Prep hoops: Lady Viks finish third in state

COOS BAY – Kesley Stepleton scored 14 points while Halle Peterson poured in 13 and Hailey Cleaver scored eight to push the Vale girls varsity basketball team past Sutherlin, 49-26, to claim third place at the Class 3A state girls basketball tournament Saturday, March 2.

Against Sutherlin the Lady Vikings bounced back from a close, 50-49 loss to eventual state champion Corbett Friday in a semifinal game.

In the Sutherlin contest, Vale (25-3) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Vale led 28-15 at halftime and was out in front 37-24 going into the final stanza.

The Vikings outscored Sutherlin 12-2 in the fourth quarter to ice the win.

Against Corbett (27-0) in the semifinal game Friday night, Stepleton’s two-point bucket with a minute remaining tied the contest but Carly Hardie made a free-throw with 1.7 seconds to go to give the Cardinals the 50-49 victory.

Hardie’s free throw came after Vale held Corbett scoreless for 5½ minutes down the stretch.

Against Corbett, Cleaver paced the Lady Vikings with 12 points while Peterson and Stepleton scored nine apiece. Ally Schimel led the Cardinals with 21 points.

Corbett defeated Amity (24-4), 77-51, Saturday to claim the state crown.

Vale opened the tournament Thursday, Feb. 29, with a dominating 40-28 win over Banks (21-7). Cleaver scored 18 points to lead Vale past Banks.

In other prep state basketball action, the Jordan Valley Lady Mustangs, after downing Spray/Mitchell/Wheeler in the first round of the playoffs Wednesday, Feb. 21, 64-31, fell to Echo Saturday, Feb. 24, 51-41, ending the Lady Mustangs run in the 1A girls state playoff competition.

Jordan Valley went 8-0 in their High Desert League, finishing second. The squad was 20-4 overall and was ranked No. 3 this season.

Kelsi Skinner, head coach of the Jordan Valley girls basketball team, was unavailable for comment.

The Nyssa Lady Bulldogs fell to Amity Thursday, Feb. 29, in the state quarterfinals. The Lady Bulldogs were defeated by Creswell 62-38 in the Friday, March 1 consolation game. Jeremy Chamberlain, head coach of the Nyssa girls basketball team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Lady Bulldogs ended their season 18-11 and were 8-2 in the Eastern Oregon League, finishing second. The squad was ranked No. 9 this season.

2023-2024 Vale girls varsity basketball team roster:

Team roster: Seniors Hailey Cleaver, Halle Peterson, Kacie Jacobs; Junior Bella Johnson, sophomores Elli Jacobs, Bailey Blake, Kesley Stepleton, Karlee Crane, Peyton Bates, Claire Johnson, Greta Chamberlain and Izzy Maag.

Head coach: Randy Seals. Assistant coaches: Kami Hawkins, Shelby Sappe

CORRECTION: This story has been updated from its original version to correct the spelling of Corbett. The Enterprise regrets the error.

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