Crater tops Lebanon, moves into semifinals


    Crater's girls get instruction from coach Scott Dippel during an earlier game this season.

    CORVALLIS — Crater’s veterans came through when the Comets needed them most.

    And the result was a 42-39 victory over Lebanon in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A girls basketball state tournament Thursday at Gill Coliseum.

    Crater, the seventh seed, next meets Midwestern League rival Springfield, the No. 3 seed, in the semfinals at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Springfield defeated Churchill, another MWL squad, 54-46.

    Top-seeded Wilsonville and No. 5 La Salle play in the other semifinal.

    The Comets (22-4) appeared to be in good shape against No. 2 seed Lebanon (21-4), going on an 8-0 surge to end the third quarter for a 35-22 lead.

    However, Lebanon answered with a 13-1 run to pull within 36-35 with 2:58 to play.

    “They changed their pressure,” said Crater coach Scott Dippel, “and we missed a lay-in and had two straight turnovers, and they scored on all three possessions.”

    Then it was time for the seniors to shine.

    Sydney Gray was perfect at the free-throw line down the stretch, and Maya Van Hook and Nehkyah Ellis contributed big plays.

    “The experience of our seniors showed,” said Dippel. “I felt like they kind of calmed it a little bit a the very end.”

    Gray scored all of Crater’s final points at the line, going 6-for-6.

    Lebanon, trailing 40-39 with 51 seconds left, had a chance to tie it, but Ellie Croco missed a free throw and Crater’s Taryn Dance rebounded.

    Crater worked the clock down until Dance found an open path to the basket against the Warriors’ over-playing defense. She raced in for a layup but missed, and Lebanon’s Maddy Romeo rebounded with 24 seconds left.

    Gray came up with a steal, however, with five seconds left, preventing Lebanon from getting off a potential winning shot.

    Gray was fouled and made her final two shots with three seconds left, pushing it to 42-39, and she came up with another steal moments later to end the game.

    Van Hook had 15 points, six rebounds and four steals. Gray had nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Ellis grabbed 10 rebounds.

    In semifinal opponent Springfield, Crater faces a team that has defeated the Comets twice this season, 37-26 and 52-40.

    Springfield won the MWL title with a 14-1 record. Crater and Churchill were 13-2.

    “They pretty much know everything we do, and we know everything they do,” said Dippel. “It’ll come down to basketball players making plays.”

    CRATER (22-4)

    Maya Van Hook 4-8 7-10 15; Sydney Gray 1-6 7-8 9; Taryn Dance 2-4 0-0 5; Madison Dutkiewicz 2-3 0-0 4; Nehkyah Ellis 1-5 0-0 3; Kayana Woodard 1-2 0-0 3; Averi Young 1-4 0-0 2; Presley Robison 0-4 1-1 1; Eliza Idiart 0-3 0-0 0; McKenzie Hirsch 0-3 0-0 0; Kayleigh Gugliotta 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-42 15-19 42.

    LEBANON (21-4)

    Ellie Croco 6-11 4-8 16; Megan Miller 4-6 1-2 10; Paige Wombacher 2-9 0-0 4; Mary Workman 1-5 0-0 3; Morgan Hopkins 1-2 0-0 2; Kylie Steiner 1-4 0-0 2; Maddy Romeo 1-7 0-0 2; Taylor Edwards 0-0 0-0 0; Hollie Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-44 5-10 39.

    Crater7 11 17 7— 42

    Lebanon2 8 12 17— 39

    3-point goals—Crater 3-10 (Nehkyah Ellis 1-3; Kayana Woodard 1-1; Taryn Dance 1-2; Presley Robison 0-1; Eliza Idiart 0-1; Madison Dutkiewicz 0-1; Maya Van Hook 0-1), Lebanon 2-15 (Mary Workman 1-4; Megan Miller 1-2; Maddy Romeo 0-6; Paige Wombacher 0-2; Ellie Croco 0-1). Fouled out—Lebanon-Megan Miller. Rebounds—Crater 34 (Nehkyah Ellis 10), Lebanon 33 (Ellie Croco 11). Assists—Crater 6 (Sydney Gray 3), Lebanon 7 (Maddy Romeo 2; Mary Workman 2; Ellie Croco 2). Total fouls—Crater 16, Lebanon 16.

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