Stayton — 5A’s Ridgeview faced off with 4A foe Cottage Grove on Saturday night in the SCTC Tournament Girls Bracket Championship at Stayton High School. Entering the evening, both schools had completely different paths in terms of difficulty to the championship match. Ridgeview torched Warrenton 42-19 and defeated host Stayton 40-31 Friday night. Cottage Grove had a pair of battles with Seaside and Valley Catholic, but ultimately won both of them by scores of 33-26 and 59-55.
Marley Sargent opened up the match with a trey to get Ridgeview up on Cottage Grove early, and Jenna Albrecht put up a bucket to make it 5-0 Ravens in the early going. Ema Gardner’s three point play got the Lions on the scoreboard trailing 5-3, and after a Ravens bucket, another three point play this time by Gracie Arnold cut the lead to 7-6. Ridgeview closed out the quarter on a 4-0 run to lead 11-6 after one quarter of play.
The Ravens came out swinging in the second quarter, blowing open a hole on the scoreboard with a 7-0 run to seize an 18-6 lead midway through the second. Gardner’s pair of free throws ended the run for Cottage Grove, but another 3-0 run made it a 21-8 match. Ridgeview kept their foot on the gas pedal for the rest of the quarter, eventually opening up a firm 32-16 halftime advantage to head into the locker room with.
In the third, Ridgeview and Cottage Grove traded buckets back and forth throughout the quarter, as neither team could get a run on the other. The Lions did cut the lead to 14 points entering the final frame, where they finally started to find their offensive groove. Cottage Grove, led by Gracie Arnold, closed to within 32-24 with an 8-0 run that stretched six minutes into the fourth quarter. A bucket by Albrecht finally snapped the Ravens scoreless streak, giving them a ten point cushion to work with down the stretch. The Lions fought hard to close the gap, but it was simply too much to overcome as Ridgeview hung on 45-37 to win the SCTC Holiday Girls Tournament.
With a tournament championship on their non-conference resume, Ridgeview’s Paige Pentzer, Jenna Albrecht, and Head Coach Alicia Love discussed the tournament title, the mood around the team, and the gameplan for Cottage Grove.
Paige Pentzer on the team mood, “We’re all definitely excited, I mean all of our matches were close but we went on to pull away and win.” Jenna Albrecht, “We’re all super pumped in there, that’s why we came out with fire and intensity, we’re all really excited about it.”
Jenna Albrecht on the game plan, “We wanted to be aggressive on defense, all up in their faces and just playing solid defense. So I think that’s where it starts is on defense, then it carries over onto offense for us.” Paige Pentzer, “Before every game, we go over having great confidence. I think that every one of us out there is playing to win, and I think that really gives us a momentum boost.”
Coach Love on the takeaways from the tournament, “We came into this weekend really trying to use it as motivation for league, and our goal is to win a state championship, something that is definitely doable and we thought we could use this as a building block for winning a championship. That is the mentality we used this weekend to really build ourselves up.”
Ridgeview (8-5) hosts Putnam on Tuesday, Cottage Grove (7-4) hosts Crook County Tuesday