The Saxons proved they’re the top of the Central Valley Conference.
The rest of the state remains.
South Salem High School’s girls basketball team handled McNary 62-27 Tuesday evening in the championship game of the Central Valley Conference tournament.
The Saxons improved to 20-5 with their 10th straight win and move on to host a team to be determined in the March 24 first round of the OSAA Class 6A state playoffs.
“It feels great because that was another one of our goals,” South Salem coach Nick McWilliams said. “Some of our goals were to win the league, be undefeated, win the league tournament, and I’m hoping this would solidify us at No. 8 in the power ranking, which is big because if you win the first one you get another game at home.
“We set some lofty goals, and we felt like we could do it, and we’ve been reaching them, especially for our seniors.”
McNary (13-13 overall) next plays in a first round game March 24 and likely will be on the road.
Jordan Woodvine scored 18 to lead South Salem, Katie McWilliams scored 14 and Evina Westbrook scored 12.
South Salem took out to a 13-6 lead with 50 seconds to go in the first quarter, but McNary went on a 11-4 run – including six points by Reina Strand – and tied the game at 17 on a 3-pointer by Sydney Hunter.
But South Salem closed the first half on an 8-0 run and led 28-18 at halftime.
The Saxons took control early in the third quarter, going on a 20-1 run and never looked back.
“I really felt good about being up 10, but we did talk about in the locker room if we could break it open in the third, that would make a huge difference,” Nick McWilliams said.
“That’s what we did. That’s what we’re capable of. That’s the way we’re able to play. First half we were just okay, and we really turned it up second half.”