Vale girls basketball edges Riverdale for ticket to 3A state tournament

Vale’s Lexi Schaffeld looks to pass the ball during a state playoff game against Riverdale Saturday in Portland. 

PORTLAND – The Vale girls varsity basketball team etched a place in Viking lore Saturday with a 62-49 upset win over seventh-ranked Riverdale in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

Gracee Jacobs poured in 20 points and Matyson Siddoway added 16 as the Vikings overpowered the 22-2 Mavericks. 

Vale (15-10) also got 13 points from Emersyn Johnson during the contest.

Now the Vikings travel nearly 500 miles to face Blanchet Catholic (22-4) Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay for a quarterfinal game. 

Blanchet Catholic is ranked third by the Oregon School Activities Association. 

The Mavericks rode into the game with Vale on a 20-game win streak and had not lost a game since early December.

Key players put together big performances for the Vikings, said assistant coach Zach Knapp.

“We shot better than I think we anticipated and had a lot of kids hit really big shots. We shot really well from the perimeter,” said Knapp.

Jacobs collected 10 of her points from the free throw line. Jacobs finished the night 10 of 14 from the charity stripe. 

Knapp said the performance by Jacobs was pivotal.

“It is Gracee doing what Gracee is good at doing,” said Knapp. “And Matyson (Siddoway) is showing tons of maturing in the post season and doing a lot of the things we need her to do.”

Knapp said the Vikings stingy defense – an aggressive man-to-man formula – worked against the Mavericks.

“We play a style (of defense) that is a little more aggressive than what than what they are used to. A lot of teams on that side of the state play a lot of zone and don’t see much man,” said Knapp.

Knapp said the final score was misleading.

“We kind of broke out early. But they kept clawing back and kept it close and competitive the whole time,” said Knapp.

Knapp said the Lady Vikings recognize the post-season road ahead is going to be a challenge but said the team is ready to play Blanchet Catholic.

 “It will be very tough game for us but we are doing our best to formulate a plan. But the plan is always to win. There are some very, very good teams on our road we will have to get through but I think we are excited about the opportunity to go at them,” said Knapp.

Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.