PORTLAND – No one has to remind Grant’s girls basketball team about the dangers of coming out flat to start the playoffs.
So one year after stumbling to a first-round home loss, the Generals took care of visiting Glencoe in short order Thursday night in the opening round of the 6A playoffs.
Behind 31 points from senior wing Monka Hickok, No. 9 seed Grant blitzed to a 63-39 win over No. 24 Glencoe at the Marshall Campus. The Generals scored the first eight points, built the lead to double digits late in the first quarter and never looked back, earning a date at No. 8 South Medford (22-4) in Saturday’s round of 16.
“We didn’t want a repeat of what happened last year,” Hickok said of the two-point defeat to Central Catholic. “We lost because we just went in thinking we were going to win, overlooking the first game. So this year we did everything possible to make sure that didn’t happen again.”
Hickok was particularly assertive, taking the ball to the basket at every opportunity. She scored 15 points in the first quarter, sat out the second quarter with three fouls, and returned to score 10 more points in the third quarter.
“Physical, athletic, can shoot the ball,” Glencoe coach Kassi Conditt said of Hickok. “She does everything for them. She had a great game.”
Grant, which made the semifinals in 2017, now can look ahead to the matchup against high-octane South Medford. The Panthers are averaging a 6A-high 70.4 points per game.
“I think it’s going to go really well for our team because we don’t play particularly well when we go slow,” Hickok said. “We’re an athletic team, we’re fast, and we like to play fast. That’s what we try to do all the time. I also love to get on the road and be the underdog.”
The game also represents a chance to Hickok to play against her future Weber State teammate, South Medford’s Ula Chamberlin.
“It’ll be really good to compete against Ula before we play together,” Hickok said.
Grant coach Michael Bontemps knows the task that lies ahead for his team.
“We’ve got to go down there and be perfect,” Bontemps said. “They’re good enough that we have to be good. We can’t be sloppy, we can’t be tentative. We’ve got to use our strengths.”
Thursday’s solid performance gives the Generals a shot of momentum.
“We were good today,” Bontemps said. “It gets a little tougher every round. I’m glad of where we were today. We took care of business. I got to play everybody, got to send all the seniors out on a good night. I think everybody felt good about where we are.”
Against Glencoe, Hickok shouldered much of the load on offense and the Generals locked down on defense, holding Glencoe to 26.9-percent shooting (14 of 56). Grant also dominated the boards behind the 5-foot-10 Hickok and 6-2 sophomore Schuyler Berry.
“We’re undersized. We have been all year,” Conditt said. “We just got killed on the glass.”
Berry and senior guard Amaya Aldridge chipped in with six points each for Grant. Senior point guard Morgan DeBord led Glencoe with 11 points.
The Crimson Tide (13-12), which lost in the first round for the fourth year in a row, can take consolation in how it showed vast improvement in the second half of Pacific Conference play. Glencoe entered the playoffs winning seven of nine.
“They played with heart for that second half of league,” Conditt said. “They came together. I’m proud of the work that our seniors have done.”
Other first-round games Thursday night:
Century 68, St. Mary's Academy 44: The host Jaguars shot a blistering 60 percent (27 for 45) to eliminate the Blues. Century closed the first half on a 9-0 run to lead 35-20 and kept its distance in the second half.
Angie Baltazar had 14 points and Barakat Rahmon, Janelle Maligaya and Amy Walkenhorst added 13 points each for the Jaguars. Walkenhorst also had eight rebounds.
St. Mary's Academy got 12 points from Jewyl Newton and 11 points from Anna Eddy.
West Salem 38, Sherwood 31: Maddie Bertsch scored 14 points to lead the visiting Titans to the win. Aubrie Emmons had 13 points for Sherwood.
West Salem led 22-15 at half. The Titans shot 14 of 30 from the field; Sherwood shot 9 of 39.
Beaverton 61, Clackamas 39: The host Beavers had five players in double figures, led by Jordy Reverman's 16 points and Alexa Borter's 13, against the Cavaliers. Mary Kay Naro had 11 points, five assists and four steals for Beaverton.
The Beavers made seven three-pointers in the first half -- three by Reverman -- to open a 16-point lead at the break. Beaverton's height and length overwhelmed Clackamas.
Kalani Hayes scored 25 points, 17 in the first half, for the Cavaliers.
West Linn 63, Cleveland 43: Audrey Roden made 8 of 12 shots and scored 20 points and Cami Fulcher had seven points, six rebounds and 11 assists as the host Lions rolled.
Cleveland made four three-pointers in the first half to stay within 34-24 but was outscored 22-8 in the third quarter. Gretta Baker had 16 points for Cleveland.
South Medford 72, Forest Grove 39: Ula Chamberlin made three three-pointers and scored 11 points to became South Medford's all-time leading scorer with 1,830 points -- passing Kylie Towry -- in the rout of the Vikings.
Toni Coleman had a team-high 14 points and four steals for the Panthers, who led 36-20 at half. Amanda Rebsom scored nine points for Forest Grove.
South Salem 54, Mountainside 36: The Saxons made seven three-pointers in a 29-point second quarter to pull away from the Mavericks. Delaney Keith scored 15 points and Hilary James added 10 points for South Salem.
Halle Hageman had 11 points to lead Mountainside.
Southridge 69, David Douglas 19: Cameron Brink had 15 points and Maya Hoff added 14 points as the Skyhawks beat the Scots in the first round for the second year in a row. The two-time reigning 6A Skyhawks may have dominated, but coach Michael Bergmann was anything but pleased.
“I just didn’t think our effort was where it should be,” Bergmann said. “We did some good things -- some kids played hard at times -- but we weren’t playing hard and focused the whole time.”
Central Catholic 38, McMinnville 32
Benson 79, Lakeridge 44
Liberty 73, Westview 65
Jesuit 57, Tualatin 41
Roosevelt 54, Oregon City 47
Grants Pass 43, Wilson 21
Tigard 52, McNary 24