BEAVERTON - The Grant Girls had a short post season.
The Grant Union girls basketball team fell 54-38 to Valley Catholic in the first round of the Oregon School Activities Association playoffs Saturday, Feb. 28.
The Grant Girls won the tipoff and Grant Union's Sharon Houpt used the opportunity to score the first points of the game. Grant Union put defensive pressure on the Valiants on their first possession and was able to pick the ball off and score an easy lay up. The Grant Girls had a 6-0 lead before Valley Catholic was able to score. However, the Valiants responded quickly and were leading 13-10 after the first quarter.
The teams continued to battle in the second quarter, but Valley Catholic added to their lead. The Valiants led by eight at halftime.
Grant Union started the second half on the wrong foot and never recovered. The Grant Girls committed three straight turnovers to start the third quarter and the Valiants capitalized on them. Valley Catholic led by 17 points going into the fourth quarter.
"Turnovers were the big difference in the game," Grant Union coach Ryan Carpenter said. "In the first quarter we were out running them, but when we slowed down we started having more trouble with the press. We weren't making the best passes."
The Grant Girls closed the gap to 11 points in the fourth quarter, but were never able to take the lead.
Katelyn Page led Grant Union with 11 points and nine rebounds. Natalia Yazzie earned eight points and Taylor Croghan had six points.
Grant Union was also knocked out of the playoffs in the first round last year. The girls lost 45-35 to Harrisburg. Although the Grant Girls didn't advance any farther into the playoffs, they improved this season. Grant Union was 9-11 overall and 5-5 in Eastern Oregon League play last year. The Grant Girls were 14-10 overall and 5-5 in the EOL this season.
"It was a great season," Carpenter said. "I had a great group of kids to work with and I'm already missing getting to be around them. I'm impressed with how the girls played and never gave up. I'm proud that they played in such a tough league and still made the playoffs."
Saturday's game was the final time Houpt, Croghan and Page will wear a Grant Union basketball jersey. The three senior athletes will graduate in June.
"I'm going to miss our seniors," Carpenter said. "Katelyn is going to be tough to replace. There will be some big shoes to fill. Sharon is probably the biggest competitor on the team. She helps keep practices upbeat and really stepped up her defense this season."