By Jeremy McDonald
PERRYDALE, Ore.– The Valley 10 League was the toughest league in 1A Girls Basketball this season, producing three teams in the Top 9 entering the first round of the playoffs this season.
While Damascus Christian got the bye out of the league, powerhouse Country Christian and Southwest Christian played in Tuesday’s opening frame with the Wildcats traveling to Perrydale to take on the Pirates.
The game was close in the opening half, Southwest the taller of the two squads, but Perrydale used their speed and athleticism to make up the vertical difference in their 49-32 home victory.
“I think it’s important to start off well to get our momentum going and our spirits up,” starts the Pirates Sydney Lawrence. “Our coach (Terry Newton) always says, the first three minutes will determine how the game is eventually going to end. If you come out strong those first three minutes, then you know what you got.”
Lawrence scored all 16 of her points in the first half as twin sister Kenzy contributed another 10 in a first half that saw Perrydale open a 28-18 lead into the half. Elena Porter scored the other two points for the Pirates in the opening half.
Porter helped spark the defense in the first quarter, but it wasn’t until the second where the Perrydale defense came into form against Southwest Christian.
After surrendering 11 first quarter points, the Pirates pressed down and gave up 13 points the next two quarter and saw their offense come out on a 7-0 run to start the second half to set the pace for the back-end of the game. It goes back to playing to their strength of speed and athleticism.
“We always know we have to play fast and stuff. I’m glad we came out playing fast and play how we did because they could beat us on a bad day, so I’m glad that we played our game today,” said Amity Deters, who had four points in the win.
Emily Turner finished with 13 points for the ‘Cats in their season finale, Rachel Haas added another ten for Southwest in the defeat.
Cody Lawrence finished with eight points, all in the second half as the Pirates, who finished second in the Casco League, will get the rare second playoff home game to decide if they’ll return to Baker City next weekend. Perrydale host Prairie City Friday night.
“We just got to come out strong like anyone else. Play everyone like they are the same team, like they can beat us. Come out as strong as we can, it’s one-and-done at this point,” said Sydney Lawrence.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald