Prairie’s Woodward enjoys chance to play with best

Oregon finishes with 99-70 win over Washington

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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PORTLAND — Cori Woodward would have preferred a longer opportunity to find her rhythm on the basketball court Saturday afternoon, but she also understood it was special just to compete in the Northwest Shootout.

“It was an honor to be able to play with everybody,” Woodward said.

Woodward, a senior from Prairie, was one of 10 Washington all-stars who competed against Oregon’s best at the Chiles Center on the campus of the University of Portland. Oregon — with one player heading to Stanford and another to Tennessee — dominated the final 30 minutes of the game and ran away with a 99-70 victory.

Woodward did not score, but did manage a quick flurry of positive activity in the closing minutes of the game with a steal, a blocked shot and three assists.

She never did get in a flow, though. Her first stint on the floor lasted around four minutes, and she said it was difficult to make the adjustment. In all, she played 19 of the game’s 40 minutes.

Jordan Reynolds of Central Catholic — a Tennessee signee — was named the game’s most valuable player. She scored 19 points and also had six assists. Johanna Paine of Oregon City — one of three Santa Clara signees in this game — led all scorers with 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Brook Pahukaoa of Lake Stevens — Boise State — led Washington with 14 points.

The game was only part of the festivities surrounding this event. The Multnomah Athletic Club honored both teams at a formal dinner Friday night.

“My feet hurt after that because I wore heels,” Woodward said with a smile.

“It was real fun. The girls were amazing. They were awesome,” she said.

This was the 19th Northwest Shootout. The game was not played last year as organizers searched for a sponsor. Buffalo Wild Wings took over as primary sponsor this year. Woodward is the first Clark County athlete to compete in the game since Ashley Corral of Prairie was named MVP in 2008. Washington had won the last five girls games.

There were no Clark County athletes in the Northwest Shootout boys game this year.

This is not yet the end to high school basketball season in Clark County, though. Next week, Clark College will host the Les Schwab Tires Roundball Shootout, boys and girls games featuring senior from Southwest Washington.

Woodward will not be able to play, having already played in two post-season all-star games — the maximum allowed. She said she will be there to watch her friends, though, and she knows they will have a good time, too.