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More of Friday's bkb action Saturday, March 10, 2007

[left] Churchill's Mackenzie Fegles gets a hand on Kelsey Kaufman's shot in the Lancers' 46-38 win over Crescent Valley Friday. With the win, Churchill advanced to the 5A championship against their Midwestern League rivals, Willamette.

It is interesting to note that both the 5A and 6A girls' basketball championship matches feature league matchups: at 5A, Churchill (No. 8) will face Willamette (No. 5) in a battle of Midwestern League (Eugene-area) teams. Willamette took two of three from Churchill this year.

The 6A final pits Metro League teams Southridge (No. 4) against Jesuit (No. 6). Their rankings in the AP poll notwithstanding, Jesuit won the Metro League title this year with a 9-1 record, and was the only team in Oregon to beat Southridge—twice, and by double digits both times.

I photographed three basketball games yesterday—Southridge vs. Lake Oswego, Churchill vs. Crescent Valley, and Jesuit vs. Central Catholic. For all of this year's games up to yesterday's Southridge game, I have used just available light.

[right] Michelle Jenkins (No. 33) of Southridge and Lake Oswego's Emily Hatch, fight for the rebound off a free throw in Friday's 6A semifinals. Jenkins' 21 points led the Skyhawks to a 41-34 win. They will defend their two consecutive championships tonight against Jesuit.

The Chiles Center at the University of Portland has plenty of light, but the problem is that it all comes from the middle of the arena, in a big ring around the scoreboard. That means that when the players are facing the basket around the key, their faces are all in shadow.

So for the last two games last night (Churchill and Jesuit) I borrowed a couple of Pocket Wizards from my friend Roland, and set up a speedlight in one of the corners.

The difference is remarkable—what I lost in sync speed (1/500 without the light, 1/320 with), I gained in ISO and color. With just the one light, you do get some shadows (e.g. left), but not too bad, in my opinion.

Julianne Brands scored all 11 of her points in the second half as Jesuit overcame a 13-point third-quarter deficit to beat Central Catholic 46-41 in the 6A semifinals. Brands was chosen as the player of the game for the Crusaders.

I did forget to set up the speedlight so that it wouldn't go into standby mode, so the first shot of any sequence was unlit. You can see the difference in the photos below. The image at left was the first photo I'd taken in a minute or two, so the speedlight had gone into standby mode. At right was the second frame of the burst, so the light fired as expected. In the latter image, the difference between the red, blue, and black is much more apparent.

[below, both] Mackenzie Fegles of Churchill drives toward the basket guarded by Crescent Valley's Kelsey Kaufman.