Crusaders Finishes Fourth, Colton Sixth

By Jeremy McDonald

PENDLETON, Ore.–  The Colton Girls Basketball team broke two 18-year droughts this season.  The first one is their drought in getting back to the final site for the first-time since 2005 and the other being the squad finally breaking their state trophy drought as well as they finished sixth as a team, The latter was also a first since that 2005 season, also a sixth-place finish, and it was nearly 18 years to the day on that one being a day shy of doing so.

“It feels great.  Doing it with the girls I did it with, it all makes it three-times better and I can’t imagine a better team,” said Viking senior Avery Reiland.  “I hope we continue on and it was a great way to end my senior year.”

After falling to Central Linn on Thursday, Colton responded well Friday morning with a big 32-28 win over Bandon to reach the fourth/sixth-place game where they met Tri-River Conference opponent Salem Academy.  It seems weird to see the Crusader Girls Basketball on this side of the bracket after they lost to Monroe/Alsea on Day one, but they responded well with a 40-31 win over Western Christian to reach the final game.

“We could’ve chosen one of two ways.  We could’ve pouted with our heads down after they won, but that’s not what we wanted to do.  We came together and pulled it out,” Salem Academy’s Aly Herber said.

The two squads battled Saturday morning with the Vikings leading 6-2 after one before the Crusaders led 19-17 at the halftime break.  Colton used a four-point swing to take a brief 21-19 lead before Salem Academy surged ahead 30-23 by quarters end.  Colton pushed forward, cutting the lead to 32-29, using their defense to stay in the game, 

“Aggressive and intense.  We go by one-shot and that’s all they get and we take pride in our defense for sure.  I think we did fantastice (Saturday)…our defense, these past couple of days, we’ve been phenomenal with our defense,” said Reiland.

Salem Academy extended their lead to 36-30 with 1:11 left in the game.  The Vikings cut the deficit in half with a Talia Chianello three-pointer moments later, but Colton couldn’t get any closer as the Crusaders closed out the 40-35 victory.

“It was good.  I’m happy and I can’t wait to see what the girls do next year,” Herber said.  “They’re all sophomores, so I’m excited to see what they’re going to do.”

Reiland finished her high school career with a nine-point, six-rebound, four assists game for Colton.  Herber had 19-points, eight-rebounds in her final game in a Salem Academy jersey.  Izzy English led the Vikings with 10 points and Haley Ferry led the Crusaders with nine rebounds.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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