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Skyhawks Lose Heartbreaker in Hard-Fought Game Against Lincoln

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Skyhawks Lose Heartbreaker in Hard-Fought Game Against Lincoln

Taken by CeCe Meddock on 3/7/18

Taken by CeCe Meddock on 3/7/18

Taken by CeCe Meddock on 3/7/18

Taken by CeCe Meddock on 3/7/18

Kyle Pinnell

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On Thursday night, the Southridge Skyhawks took on the Lincoln Cardinals in a low-scoring affair in the quarterfinals at the Chiles Center.

Despite a poor shooting performance, the Skyhawks defense kept them in the game until the waning seconds before Cardinals walked away with the 39-36 victory.

“Our guys are hurting right now,” Southridge head coach Phil Vesel said. “I think we listened to the noise around us a little too much about how we were going to win a state title, and we missed a step. This was the step we had to take, and we missed that.”

The Skyhawks had the ball down by one with just under a minute left with the chance to take the lead. However, the Cardinals were able to force the game-clinching turnover as the Skyhawks lost the ball out of bounds. From that point on, the Cardinals hit their free throws to close the game and upset the number-three ranked Hawks.

Bryce Sloan led the Cardinals with a game-high 23 points, 12 coming from the free throw line, while Filip Fullerton led the Hawks with 13 points and nine rebounds.

The Hawks, whose offense has often relied on the three-pointers this season, finished the game 1-20 from beyond the arc thanks to a Fullerton three in the final seconds. The Hawks ended up out-shooting the Cardinals 28.9 percent to 23.8 percent but turned the ball over 14 times.

“I thought we got a lot of good lucks, but the problem was we started by just shooting threes instead of trying to play inside-out, creating tempo the way we wanted to,” Vesel said.

The Hawks fell behind by ten at the end of the first quarter but used an 8-0 second-quarter spurt to trim the deficit to two and claw themselves back into the game. Despite a rough start where there were more combined turnovers than fastbreak points, the Hawks only went into halftime down 14-19.

The Skyhawks took their first lead of the game with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter, courtesy of a 7-1 run, but Lincoln answered with a run of their own and never lost control of the game.

“They played good defense. They were pretty physical with us, and I thought the officiating was consistent and fair,” Vesel said. “Inside our guys just missed a few. The other thing that they did was pack the paint, and we couldn’t hit outside shots, so that snowballed”

The Hawks will play again Friday morning at 10:45 against the 10th-seeded West Salem Titans who fell to Grant 57-72 in their quarter-finals game.

The girls will continue on their path to the championship Friday afternoon at 1:30 as they take on West Linn at the Chiles Center for a place in the finals.

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Skyhawks Lose Heartbreaker in Hard-Fought Game Against Lincoln