By Jeremy McDonald
CORVALLIS, Ore.– The playoffs are a whole different monster once you get to this point.
The lights of the final site, in this spot for 5A at Gill Coliseum, could be a lot initially with nerves to start. It was hard to imagine looking at the Silverton 73-26 score and win over Ridgeview that at the 3:03 mark of the first quarter the Ravens led the Foxes 12-6 Tuesday afternoon in Corvallis.
Call it big stage nerves in the program’s sixth-straight trip to the final site, looking for their fourth appearance in the Semi-Final round in that span to start the game, but once they relaxed the flood gates opened.
The Foxes ended the first quarter on a 13-0 run to take a 19-12 lead into the second quarter. By halftime, it was 38-16 as the top-seed in 5A had swung the momentum back into their favor entering the second half.
“Once we got into a rhythm of it, it was easy,” said Chole O’Connor. “Tomorrow we’re going to have a day off and I think we’re to debrief and everything.”
Win, and you get that rare day-off before gearing back up for the Semi’s Thursday and the Final Day on Friday. The Foxes did that behind five girls recording double-figures.
Lily Horner had 15 points, Ellie Schmitz and Riley Trager each had 13 points, Truitt Reilley and O’Connor each contributed 12 in the game. Their defense held Ridgeview to 14 total points over the game’s final 27 minutes.
“It was so relieving. It was a little bit of weight off our shoulders, but we knew we had to keep pushing and never stop. We had to keep going until the end,” said Reilley, who added four rebounds, three steals and two blocks with her 12 points, of the first half rally.
“It was really good to get some momentum, get our second players in at the end…get some minutes, give them some minutes and get a lot of girls points so it was a really good game for us.”
With Crater Thursday afternoon in that 1:30 time-slot once again, the Foxes got some scouting in on the Comets while supporting their boys team Wednesday night. More importantly too, to reset and prepare for a chance to return to the State Title Game for the first-time in three years.
“It’ll be super good for us to have some down time to get our mental, stability and our confidence back. So I’m happy that we have that day.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald