV result — McKay won.
At Corvallis, Xavier Rambo scored 30 points and Hermiston scored 52 points in the first half en route to a 92-66 victory over Ashland in the final day of the Crescent Valley tournament.
Peyton Fuller hit five 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 18 points to lead the Grizzlies (3-4), who suffered their third loss in a row after starting the season 3-1.
Also for the Grizzlies, Jake Hansen scored 14 points and Malik Pippa 11.
Ashland is off until Tuesday, when it faces Oregon City on the first day of the Abby’s Holiday Classic.
ASHLAND (66): Swanson 8, Atteberry 4, Hansen 14, Fuller 18, A. Jones 3, Ellis 4, Pippa 11, Andrews 4, Sentle 0. Totals: 25 8-14 66.
HERMISTON (92): Flores 18, Earl 2, Walls 13, James 6, Wicks 5, Rambo 30, Moss 2, Ramirez 11, McCullough 4, Hirkle1, Ortiz 0, Mendez 0. Totals: 25 8-14 92.
Ashland 9 23 21 13 — 66
Hermiston 21 31 21 19 — 92
3-point goals: Ashland 8 (Fuller 5, Pippa 2, A. Jones 1), Hermiston 8 (Flores 2, Walls 2, James 2, Wicks 1, Rambo 1).
JV score — Hermiston 67, Ashland 54.