mercedes russell

Norcross squeaks past Springfield, 45-42

Dynamic Diamond DeShields goes for 23 as Blues rally past Millers
Dec. 27, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

LAKE OSWEGO - With her team needing a significant individual performance in order to avoid losing in the first round of an invitational tournament, Diamond DeShields stepped up and carried Norcross High to a nerve-wracking 45-42 victory over Springfield at the Nike Interstate Shootout Thursday at Lake Oswego High.

DeShields, rated the No. 1 high school recruit by several outlets, scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Lady Blues rallied from a 24-13 deficit over an inspired team that got 15 points from Mercedes Russell, rated the No. 2 high school recruit, in a rare battle amongst top level players.

Russell had several blocked shots as well, but scored 11 of her points in the first half, which ended with the Millers, the defending Class 5A state champions, leading 26-18.

DeShields scored 13 in the second half for Norcross, which had been among the nation's Top 25 teams until a recent loss, and sparked a comeback from a 38-32 deficit with five minutes remaining with a basket directly after the Millers had taken their lead. She scored again and had two assists to help her team to a 41-40 lead.

"It was a big win for us because we had just lost and dropped out of the national rankings," DeShields said. "(Springfield) really pushed us and made us play up to our abilities."

Shayla Cooper added 15 points for the Lady Blues, including a three-point play with three minutes left that put her team up 41-40 and allowed it to hold the ball in order to set-up free throws.

Senior Niki Duncan hit three 3-point shots and finished with 11 for Springfield, which had a potential game-tying 3-pointer rim out at the buzzer.

Overall, the first day of the 16-team tournament provided only one partial surprise - South Salem's 49-43 victory over Sheldon. That win moved the Saxons to the quarterfinal and a game with Oregon City.

Here are the highlights of the opening days' games:

Oregon City 58, Southridge 33 - The Pioneers overcame turnovers and missed lay-ups in their 8:30 a.m. tournament opener to win easily.

http://oregonsports.com/girls-basketball/oregon-city-takes-care-of-tourn...

South Salem 49, Sheldon 43 - The Saxons, who won the lower bracket last year, scored 22 points at the free-throw line in their victory over the Irish.

http://oregonsports.com/girls-basketball/south-salem-moves-up-and-along-...

Tigard 40, Jesuit 33 - Tigard reeled off a 14-2 run in the second half and didn't attempt a shot in the fourth quarter besides free throws.

http://oregonsports.com/tigard-tigers-girls-basketball/tigard-shoots-way...

Central Catholic 70, West Linn 31 - The Rams made a statement with a 16-2 run to open the game.

http://oregonsports.com/prep/winter/girls-basketball/central-catholic-ov...

Beaverton 44, South Eugene 33 - Youth prevailed as the Beavers, missing players to illness and discipline, eased into the quarterfinals.

http://oregonsports.com/prep/winter/girls-basketball/beaverton-overcomes...

Clackamas 57, St. Mary's 45 - The Cavaliers rallied from a 29-24 deficit with a 15-2 run in a turnover and foul-filled outing for both teams.

http://oregonsports.com/clackamas-cavaliers/clackamas-rambles-past-st-ma...

Westview 48, Willamette 39 - The Wildcats survived a rugby-like battle with the Wolverines with a balanced scoring effort.

http://oregonsports.com/westview-girls-basketball/westview-scrums-past-w...

 

 

 

 

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