Clatskanie's Maya Helmen (24) gets back on defense after scoring a basket Monday. (Photo by Jeremy McDonald)
Clatskanie's Maya Helmen (24) gets back on defense after scoring a basket Monday. (Photo by Jeremy McDonald)

SALEM – No. 1 Clatskanie rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat No. 2 Sutherlin 69-65 in overtime in a 3A nonleague girls basketball showdown Monday at the Yoda MLK Showcase at Corban University.

The reigning state champion Tigers, who trailed 32-19 late in the second quarter, came back to lead 49-44 in the fourth quarter, then prevailed in overtime despite missing standout junior guard Olivia Sprague, who fouled out.

“Having her out there, it’s not only having one of our best players out there, but a calming factor for me knowing my other best player’s out there,” Tigers junior Shelby Blodgett said of Sprague. “Not having her out there, now we have to get down-and-dirty and do what we do.”

Blodgett scored the first basket of overtime and Clatskanie quickly jumped ahead 65-61. Sutherlin junior Jadyn Vermillion answered with two baskets, but the Tigers pulled ahead and Blodgett iced the game with two free throws.

“We don’t get the same level of competition in our league, so we come here to play games like this to up our skills,” Clatskanie junior post Kaity Sizemore said.

Sizemore scored a career-high 21 points and Blodgett and Sprague added 20 and 18 points, respectively, for Clatskanie (12-1). Vermilion and junior forward Paige Bailey scored 19 points apiece for Sutherlin (15-2).

The Bulldogs made 11 three-pointers, five in the second quarter. Bailey had six three-pointers.

“We’re just going to get back to practice. We’re going to put in the past,” Bailey said. “It doesn’t mean anything right now. We didn’t lose a state championship today. It’s just another game.”

The Bulldogs will use the game as a lesson for a potential rematch in the state tournament.

“It definitely showed us who their strong players are and what we need to do better, what we need to fix, so we can come out on top,” Bailey said. “Blodgett, she’s a very good player. She is very strong, has a good shot, so maybe D-ing up on her a little more."