In theory, five almost-Brittany McPhees should beat one superstar Brittany McPhee every time in a girls basketball showdown.
Especially when that one super-human junior is just rounding back into form after a week-long battle with the flu.
Still, there were a few hold-your-breath moments Monday as McPhee and the top-ranked Mount Rainier Rams hosted national powerhouse Oregon City and all of its college-bound players in a King Showcase Classic at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
McPhee did her best to pull this one out – scoring 30 points, including the final nine of regulation. But the Pioneers had the final say as Jenae Paine made an 18-foot corner jumper at the buzzer, lifting Oregon City to a 54-52 overtime victory.
It was the Rams’ first loss of the season (16-1). Yet, as the Mount Rainier girls made their way out of the locker room, they were not sulking. They were as upbeat as you’d expect after losing a heartbreaker.
“We’ve been fighting the flu all weekend,” McPhee said. “I am really proud they fought hard.”
It was probably a game in which the Rams were underdogs coming in. Before last month’s loss to Central Catholic, Oregon City was ranked 13th in the country – and is still rated No. 1 in that state’s 6A rankings.
And as many turnovers as the Pioneers were forcing with their full-court pressure (22), they could not make the Rams pay on the other end with wide-open 3-pointers (2-for-27).
Still, Oregon City (15-1) led 46-37 with 2:46 to go.
“It was a game we could just never quite stretch it out and put them away,” Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf said. “We have been a team when usually we get you up 10 (points), we put the pedal to the metal and get after it. We just could not make enough shots.”
A nine-point deficit just isn’t large enough when McPhee is still around. She went on a 9-0 run by herself to close out regulation – capped by two free throws with 3.2 seconds to go – to force overtime.
In overtime, the Pioneers were getting baskets, but Amber Guillot and Aqueelah Williams made 3-pointers to keep it tied at 52-52 as Oregon City set up a final possession.
Paine initially missed a 3-pointer with a few seconds to go, but the ball rotated back to her off a rebound, and she took one step closer to the basket – and made the 18-footer right when the buzzer sounded.
“It was a great effort,” Mount Rainier coach Bob Bolam said. “To come back with a lot of kids not feeling well we sucked it up and came through.”
Foss boys 60, Columbia River 29: Dezymn Trent is starting to notice that with bigger stages come extraordinary responsibility. And he is responding with eye-popping performances.
Receiving his first official NCAA Division I basketball scholarship offer from Seattle University last week, the 6-foot-5 guard tallied a career-high 41 points as the sixth-ranked Falcons walloped the senior-loaded Chieftains in King Showcase action at the ShoWare Center.
Trent made 17 of his 29 field goal attempts – most in transition as Foss’ full-court pressure constantly rattled the Columbia River guards. He added 16 rebounds before leaving with just more than two minutes remaining.
And the recruiting audience is picking up, too – assistant coaches from Portland State, Santa Clara and Idaho were in attendance courtside.
“I feel like my hard work is paying off,” Trent said.
Five consecutive Columbia River turnovers to start the second quarter led to an 8-0 Foss run and a 17-3 lead with 6:17 to go.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 email@example.com blogs.thenewstribune.com/preps @ManyHatsMilles