Lady Viks cage Aardvarks 48-45

Vale’s Emersyn Johnson drives toward the basket during a non-league contest with Fruitland earlier in the season. (The Enterprise/File)

PORTLAND – The Vale varsity girls basketball team used a big second half and performances from key players to post a 48-45 win over Oregon Episcopal School Friday in a first-round Class 3A playoff game.

“It was an exciting game,” said Vale coach Jason Johnson.

The Vikings trailed by nine at halftime and grabbed their first lead, 43-42, late in the game when Emersyn Johnson hit a key three-point bucket. 

Viking Kailey McGourty victimized the Aardvarks inside the paint with 16 points to lead the Vikings. McGourty became the weapon of choice for the Vikings after the Aardvarks (19-4) used defense to stymie Vale’s outside guards.

“They did a good job of spreading us out but we were able to get the ball inside to McGourty,” said Johnson.

Johnson said his team faced adversity and overcame it.

“They kind of had us on the ropes but our kids did a nice job competing. (Matyson) Siddoway had a couple of huge baskets down the stretch. They just didn’t quit,” said Johnson.


Johnson said the Vikings made key adjustments at halftime and came out in the third quarter with a different defense.

“We played full court, man-to-man and didn’t let them set up their offense. We didn’t get nearly as spread out defensively in the half court set,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the Vikings “found some flow finally” and battled back to claim the win.

“To have the benefit of getting a win there and getting rewarded for your efforts, I think that is something for our kids to feel good about,” said Johnson.

The Vikings will face Sutherlin in North Bend at 8:15 p.m. Pacific Thursday, in a quarterfinal game. Sutherlin (23-2) is ranked second in the state. Sutherlin brings an eight-game winning streak to the match. 

Vale (17-8) is ranked ninth.

Johnson said Sutherlin is a “tall order.”

“They are awfully good. But I would just as soon play the top teams the first day because that gives us an opportunity to prepare for them,” said Johnson.

New tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or 541-473-3377. 

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