PORTLAND — Aided by clutch free-throw shooting, defending regional champion Spruce Mountain secured a 40-34 victory over Medomak Valley in a Class B South girls’ basketball semifinal Tuesday at the Portland Expo.

The third-seeded Phoenix (18-2) made 13 free throws, including seven in the fourth quarter.

Spruce Mountain will play No. 1 Oceanside at 2 p.m. Friday in a rematch of last year’s regional final.

“It was chaotic,” Spruce Mountain Coach Zach Keene said of the final quarter. “I said it before: I have a lot of comfort in the players we have on the court, and the experience they have and the poise they generally play with. I will take the history they have shown me over a small blip or a couple of possessions.”

Jazmine Pingree, the Phoenix’s leading scorer Tuesday with 11 points, said the experience of last year’s run to Class B state championship game helped Spruce stay calm late in the game.

“Yes, it did, because we know where we want to be,” Pingree said. “We know where we want to be, so we had to work hard to get it.”


Spruce Mountain didn’t make a field goal in the fourth quarter but did just enough at the free-throw line. The Phoenix held a 33-24 lead before second-seeded Medomak Valley (15-5) opened the fourth on an 8-2 run. Maya Cannon scored six of her nine points during the spurt that cut Medomak’s deficit to 35-32.

“We were definitely inconsistent offensively in the second half,” Keene said. “And I was just talking to them about how I think Medomak played with a little more desperation in the second half and how that can change some things. They are very good, on top of that.”

Sara Nelson led Medomak with 11 points but fouled out midway through the fourth.

“With Sara out, we knew somebody else had to step up defensively and offensively,” Medomak Coach Lindsay Vinal said. “She’s all over the court. And they knew, ‘It was my time to step up.'”

The Panthers had a chance to make it a one-point game with less than two minutes remaining, but Chloe Fox’s layup attempt rimmed out.

“Missing those wide-open layups killed us,” Vinal said. “All year, we missed those wide-open (baskets), and this one hurt extra, and you could see it in her face. You can’t turn around and change it – that’s not the only reason why we (lost).”


Medomak Valley was soon forced to foul, and the Pingree sisters – twins Jazmine and Jaydn – combined to make five free throws down the stretch.

Medomak’s leading scorer, Kytana Williamson, was held to six points.

“They threw someone on Kytana and face-guarded,” Vinal said. “Nobody has done that all season, and that kind of rattled us a little bit. We told them to expect that because Zach is a really good coach. She’s the heart and soul of our team.”

The Panthers managed just four free throws in the opening quarter. Jaydn Pingree’s layup after a backdoor cut before the buzzer gave the Phoenix a 13-4 lead.

“We were trying to run a fade play for one of our players and it didn’t work out,” Jazmine Pingree said. “So she just cut and we made that pass.”

The score remained the same for the first two and a half minutes of the second quarter, until Cannon made Medomak Valley’s first field goal. Spruce Mountain soon extended its lead, though, and an Avery Bessey 3-pointer made it 24-12 at halftime.

Bessey finished with three 3-pointers and nine points.

“Once I see the first one go in, I know I am going to keep shooting,” Bessey said.

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