By Jeremy McDonald
AMITY, Ore.– Patience is a virtue in a game like this and Amity had weather that storm to clinch the PacWest Conference Title as their reward for such valor. Defeating Yamhill-Carlton for the third time this year, 32-23, to close out the regular season and the league playoffs with probably their most patient of games in the process.
“Patience was what really made the game. We worked hard the whole game and we picked our moments. I think that’s what helped us not to let them get ahead,” Ellie McMullen said. “This game, we’ve been working for our whole season to win this and it meant everything to us.:
The Tigers did everything they could to halt the Warriors momentum. Press when Amity had the ball and slowed it way down when YC was in control of the ball, passing along the perimeter. The Warriors shifting their defense to the ball side and not allowing an easy throw in and made sure that if the Tigers did shoot, they were falling back for any rebound that may bounce back into play.
As the third quarter waned towards zero Yamhill-Carlton led 19-18 on Amity, the away team in the Tigers scoring all five points up to this point. But that was until a last second, half-court shot by Megan Scharf struck gold at the buzzer, drawing the foul in the process.
Yeah the junior couldn’t complete the four-point play, the heave did put the Warriors ahead 21-19 going to the fourth and sparked some momentum into their favor with the gym erupting to what they had witnessed. By midway through the fourth quarter Amity led 27-21 thanks to two more three-pointers, both by Sara Grove, as they just rode the momentum from Scharf’s shot.
“It was pretty big. We just kept going on-and-on off of it and every little thing that we did, we just kept feeding into it and just kept getting ourselves hyped,” Grove said. “That was probably the most patient game we’ve ever been in a game. It was big because if we rushed it, we could’ve turned it over a lot…but it was really cool.”
Maddy Tuning kept the YC hopes alive when she pulled the Tigers to within four with 2:05 left in the game, but Amity’s Kylie Kendall answered and McMullen added with a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left as Amity entered the 3A playoffs 17-7.on the season. As they await whom they’ll face next weekend, they know this upcoming week will be crucial with aspirations of Coos Bay in front of them.
“We’re going to have a week of hard practice and we all know it,” laughs McMullen. “We’re going to be in here every day, working hard and getting better every day for that (first-round) game. I think we just need to keep our spirits up and our momentum going. Working on what we’re doing and just being confident because we know that we’re prepared.”
Grove scored 11, McMullen added seven and Scharf contributed five in the win. Yamhill-Carlton, who got the second automatic bid out of the PacWest Conference and have a 12-13 record on the year, were led by Olivia Davidson’s seven and Cheyanna Kelley contributed another five for the Tigers.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald