Ashland players celebrate after securing a berth to the Class 5A state tournament on Saturday with a win over Marshfield.

Ashland charges into state tournament

ASHLAND — The Grizzlies' big three made room for a fourth on Saturday.

Drew Van Vleck hit four 3-pointers on her way to 14 points and Allison Gida scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the second quarter as Ashland buried visiting Marshfield 51-35 in the second-round of the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs at McNeal Pavilion.

The win advances the fifth-ranked Grizzlies (19-7) to the 5A state tournament starting Thursday at the Chiles Center in Portland, where Ashland is set to face third-ranked Hillsboro (22-1) in the quarterfinals.

The Pirates (15-10), seeking their first state tourney appearance since 1989, stayed with the Grizzlies through the first eight minutes, but Ashland gradually pulled away after that, outscoring Marshfield 32-12 in the middle two quarters before playing keep-away in the fourth.

"We've been talking about this for a long time," Ashland head coach Tom McCracken said. "When we played opponents that were not the caliber of tournament teams, we talked about, 'What do you gotta do tonight to play against the best in the state.' We've been geared for this for quite a while."

Gida, along with seniors Brenna Heater and Kelsey McKinnis, gave the Grizzlies a potent 1-2-3 combination during their undefeated Southern Sky Conference campaign. But with the season on the line, Van Vleck gave the Marshfield defense another fire to put out. The Pirates couldn't do that early on — the junior guard drained a trio of 3s in the first quarter to help Ashland ward off Marshfield's initial surge.

Gida took over from there. A fadeaway jumper by the junior guard sparked a one-girl, 10-0 run, and Van Vleck followed with a jumper of her own to give the Grizzlies a 29-21 cushion.

Ashland's lead never dipped below six points again, and the Grizzlies outscored the Pirates 9-0 to start the second half, all but burying Marshfield midway through the third quarter.

"You've got to give Ashland credit, they're a good basketball team," Marshfield co-head coach Mike George said. "I think we just ran out of gas. We played a hard game on Wednesday and I don't know what we shot in the third quarter, but it was not very good. We missed a lot of shots that we normally make ... and they made shots. I think that was the difference right there."

Heater added 10 points and McKinnis, the SSC player of the year, scored five for the Grizzlies, who will be looking for their first quarterfinal victory since 2006.

Marshfield, which beat Dallas 35-25 on Wednesday, was led by senior guard Brianna George, who had nine points and two assists, and senior guard Mel Stout, who had nine points and three rebounds.

In other 5A playoff games Saturday: No. 8 North Eugene trounced Marshall 58-13; No. 4 Corvallis topped Bend 54-44; Hillsboro ran away from Bend 72-59; No. 2 Jefferson blitzed Crater 80-59; No. 7 Summit pummeled Wilsonville 51-34; top-ranked Willamette eased past Hermiston 76-41; and No. 9 Sherwood upset No. 6 Silverton 56-53.

MARSHFIELD (35) — George 9, Scott 2, Jansen 4, Roberge 2, Stout 9, Young 1, Hockema 2, Caffey 4, Beasley 2. Totals: 12 9-19 35.

ASHLAND (51) — Van Vleck 14, Contreras 0, McKinnis 5, Patton 4, Gida 18, Heater 10, Zehren 0, Petitt 0, Palmesano 0, Pavlich 0, Del Carlo 0. Totals: 20 5-5 51.

Marshfield 15 8 4 8 — 35

Ashland 15 14 18 4 — 51

3-point goals — Marshfield 2 (George 2), Ashland 6 (Van Vleck 4, McKinnis 1, Gida 1). Fouled out — Del Carlo. Technical fouls — none.

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