TIGERS FALL IN 3A TITLE GAME

March 11, 2002 12:00 am
UNHAPPY ENDING: La Grande's Shalece Hibbert, Amanda Schuft, Chelsea Long, Lindsey Carmichael, Kayla Crouch and Christie Weaver walk off the court after shaking hands with Wilsonville's players following Wilsonville's 51-47 victory in Saturday's state championship girls basketball game in Corvallis. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
UNHAPPY ENDING: La Grande's Shalece Hibbert, Amanda Schuft, Chelsea Long, Lindsey Carmichael, Kayla Crouch and Christie Weaver walk off the court after shaking hands with Wilsonville's players following Wilsonville's 51-47 victory in Saturday's state championship girls basketball game in Corvallis. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

CORVALLIS Winning three close games in a row was too much for the La Grande Tigers to do at last weeks OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 3A Girls Basketball State Championships.

The Tigers quest for a state title will have to wait another year after their 51-44 loss Saturday night to Wilsonville. The Wildcats simply played better down the stretch, something La Grande had made a habit of doing in its first three games.

Although the shots were falling Thursday and Friday in overtime wins against Molalla and Marist, they didnt fall against Wilsonville.

I hate to say this, but you cant win many games, let alone three in a row like that, Wilsonville coach Cindy Anderson said.

Players and coaches, parents and fans were disappointed afterward, even after receiving the second-place trophy that will join the third-place trophy earned last year and the eighth-place Class 4A trophy earned in 2000.

La Grandes best season ever included all-tournament honors for Christie Weaver, who joined the first team for the second year in a row, and Lindsey Carmichael, a second-team choice.

Weaver, a junior, scored 55 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in her four tournament games. Carmichael, also a junior, tied a tournament record by going 3-for-3 from 3-point range in Fridays win over Marist and had the winning baskets against Molalla and Marist.

After three come-from-behind victories in three nights, getting a fourth against Wilsonville, the defending state champs, was too much to ask for.

I would like to think that at our best (we) would be better than anybody, La Grande coach Isaac Williams said, (but) we just didnt play our best.

Pat Perkins