COOS BAY — "We didn’t drive 500 miles to go home empty handed,” Nyssa senior Kierra Hernandez said Friday morning after helping lead the Bulldogs to the consolation final at the Class 3A girls state basketball tournament.
Nyssa followed up an abysmal offensive performance in a quarterfinal loss to top-ranked Salem Academy with a 60-50 win over Clatskanie.
The Bulldogs face Coquille in the consolation final Saturday morning.
“I think it was definitely a great bounce-back from yesterday,” Hernandez said. “We came out ready to play.”
Hernandez finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Sailor Hartley scored 16 and Britney Arredondo added 11 for Nyssa, which scored just 19 points as a team against Salem Academy.
“I thought we did a good job attacking,” Nyssa coach Jeremy Chamberlain said. “Kierra got going inside and we finally got Britney going from outside.”
The Bulldogs missed their first 15 3-pointers against Salem Academy, but made five of them against Clatskanie. Arredondo, who had the most makes for the girls in the 3-point shootout Wednesday night, made three from long range Friday.
Nyssa was best, though at the line. The Bulldogs were 10-for-11 in the first half and made 21 of their first 24 before five late misses brought down their final percentage.
“Free throws win games and it was definitely a big part today,” said Hernandez, who went 9-for-11 from the charity stripe.
Charmberlain said his team also did a better job on defense in the second half, getting stops to stay in front.
The Bulldogs led by two at halftime and scored the first eight points in the third quarter. Clatskanie pulled within one in the fourth quarter, but Alexia Arredondo hit a 3-pointer and then Hernandez had a three-point play inside to restore a comfortable edge.
For the Tigers, the loss ended a promising run for a young team led by freshmen Oivia Sprague and Shelby Blodgett.
The two had 17 and 11 points respectively, and Blodgett also grabbed 10 rebounds, at the Tigers made the first of what they hope will be several trips to the tournament in their careers.
Sprague had a basket to pull Clatskanie within 44-43 with about five minutes to go, but the Tigers didn’t score again until Sprague’s three-point play with 1:59 to go. Nyssa led 52-46 by then and put the win away from the line.
Clatskanie coach Dawn Warren said her team had an off day.
“We didn’t hit a lot of shots that we normally hit,” she said. “We struggled running our offense.”
But she said she was proud of her team’s effort.
“I never felt like we didn’t play hard,” she said.
She was excited to get her team, with just three seniors, to state this year.
“They got a taste for it this year,” Warren said.