It would have been easy for the Crescent Valley High girls basketball team to go through the motions Wednesday morning.
The ninth-seeded Raiders trailed No. 4 Springfield 19-10 at the half after scoring just one point in the second quarter.
But Crescent Valley found some energy coming out of the locker room.
The Raiders cranked up the defensive pressure and got in transition and not only got back into the game, but rallied for a win.
Behind Ana McClave’s 15 points — all in the second half — the Raiders kept their season alive with a 47-37 victory in the consolation bracket of the OSAA 5A state tournament.
Crescent Valley (23-5) advances to play No. 3 Central, which routed Crater 62-26 on Wednesday, for fourth place at 9 a.m. Friday.
Cali McClave scored nine of her 13 points in the first half to keep the Raiders in the game, Peyton Dale had all 10 of her points in the second half and Vanessa Taylor had all eight of her points in a third-quarter barrage for CV.
While the Raiders certainly had a turnaround offensively — scoring 18 points in the third and 19 more in the fourth — it was the defense that was the big key.
That was the focus on the halftime adjustments.
“We weren’t being aggressive on the defensive end, we weren’t causing turnovers and that’s what has been the key for us all year,” coach Eric Gower said. “It doesn’t matter if we are making shots or not, we need to get after it defensively and dial up that pressure.”
That’s exactly what they did.
The Raiders turned two quick steals — by Ana McClave and Taylor — into four points by Taylor to get within 19-14 just 38 seconds into the third and force a Springfield timeout.
Two layups by Ana McClave made it 19-18 with 5:51 to play and Taylor added two hoops and the Raiders had a 22-19 lead after a 12-0 run.
“After that it was like, oh wow, we can score, we got this,” Taylor said of the fast start to the third. “Then it just boosted everyone’s confidence and alright we need to start taking more shots, we need to pass to the open people and just get the ball swung around.”
The teams traded 3-point plays with Ana McClave’s 3 with 14 seconds left giving the Raiders a 28-25 edge going to the fourth.
The Raiders were 8 for 17 from the floor while forcing seven turnovers in the third quarter.
“I think that’s jump-started us all year is when we can get steals, get easy buckets and that opens things up for us,” Gower said.
CV pushed the advantage to 30-25 before the Millers scored five straight to tie the game with 6:05 left.
After a Springfield 3 gave the Millers a 33-32 lead, Cali McClave and Dale both had driving layups to put the Raiders back up 36-33 with 3:32 to play.
Ana McClave’s free throws made it 38-33 and Dale’s driving layup off a pass from Cali McClave put CV up 40-33 with 2 minutes left.
The Raiders then salted the game away from the free-throw line. CV finished 15 for 26 from the line but made 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter. Ana McClave was 8 for 8 in the fourth.
“Obviously those were huge and most of those were hit by a freshman stepping up in the key moments and she showed no signs of the pressure getting to her,” Gower said.
It looked like the second quarter would be CV’s downfall again on Wednesday.
The Raiders led No. 1 Marist 12-10 after one quarter in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game before being outscored 21-4 in the second in an eventual 10-point loss.
While CV was only outscored 4-2 in the second quarter on Wednesday, it felt a bit like a missed opportunity.
Cali McClave gave the Raiders an early 3-0 lead but the Millers scored the next 12, with Reice Newell doing the damage with 10 of those points, to take a 12-3 lead.
McClave ended a 6½-minute Raiders drought with her second 3 and then hit two free throws after being following a steal.
But the Millers regained control with a 3 to take a 15-8 lead into the second quarter.
With Newell on the bench after picking up her third foul with 7:03 left in the second, the Raiders had a chance to mount a comeback.
While the CV defense didn’t allow a field goal the first six minutes of the second quarter, the offense could only muster two free throws (on six attempts).
Gonzalez ended Springfield’s drought with a steal and layup then hit a banked runner to put the Millers up 19-10 with 1:35 left in the half.
That’s the way the half ended as the Raiders finished the half just 2 for 19 from the floor and 4 for 10 from the line.
The Raiders will face a familiar foe in Mid-Willamette Conference rival Central. The teams split their regular-season meetings with the Raiders winning 39-38 at Central late in the season.
“It’s invaluable experience and I’m really excited for it,” Gower said.
Added Taylor: “It’s nice to make it here and I’m excited to share it with everyone on my team.”