The Ashland High boys and girls water polo teams both beat Madras to clinch a berth in next week's state tournament Thursday, with the Grizz girls using a huge third-quarter push to keep their championship hopes alive at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.
The Ashland girls, who fell one win short of state a year ago, exploded for five goals in the third quarter to overcome a 4-3 halftime deficit en route to a 13-9 win in the district playoff, while the Ashland boys pulled away early for a 12-7 district-clinching win.
For the Ashland girls, Sadie Kasiah, Sabrina Scoggin, Maddy Longshore and goalie Kaya Boehm led the way. Kasiah scored five goals, dished out four assists and added a field block to pace the Grizzlies, who will be gunning for their first state title since 2010 next week in Corvallis. Scoggin added four goals, three assists and two steals, Longshore two goals and three assists and Boehm eight blocks.
For the Ashland boys, who will be going for their fifth state title and third in a row in Corvallis, Hoku Eggertsen, Taos Cadarette-Stewart and goalie Vincent Wright were solid. Eggertsen had five goals, four steals and two assists, Cadarette-Stewart five goals and two assists and Wright 10 blocks.
The four-team state tournaments will begin next Friday and wrap up with the championship games on Saturday.
Five Ashland water polo players landed spots on the South all-league first-team list.
On the boys side, Cole Harding, Taos Caderette-Stewart and Hoku Eggersten made the first team for the Grizzlies (8-2).Sadie Kasiah and Sabrina Scoggin were awarded first-team honors for the Ashland girls (4-2).
Nathan Markovich, Tristan Gavin, Maddy Longshore, Elisabeth Tappert and Kaya Boehm were named to second-team lists. In the Southern League, Medford's Cody Schultz, Cyrus Christianson, Geoff Pine and Marissa Drake earned honorable mention recognition.
The Ashland High boys and girls soccer teams both will play host to Class 5A state play-in matches Saturday in Ashland.
The Grizzly girls will go first when they host Lebanon at 2 p.m., and the Grizz boys will follow with a 4 p.m. game against Churchill. Winners advance to the 16-team state tournament.
The Ashland-Churchill boys game is a rematch of the 2008 5A state championship game, which Churchill won 3-1. This year, Ashland (7-5-1), No. 15 in the final OSAA rankings, enters the postseason having won three of its last four games.
Churchill (6-6-1), ranked 18th, placed third in District 3 and has lost its last two games.
On the girls side, 15th-ranked Ashland (8-3-2) rides a four-game winning streak into the postseason against a Lebanon team (No. 18, 6-6-2) that finished sixth in the Mid-Willamette Conference.