The Crescent Valley High girls basketball team will have little time to commiserate following a 53-43 loss to Marist on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the OSAA 5A state tournament at Gill Coliseum.
The Raiders (22-5) now face Springfield at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the consolation semifinals. The victor plays for fifth place on Friday; the loser goes home.
The No. 1-ranked Spartans (23-3) used a 21-4 second quarter to snap CV’s seven-game winning streak. However, junior guard Cali McClave, CV’s leading scorer with 16 points, said there is no time like Wednesday to go on another tear.
“The wakeup will be hard, but the actual basketball won’t,” said McClave, who teamed with sophomore guard Peyton Dale for 14 fourth-quarter points, helping the Raiders twice trim what had been a 17-point deficit down to six.
McClave said the turnaround will be new for the Raiders but with players who also played soccer and ran cross-country, being in shape isn’t an issue and CV should still have ample gas left in its collective tank.
The Raiders were not intimidated one iota by Marist, which had won its last six games by a combined 26.6 points en route to the Midwestern League championship and state-tournament berth. They held a two-point edge (12-10) after one quarter that could have been larger had some makeable shots fallen, a problem that was a harbinger of things to come in the ensuing action.
“It helped a lot, it gave us a little more confidence,” McClave said. “Our attitude was, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s have some fun out there.’ That’s what we did.
“We played hard the whole game. We don’t give up, we battle. I think we proved that to everyone today.”
The bottom fell out in the second quarter, however. McKenna Williams came off the bench and bombed home three of Marist’s five 3-pointers in the stanza, fueling a 16-2 run that turned a 15-14 advantage into an insurmountable 31-16 halftime cushion.
“They hit a couple shots, we panicked a little bit and overplayed inside and didn’t get pressure on the ball,” CV coach Eric Gower said. “Just little things that spiraled out of control for us.”
CV was far from finished. It played Marist even in the third quarter, and then rallied to within 45-39 and 46-41 with 1:25 to play. Marist did not wilt, though, as junior guard Emma McKinney went 6 for 6 from the line in the final 1:07 to seal the deal.
CV hustled to every loose ball, clogged the passing lanes, had numerous deflections and forced 24 turnovers. However, Marist’s superior size created matchup problems inside and on the perimeter; the Spartans blocked nine shots and held CV to 15 of 55 from the field and 1 for 19 on 3-point attempts.
Dale had 13 points and six rebounds and freshman guard Ana McClave had six points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Sophomore center Gwen Gray had seven rebounds.
“We played hard, and I thought we proved to ourselves and to everyone that we can play with anybody at this tournament,” Gower said. “We were right there, we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Raiders did not play Springfield in the regular season.
“The big thing for us will be to come out and play with energy,” Gower said. “We proved to ourselves we can play here. It’s just gonna be finding that energy.
“If we win, we have a day off. We playing with our season on the line, so hopefully we can win,” and advance to Friday’s 9 a.m. fourth-place game.