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North girls face 4A test.

Byline: Curtis Anderson The Register-Guard

The North Eugene girls basketball team is back in the OSAA state playoffs after a four-year absence.

But that doesn't worry coach Brent Coleman.

All five Highlander starters have state playoff experience - it just came in sports other than basketball. Seniors Ashley Ficek, Jacque Barton, Denee Johnson and Ashley Likens are all veterans of the softball postseason, and Cassidy Langendoerfer played goalie for the soccer team.

`They've all been in the playoffs in other sports, so this is not totally new to them,' said Coleman, whose team plays at Gresham, the Mount Hood Conference's No. 4 seed, at 7 tonight.

PREP BASKETBALL

`Right now, we're playing as well as we have all season long. Gresham plays at a slower pace than what we've seen this year, so we'll try to turn the pressure up and see how many times we can get up and down the floor.'

Although picked seventh in the coaches' preseason poll, North Eugene (15-9, 10-6) earned the Midwestern League's fourth playoff spot with a victory over South Eugene on Thursday. Johnson leads the team in scoring with a 12.3 average. Ficek, Barton and Likens are scoring about 10 points per game.

North Eugene and Gresham have followed similar paths this season. Both were swept by the three teams that finished ahead of them in conference play, and they swept the five teams that finished below them.

Neither club has fared well against teams that qualified for the state playoffs.

The Highlanders are 2-8 against the 36-team tournament field, and the Gophers are 1-10.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 21, 2005
Words:263
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