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The Skyhawks Are Champions Once Again!

Kyle Pinnell

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For the seventh time in school history and the second time in as many years, the Southridge girls basketball team has gone out on top.

The Skyhawks slammed the door early, riding strong defense and efficient offense to a 46-27 victory over the Benson Techsters in the Oregon 6A state championship at the Chiles Center on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m just proud of my team,” sophomore Cameron Brink said.

Brink, who finished with ten points, nine rebounds, and six blocks, said that she had gained some maturity since last year’s championship game where she got into foul trouble.

“It’s just a mindset I’ve developed,” Brink said. “Just keeping my hands behind my head and not making dumb fouls.”

As far as championship game nerves go, head coach Michael Bergmann wasn’t worried because he knows the girls have been there before.

“Once the game starts you have to have control,” Bergmann said.

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With the win, Southridge High School is the first school to have both a state champion in girls basketball and girls volleyball since St. Mary’s did it in 1985-86.

The Hawks finished the game shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 40 percent from three while holding Benson to 18.9 percent on 10-53 shooting.

To get to the championship game, the Techsters had to upset the Beaverton Beavers who were the favorites to play Southridge for the third time, a matchup they have done fairly well with this season.

With just over six seconds remaining and down by one, Benson’s Tayler Lyday showed off her speed, going coast-to-coast for the game-winning layup. To stop the Techsters attack, they would have to start by containing Lyday.

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Before the game, the Skyhawks watched the replay of that Beaverton-Benson game which, according to Bergmann, helped the team realize how much they needed to key in on Lyday. That session seemed to help as Lyday got into foul trouble early and only finished with ten points in 22 minutes.

Along with watching the game, the Hawks watched an interview of Benson’s Makenzy Porter who told Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest that the Techsters were “the better team,” and “want it more,” because everybody “wanted Southridge to win.”

“We got really hyped up and really angry, and we were like ‘we just want to destroy them,’” Hoff said.

The Hawks jumped out to an early 12-3 lead in the first quarter after facing their only deficit of the game at 2-3. The Skyhawks played stellar defense as well as they held the Techsters to just one field goal in the quarter.

Southridge then used a 9-2 run start to the second quarter to effectively put the game out of reach. The Hawks went up 28-11 at halftime, and their lead was never threatened again.

The Skyhawks finished the game with 16 turnovers, most coming from trying to force the ball into the post, but Benson could never capitalize on those miscues or gain any momentum of their own.

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As far as the games go, they seemed to get easier to the Skyhawks as they progressed throughout the tournament. One of the reasons for that is that the zone improved in just three days according to Hoff.

We started to realize that our defense determines if we win or lose games now, it’s not just our offense, Hoff said.”

Next year the Skyhawks will have an even larger targets on their backs as they try to win a third straight championship and rival the Skyhawk teams of a decade ago.

For now, the Skyhawks can celebrate their success and take a step back and relax after another long, grueling season.

“It feels like all of our hard work at the end just paid off,” Hoff said.

 

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The Skyhawks Are Champions Once Again!