La Salle puts up 24 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from a pesky Corvallis squad

PAMPLIN MEDIA: DAVID BALL - La Salle Prep's Emily Niebergall emerges from the pack with the ball. She scored 11 points in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter to build the Falcons' lead to 51-27.

First-round playoff

Team Score
#2 La Salle Prep (21-4)
Corvallis (11-15)

La Salle Prep sophomore guard Emily Niebergall could not be stopped in the fourth quarter, leading the Falcons to a 60-34 win over Corvallis to open the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs Friday night.

The No. 2-ranked Falcons found themselves trailing twice in the first half and were clinging to a two-point lead midway through the third quarter against a pesky Corvallis squad.

La Salle Prep started to stretch the margin late in the third when the Spartans missed a 3-pointer, and La Salle's Lyndsay Riehl tracked down the long rebound near the sideline. She took a couple dribbles then fired a pass from beyond mid court that found teammate Kylie Burg for a layup.

On the team's next trip down the floor, senior Taycee Wedin swished a 3-pointer from the right side, pumping her fist in celebration as she ran back on defense.

La Salle was up nine heading into the fourth quarter.

The game would get out of hand in a hurry.

Niebergall knocked down a pair of 3-pointers from the same spot at the top of the arc, converted a driving layup, then went behind the back to beat her defender for a three-point play.

The Falcons scored the first 15 points of the quarter with Niebergall accounting for 11 of them.

La Salle's lead mushroomed to 51-27 with less than five minutes to play.

"That fourth quarter felt just great," Niebergall said. "There was no way we were walking out of this gym with a loss tonight."

La Salle (21-4) advances to the state tournament hosted by Oregon State University and will face Crater (21-5), the third-place team out of the Midwestern League, in the late quarterfinal game at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

"We've built some great chemistry and feel very confident — playing for La Salle is like playing with family," Burg said. "We refuse to lose — there is no other option than winning."

Wedin hit a trio of 3s and scored a game-high 17 points.

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Look for expanded coverage ahead in the March 7, print edition of The Clackamas Review.

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