Portland — Here we go, the February surprise is here! The David Douglas Scots entered Monday’s showdown with the Sandy Pioneers as a team on a mission to make the state playoffs. Like their counterparts, the Scots have a lone path there via the final Mt. Hood playoff bid, as their OSAA computer ranking isn’t high enough for an at-large bid to the 6A playoffs. With a Sandy dub, the Pioneers would have a two-game cushion for the #3 spot in the Mt. Hood Conference. As fate would have it, welcome to the chaos that is called Oregon high school basketball.
The Scots opened the scoring via a Lanaya Baxter bucket, but Sandy found their groove shortly thereafter, getting a 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead in the early going. David Douglas would tie the game up later behind Esther Alvarez’s trey and steal that she took coast-to-coast, making it a 7-7 game. The Pioneers would grab momentum to close the quarter, finishing on a 7-1 run that had them ahead 16-12 after a quarter of play. Ella Davis made it 18-12 Sandy to open the second quarter, but David Douglas hit with a 5-0 run to close within an 18-17 game.
With their lead trimmed to a lone point, Grace Lucky would find her inner Candace Parker and seize the moment. Lucky ripped off an 8-0 run to blow the game back open to a 26-17 Sandy lead, but David Douglas closed the half on a 6-0 run to close within 27-24 at the half in Portland. The second half started slow on both ends, with Lucky’s opening bucket being the lone score for a bit in the third quarter. Alvarez drilled a trey to break the cold spell for David Douglas, bringing the game to a 29-27 score. Leading 31-29, Sandy hit a 6-0 run to take a 37-29 lead, but David Douglas responded with an 8-0 run to make it a 37-37 game entering the final quarter.
For the final sequel, the two teams provided a memorable final act on the floor. Davis opened the final quarter with a bucket, but Lanaya Baxter put together a three-point play to hand David Douglas their first lead since 2-0 in the first quarter 40-39. Baxter got another layup shortly after, extending the lead to 42-39 early in the final quarter. After trading buckets down the stretch, Sydney Brewster got back-to-back buckets to give them a 47-46 lead with less than two minutes to go. David Douglas would have a hero in the wings: Awek Depiok drove to the rim and pulled up a floater in the lane, banking in the shot and putting the Scots ahead 48-47 with 90 seconds left. After shutting down Sandy on the next possession, Alvarez put the icing on the cake with a trey that made it 51-47 Scots, a score that would stand as the final one and bring chaos into a tight Mt. Hood Conference playoff race.
David Douglas: This program showed a lot of heart, grit, and fight on the court, they refused to give up in any part of the game. Lanaya Baxter, Esther Alvarez, and Awek Depiok are a threatening trio that have great chemistry on the floor, they complement each other so well in all aspects of the game. How far this program can go will be dependent on how well these three are functioning on the floor, but they have every reason to believe in themselves moving forward.
Sandy: The Pioneers had several chances to pull away and close this one out, but it alas simply didn’t happen that way. Their rebounding was nothing short of flat, as David Douglas continuously put in second-chance points in the paint and after poking the ball out to the mid-range/perimeter of the floor. They could’ve been more efficient on putbacks in the paint, and their defense needed to be tighter all the way around. The Pioneers are still in prime position to make the playoffs, but they have much to dissect about themselves if they want to keep it that way.