PENDLETON — The No. 5 Faith Bible Falcons had been in control for most of the second half, until they found themselves trailing the No. 4 Grant Union Prospectors 47-44 with just over two minutes left in their Class 2A quarterfinal game on Thursday at Pendleton High School.
That’s when head coach Eddie Kirkpatrick called a timeout, knowing he just needed to settle his team down.
“I think we just lost focus there for a little bit when we got down,” Kirkpatrick said. “We’re kind of a veteran and younger team mixed together, so some of them started freaking out thinking they had to go win the game with three minutes left. But once we were able to call a timeout, they were able to settle down and put it together.”
Whatever it was that Kirkpatrick said to his team, it worked for the Falcons. Faith Bible outscored Grant Union 9-2 over the final 2:15, including going 7-of-10 from the free throw line, to squeeze out a 53-49 victory and secure a spot in the Class 2A semifinals on Friday. “It feels amazing,” Kirkpatrick said. “This is stuff we’ve been talking about for years and to be here is unreal.”
Izzy Steerman was named Player of the Game for the Falcons (26-2) as she had a game-high 19 points. Twins Katie and Sarah Fajer were dominant inside for the Falcons, too, combining for 24 points, 22 rebounds and six blocked shots.
For the Prospectors (21-4), Kaylee Wright led with 16 points and Mariah Moulton had 11 points.
Faith Bible led 27-19 at halftime and led by as much as nine at 34-25 with 3:38 left in the third quarter. Grant Union then made a run and tied the game at 40-40 and then took its first lead since early in the second quarter at 45-43 with 4:20 left on a jumper by Wright.
But Grant Union missed its last 10 shots and had three turnovers in the final 2:15 to let the Falcons steal the victory.
The teams also had to endure an extra long halftime break, as inclement weather outside sprung a small leak in the PHS gym’s roof that was discovered as volunteers were sweeping the floor. The start of the second half was delayed approximately 25 minutes for the issue to be fixed.
Faith Bible will play No. 1 Kennedy at the Pendleton Convention Center at 1:30 p.m. in the state semifinals. Grant Union will play No. 8 Heppner in consolation at the Convention Center at 9 a.m.
NO. 2 MONROE 74, NO. 7 GOLD BEACH 31 — The defending state champion Monroe Dragons made quick work of their quarterfinal game on Thursday, thumping the No. 7 Gold Beach Panthers 74-31 at Pendleton High School.
The Dragons (25-3) opened the game on a 10-0 run and led 26-5 at the end of the first quarter and cruised through the remaining three quarters for the win. Peyton Greene had a game-high 21 points to go with six rebounds and four steals for the Dragons. Also scoring in double figures were Kyndal Martin with 14 and six assists, Kalley Martin with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Madison Ballard with 11 points.
Brianna Seuser-Smith led Gold Beach (18-7) with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
The Dragons will play No. 6 St. Paul on Friday at 3:15 p.m. in the semifinals at Pendleton Convention Center. Gold Beach faces No. 3 Oakland in the consolation bracket at 10:45 a.m. at the Convention Center, as well.
NO. 6 ST. PAUL 39, NO. 3 OAKLAND 36 — Erin Counts nailed a pair of clutch free throws with only 16 seconds left to help her No. 6 St. Paul Buckaroos knock off the No. 3 Oakland Oakers 39-36 in the Class 2A quarterfinal on Thursday night at Pendleton High School.
The Buckaroos (23-5) trailed 18-17 at halftime and trailed 20-17 early in the third quarter before battling back. They took a 21-20 lead with 5:28 left in the third and never trailed for the remainder of the game and was only tied once with Oakland (26-3), 29-29, with 5:49 left in the fourth.
Emma Connor had a big game for the Buckaroos with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Logan Robinson added 10 points and five boards.
Hadley Brooksby led the Oakers with a game-high 20 points and Grace Witten chipped in seven points and seven rebounds.
St. Paul now plays Monroe in the semifinal on Friday at 3:15 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention Center. Oakland plays Gold Beach at 10:45 a.m. at the Convention Center in the consolation bracket.