PORTLAND — Knowing her next two foul shots might determine the game’s outcome, a nervous Jadyn Pingree stepped to charity stripe with 17.5 seconds remaining and the scored tied in a Class B quarterfinal basketball showdown at the Portland Expo early Saturday.

One of Pingree’s two free throws passed through the hoop and gave the third-seeded Phoenix a 43-42 lead.

Pingree was fouled again, and again dropped in one of two freebies, allowing Spruce to slip away with a 44-42 victory over sixth-ranked Lincoln Academy (10-7).

The Phoenix (14-5) will take their postseason incursion a step further, squaring off against undefeated and second-ranked Oceanside (17-0) in the semifinals at the Expo on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Pingree (11 points) was in the thick of the action and proved to be annoying on defense to the Eagles (10-7), forcing seven turnovers and coming up with five steals. The sophomore guard also delivered from the free-throw line despite being a bundle of nerves.

“(I have) never been in this situation before,” Pingree said. “I mean I know we were looking forward to it because we have a good team — like we are just very young.


“Toward the second half, our team was feeling it. (The Eagles) are really good. They are athletic and it is very hard to play against them. Their press was good, but we handled it well.”

It was a knock-down, drag-out fight for the entire game, with referees continually calling fouls as players were knocked to the floor.

“Our team work, that’s what put us together,” Pingree said. “First, we were like arguing back and forth, but then we put together our team and we really did it.”

With 1:35 left in the game, the score stood at 42-42 and both teams’ defenses were ramped up — making the possibility of overtime imminent. But with 17.5 seconds left, Pingree was fouled and dropped in one of two foul shots. She was fouled again with 1.8 seconds remaining and slipped in another foul shot.

“I think being young in that situation — being a bunch of sophomores sometimes can be helpful,” Spruce Mountain coach Zach Keene said. “They may not realize how big of a moment it is. That’s who you want at the free-throw line.”

Pingree’s heroics did the trick, but there were other players who kept the Phoenix aloft throughout the close game. Sophomore guard Olivia Mastine scored the game-high 16 points, went 10-for-12 from the free-throw line and grabbed seven rebounds.


“We just continued to compete and compete and compete,” Keene said. “We rebounded terribly. They took every run that Lincoln Academy went on and responded and kept on going and plugging away and hit some big free-throw, and that is what you have to do this time of year — and that is what we did.”

Lincoln was equally physical underneath the net and quite capable of utilizing the fast break and implementing a sturdy press.

“(Lincoln) is tough,” Keene said. “They play hard, they play physical, they are well-coached. We knew we would be in for a battle. We knew that. Luckily we pulled it out.”

The Eagles’ Grace Houghton scored a team-high 13 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, triggered five turnovers and was credited with four steals.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.