Coach’s Corner, Part 7


Emily Anderson

The girls basketball team huddles before two crucial free throws with 1.5 seconds left in the game Tuesday. The Eagles beat Clackamas for the first time in 30 years Tuesday night.

Despite our close proximity, Clackamas has not been in our league for long so we have not played them nearly as often as you’d expect, but our win Tuesday was the first time we’ve conquered them in the 29 years I’ve been at CHS. 

Other than them joining the MHC recently, I think the last time we played them was 1997 when we lost a second round playoff game when their 6’1 First Team All State player, Cheryl Sorenson, took over late to erase a small Eagle lead.  (Sorenson went on to become a Pac 12 all-star at the U of Washington; she was very good and when she realized they were about to be upset, she made sure it didn’t happen.)

A side not for that game is the point guard for Clackamas at the time was Korey Beeler, who is now the head coach for the Cavs. Her last name is now Landolt as she married a Centennial kid. Small world.

Tuesday’s game was pretty intense. We were awful early.  Out-of-synch doesn’t even come close to describing how bad we were as it was one of those starts that makes me think there should be a refund opportunity for anyone who wants to leave before half time.  I would have been the first one in line. But somehow these dang kids found the will to compete, and watching them rush down the court at the end was a special moment.

There were several big moments in the game, and we wouldn’t have won without every one of them going our way.  Ellie Basinski hit a couple of 3’s late; one coming just as a Clackamas player Hallie Byzewski fouled her which led to a rare 4-point play. (Hallie is one of my best friend’s daughter, so this had a little something special in it. Small world, Part II.) Maggie Martine was good all night and had several crucial rebounds to go with her 10 points.  

Maddie McHone covered every square inch of the court and converted a 3-point play from a perfect Kaitlyn Perry pass. Domonique Andrews struggled from the field, but hit four clutch FT’s late, including two with 1.5 seconds to play to ice it. Charlie Marcum hit a huge 3 pointer and made a nice move on a step through layin to finish with 5 points.  And Naomi Daychild hit two bombs—one of them coming off a steal at the end of the 3rd that showed an understanding for the game that is impossible to teach.

My favorite moment for the game came with a couple of minutes left as Assistant Coach Kevin Christie tapped me on the leg and said, “Look at your bench.”  Every one of those kids—whether they had played or not—was into it. To win one like that makes me very happy. And to hear that Assistant Coach BJ Basinski had tears in his eyes as he stepped away from the celebration tells you how special Tuesday night was.  Centennial simply does not beat Clackamas very often.

It will take a much better effort to win tonight as we play Barlow—the team with the best talent in the league.  The Bruins have a player-of-the-year candidate in 6’3 Libby Mathis, one of the best all-around athletes in the state in Hannah Rispler, and a really strong all-around player in Emory Miller.  (Small world, Part III. Rispler’s cousins played for CHS/me several years back. Miller’s mom, Tara, starred at Barlow in the 1990’s, and her dad taught PE at CMS a few years back.)

So, yeah, this game has a couple of games within the game.

But the biggest one is that we need to win.  We are not supposed to, but if we can keep it close early I think we will be in it all night long.   And if that is the case, anything can happen.