The old adage about how difficult it is to defeat a team three times in one season was proven true again on Friday morning in the consolation semifinals of the OSAA 5A girls basketball tournament at Gill Coliseum.
Crescent Valley High rallied from an early nine-point deficit to knock off Mid-Willamette Conference rival Silverton 49-45. The Raiders thus avenged two regular-season losses to the Foxes and advanced CV to the fourth-place game for the second year in a row.
The Raiders (16-11) will face Churchill of the Midwestern League at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday. The Lancers (21-5) eliminated Lebanon 56-43 in the other consolation semifinal.
Churchill also defeated CV 59-49 in Eugene on Nov. 30, 2018, in the Raiders' season-opener.
Silverton bested CV twice in the regular season, 55-48 at CV on Jan. 22 and 55-45 at Silverton on Feb. 22. Silverton took second, CV fourth in the MWC regular-season race.
Those games only gave CV more motivation on Friday, however.
“It’s always tough to beat someone three times in a row,” CV coach Eric Gower acknowledged. “We know each other well, we know what we both like to run.
“It’s just lining up and playing. These 9 o’clock games, it’s about heart, and both teams battled. They battled us the whole way.
“They could have given up when we got up seven or eight points but they fought back. They are a great program, a great team.”
CV outscored Silverton 27-21 in the second half and 43-34 over the final three quarters to post its first win over the Foxes in quite some time.
“We played with more intensity and more energy,” Gower said. “We ran our defense. We didn’t make adjustments, we just needed to play with energy and pressure the ball.
“Nine a.m. games are always really tough, especially in the first half. We needed to get up and pressure them, make them work, and not let them get in their comfort zone."
CV's comeback was ignited by sophomore guard Jada Foster, who scored seven points in the second quarter, when it rallied from a nine-point deficit to force a tie just before halftime.
“We definitely wanted it more after losing to them twice in league,” Foster said. “We really wanted it.
“We definitely have to do the same thing (Saturday). Energy, and making sure we play as a team.”
Sophomore guard Ana McClave was 10 of 19 overall from the line and scored 24 points to lead the Raiders, who fell 60-38 to top-seeded Wilsonville in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Foster and senior guard Cali McClave added seven points each. Cali McClave grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and she and Foster had three assists each.
“We stepped up our defense and started knocking down our shots, which didn’t happen,” against Wilsonville, Foster said in explaining the turnaround in the final three quarters.
“It’s the best because it’s Cali’s first win (over Silverton). That’s really good and it provides momentum for all of us.”
Ana McClave had seven of CV’s 16 steals, and has now scored 37 points in the tournament. The Raiders forced 21 turnovers and outscored Silverton 20-3 on points off turnovers.
Silverton hit two early 3-pointers, led 11-6 after one quarter and extended that to 15-6 in the second quarter. However, the Raiders battled back behind seven points from Foster, who had a 3-pointer and was 4 for 4 from the line.
“I don’t know, I was just feeling it or something,” Foster said. “It just felt good.”
Gower said Foster is more known for her lock-down defense and passing.
“Jada has played great down the stretch, she has really stepped up," he said. “She’s always been a great defensive player but she’s coming along offensively.
“When we played at Silverton, they sagged off her. She hit some shots and that kind of got her confidence going, which she didn’t have before.”
CV finally pulled even at 22-22 on a Peyton Dale 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the half. Silverton’s Jori Paradis scored on a twisting drive with 10 seconds to go the give the Foxes a 24-22 intermission edge.
The Raiders finally went ahead for good 32-30 on a basket by Ana McClave with 7:26 remaining. It stretched that lead to 41-32 on her layup with 2:06 to play and then made enough free throws in the final 1:04 to stave off a desperation Silverton comeback.
Silverton drew within 45-43 and 47-45 in the hectic final seconds. But Ana McClave made two free throws with 16 seconds remaining and two more with five seconds to play to keep the Raiders safely in front.
CV was 20 for 35 and Silverton went 16 for 23 from the line in the whistle-filled affair, which featured 45 fouls. Three Foxes fouled out and another had four fouls; two Raiders finished with four fouls.
The Raiders defeated Central in last year's fourth-place game.