PORTLAND — Megan Jordan had to be told when she went to the free throw line with 10.6 seconds left that the gold ball was on the line.

“I didn’t even know the score when I first got fouled,” Jordan said. “Everyone was so excited, and talking to me, and I was like, ‘What is going on?’”

Jordan made the first, and that was enough for Ellsworth to overcome Spruce Mountain’s furious fourth-quarter rally to win 57-56 in the Class B final and claim the school’s first girls basketball title Tuesday at the Portland Expo.

“I go to the line, and I say, ‘Oh, I just got to make them,’” Jordan said. “I knew it was going in. At least the first one. The second one, I was like, ‘Meh.’”

The Eagles dominated the first three quarters and took a 48-33 lead into the final period. The Phoenix quickly took chunks out of the deficit and grabbed their first lead at 53-52.

“That’s one of the greatest things about them, you can never count them out,” Phoenix coach Zach Keene said. “We told them, you got to fight. Things aren’t perfect right now, you’ve got to fight, and they did exactly what they had to do to put themselves in position.


“Ellsworth literally just made one more play than we did, and it happens sometimes.”

Spruce Mountain led 56-54 when Ellsworth’s Addison Atherton put back a missed free throw to tie the game. After the Eagles made a stop on defense, Jordan hit her game-winning free throw with 10.6 seconds left to put Ellsworth up 57-56.

Eagles coach Andy Pooler said the team was confident that Jordan could give them the lead.

“She’s our junior captain. She’s an absolute rock,” Pooler said. “And we knew when she got fouled, we’re good, we’re fine. She’s going to bury one; it might not be two, but it’s going to be one. And she did.”

The Phoenix rebounded the second free throw and got the ball down court but turned the ball over after contact was made with an Ellsworth player.

Abby Radel led the Eagles with 17 points, including 11 in the first quarter. Grace Jaffray added 10, while Jordan and Elizabeth Boles each scored seven.


Olivia Mastine scored 20 for Spruce Mountain, while Jaydn Pingree finished with 16 and Aubrey Kachnovich contributed 10.

Mastine and Pingree each scored nine in the fourth quarter, and Mastine had 17 in the second half.

“They refused to lay down, which meant nobody else could lay down,” Keene said.

Ellsworth led by 15 after three quarters and Morgan Clifford, the Eagles’ only senior, hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 51-33.

Spruce Mountain then went on a quick 11-0 run to decrease its deficit to 51-44. Radel made one of two free throws to end Ellsworth’s drought, but that didn’t slow the Phoenix’s run.

Mastine drained a 3, Jaydn Pingree made two free throws and a layup and Mastine scored again to give Spruce Mountain a 9-0 run and its first lead of the game, 53-52.


Radel made her first field goal of the second half to reclaim the Eagles’ lead. Pingree put Spruce back in front with a pair of free throws and later added another to give the Phoenix a 56-54 lead with 49 seconds remaining in the game.

The Eagles’ pressure on both ends of the floor overwhelmed the Phoenix throughout the first half.

When on defense, Ellsworth swarmed every Spruce Mountain ball-handler, causing turnovers or forced shots or passes.

On offense, Radel sped Ellsworth up the floor and was constantly attacking the hoop, which resulted in several layup opportunities. She scored 14 points in the first half.

Almost every time other Ellsworth players caught a pass, they immediately began to drive the ball, and their penetration led to a shot or a dish out to another player, who either drove or had an open shot, and the Eagles kept making both.

The Phoenix earned several second-chance opportunities through offensive rebounds, but didn’t convert enough to keep up with the Eagles, who took a 32-15 lead into halftime.


“Spruce is really, really good. And we knew going in that they’re a gritty, physical team that they’re not afraid of anything,” Pooler said. “And we knew going into the locker room, 20 is not enough. I mean, that’s got to be a 25-, 30-point game to feel comfortable, because that run from them, that next punch is coming, and it did.”

Jaffray, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, scored the first four points of the second half to extend Ellsworth’s lead to 21 points. Led by Mastine, the Phoenix chipped away six points before the end of the third quarter.

Pooler said the Eagles might have burned too brightly too quickly.

“I think so,” he said. “You know, it’s young energy, and I think we maybe towards the third quarter, we sort of fizzled out a little bit where we just threw it all out there in the first half.”

Both state finalists are young. Neither started a senior, and the Eagles played only one while the Phoenix played two. But, while Spruce Mountain is a junior-heavy team, Ellsworth’s roster is mostly underclassmen.

That youthful crew has claimed the school’s first state championship.


“It’s kind of weird, people keep asking us, ‘How does it feel?’” Jordan said. “I mean, we’re so young, I don’t think we know what we’ve done.”

The Phoenix, meanwhile, had a painful end to a brilliant season. They won the school’s first basketball regional title and therefore are the first to play in a state final.

“It’s going to sting for a while,” Keene said. “But I told them, I’d rather lose with this group than win with any other group. And that’s without a shadow of a doubt in my mind.

“So, certainly proud of the effort they put forward in the second half.”

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