Boys Basketball

Crane leads top seeds to state titles

Only Oregon Episcopal provides an upset in 3A, 2A, 1A brackets
Staff Report

The first weekend of OSAA boys and girls basketball championship tournaments played out basically as expected with five of six brackets being won by the top-ranked team - except for the Class 3A boys.

In a remarkable weekend, Oregon Episcopal - seeded 10th, beat two-time defending and top seed De La Salle on the way to its first title, which came over ninth-seeded Cascade Christian in the final. The Aardvarks, who lost twice to De La Salle by an average of 18 points, had never even been to a final.

The other five brackets were all won by the top seed - Clatskanie (3A), Kennedy (2A) and Crane (1A) on the girls side and Toledo (2A) and Triad (1A) on the boys.
Only Clatskanie, though, repeated as champion. With its core group being juniors, the Tigers look primed to be a three-time champion next season.

GIRLS TOURNAMENTS

3A - No. 1 and defending champion Clatskanie beat No. 2 Sutherlin 51-40 behind an all-star trio of juniors - Shelby Glodgett, Olivia Sprague and Kaity Sizemore, who combined for 46 points and 33 rebounds, helping the Tigers close out a 23-2 season.

2A - Sophia Carley and Ellie Cantu combined for 36 points to lead No. 1 Kennedy to a 48-26 win over Monroe. Carley finished with 13 rebounds as well.

1A - Top-ranked Crane won the girls title with a 45-41 decision over St. Paul, closing out an undefeated season. St. Paul’s two losses were both to the Mustangs, who featured just two seniors.

BOYS TOURNAMENTS

3A - Tenth-ranked Oregon Episcopal completed an improbable run to its first title with a 35-33 win over No. 9 Cascade Christian. The Aardvarks, who beat No. 1 De La Salle in the quarterfinals, trailed 30-25 with 6:55, but finished the game on a 10-3 run, finishing the season at 22-7.

2A- No. 1 Toledo beat No. 2 Western Christian 58-48 to complete a 26-3 season. The Boomers won their three tournament games by an average of 21 points led by all-tournament seniot Conner Marchant, who had 22 points and seven rebounds in the final. Four of Toledo’s starters played all 32 minutes of the final.

1A - Triad edged Damascus Christian 58-56 in spite of making just one of six free throws in the final 51 seconds. The Timberwolves, who avenged a loss to the Eagles in the second game of the season, had won their previous four state playoff games by an average of 24 points.

College, prep hoop get down to business

Brackets are in action across the state, West Coast
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

It's time for a whole lot of seasons to end for high school and college basketball teams.

Lots of hugs. A team meeting, and some speeches - an annual right of passage as playoffs and tournaments are in full swing across Oregon and the West Coast.

Class 3A, 2A and 1A state tournaments begin for girls teams today, with boys basketball tournaments beginning tomorrow at the same classifications in Coos Bay, Hermiston and Baker City.

Playoff brackets for girls and boys teams at the Class 6A, 5A and 4A levels began Tuesday night with those tournament set to start next week.

At the college level, there's significant action as well - in Las Vegas, where both the Pac-12 and West Coast Conference tournaments are set to play out beginning Thursday.

NCAA

In the Pac-12 women's tourney, Oregon State, ranked 14th, begins play on Thursday after finishing fifth in the highly competitive conference, which has five teams in the Top 14 of the final national rankings. The Beavers play Washington State in the first round.

No. 3 Oregon plays its game in the quarterfinals against one of Thursday's winners on Friday. 

In the WCC tourney, the University of Portland women's team doesn't play its first game until Saturday with its opponent still to be determined with games starting Thursday.

UP's men's team plays Santa Clara in the opening round Thursday.

The Pac-12 men's tournament is set for next week.

At the Div. II level, Western Oregon begins play in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's tournament in Seattle on Thursday against the University of Alaska.

At the Div. III level, the Northwest Conference played its tournaments over the weekend and George Fox of Newberg won the women's tournament for the third consecutive year on Saturday. The Foxes will play Montclair State Friday in the first round of the 64-team national tournament in Arlington, Va.

NAIA

In the Div. II Cascade Conference, both Northest Christian of Eugene and Southern Oregon played their way into the national tournament Tuesday. NCU won the tournament for the first time and SOU earned its spot by reaching the title game.

Oregon Tech reached the title game of the men's tournament, but Southern Oregon, which finished second during the regular season is automatically qualified for the national tournament despite losing in semifinals.

NWAACC

In the newly-renamed Northwest Athletic Conference, the 16-team men's and women's tournaments begin on Thursday in Everett, Wash. The women's tournament includes unbeaten Umpqua, Lane, Clackamas and Mt. Hood all in action, with winners playing Friday in the second round. Umpqua has finished second the past two seasons.

On the men's side, Clackamas, Umpqua, Portland and Chemeketa begin on Saturday with winners reaching the quarterfinals Sunday. Both tournaments close out the following weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demos pass key PIL test

Jefferson edges Grant 53-48 in tense battle
By Cliff Pfenning

PORTLAND - Third-ranked Jefferson got an early start to the playoffs in what it hopes will be a state-title run Friday in a 53-48 victory over rival Grant in a PIL boys basketball game at Jefferson.

Grant's strategy involved slowing the game down significantly and that nearly turned into a significant upset, although the Demos were able to survive and remain unbeaten in league play, and extend their win streak to nine games.

Jefferson got 21 points from sophomore Lamar Washington and 16 points from junior Kamron Robinson in the win, but it wasn't a typical league victory. The Demos, state runners-up the past two season, were held to their lowest total in nine leage wins, and led by just three points with five minutes remaining. They stretched the lead to seven several times, but Grant, which got a teram-high 14 points from senior Emanuel Steward, kept forcing turnovers and remained a threat to tie or win into the closing seconds, missing several three-point shots.

"That's the strategy we'll probably see throughout the playoffs," Jefferson coach Pat Strickland said. "We just need to get together and start playing playoff basketball right now."

Jefferson improved to 14-4 overall, 9-0 in PIL games. Grant, which beat Jefferson in the 2018 state final, dropped to 11-7, 7-2 with both of its league losses to Jefferson.

The Democrats lost the title game to Jesuit last season, and the Crusaders remained No. 1 in the state with a 46-44 win over Beaverton Friday. Jefferson actually moved to No. 2 with the win Friday.

The Demos play host to Wilson Tuesday, while Grant, which dropped one spot to No. 12 with the loss, plays host to Benson the same night. 

Only Jefferson and Grant are among the top 32 ranked teams in the state.

The Generals had scored at least 61 points in their seven league wins, but ran a very deliberate offense and trailed just 12-11 at the end of one quarter and just 25-23 at halftime. Jefferson stretched the lead to 46-36 after three quarters, but a 7-0 run to start the fourth cut that deficit to just three with 5:15 remaining. Jefferson's size, led by Robinson at 6-foot-9, Washington at 6-4 and freshman Marquis Cook at 6-9, collected several offensive rebounds and they were able to get a dunk, a rebound basket and three free throws to round out its scoring.

Jefferson heads toward the post season without a senior on its roster, something Cook said might play to their benefit.

"Without a senior, people might be looking at us as not having enough experience to win," he said. "But, we've got three guys who were on last year's team, and we've all been playing club ball for years, so we think we're going to be ready for the playoffs.

 

 

Grant wins epic final

The Generals claim the 6A title with last-second decision
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - The Grant Generals lost three times to neighborhood rival Jefferson this season, but won the game that mattered most Saturday night.

After a pair of free throws by Ty Rankin game the No. 2 Generals a one-point lead with seven seconds left, top-ranked Jefferson managed a shot at the buzzer that hit the rim and bounced over the backboard sending Grant players and fans into a mad celebration with a 63-62 in the championship game of the Class 6A boys basketball tournament at the Chiles Center.

Grant got 22 points from Rankin, who like teammate Kelton Samore, played all 32 minutes.

"We talked about that before the game that it was okay to lose those three games as long as we won this one," Samore said afterward. "When that shot went up at the end, I just lost my breath until it went over the backboard. Then I just ran."

Jefferson trailed by as many as seven points in the second half, but rallied and was just that basket away from defending its title from last year. Kahlil Chatman scored a game-high 30 points, grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Democrats. Jefferson, though, made just eight of 14 free throws. Chatman, Robert Ford and Kamaka Hepa played all 32 for the Democrats.

CLASS 4A

Seaside made all four of its free throws in the final 45 seconds and beat Valley Catholic 48-44 to defend the state title it won last year at Forest Grove High School.

Chase Januk scored a game-high 17 points and dished out five assists to lead Seaside.

 

Marist rallies to return to final

Class 5A heads to finals, PIL dominates 6A, Banks in 4A
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

CORVALLIS - Trailing 26-16 midway through the third quarter, top-ranked Marist started to finally hit shots and Spartans' defense dominated the game from there on the way to a 46-39 win over No. 5 Silverton in the semifinals of the Class 5A girls basketball tournament at Gill Coliseum.

Kayley Elliot led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points for Marist, which had six players score six or more points, and five players make at least two free throws.

The Spartans gave up 20 offensive rebounds, but Silverton turned those only into nine points. Maggie Roth led the Silver Foxes with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Marist had seven blocked shots.

Marist will play in its 10th state final, but last won in 1999. The Spartans lost in the qaurterfinals last year.

La Salle earned a return to the final with a 40-26 win over Bend, scoring 20 points off of just 11 turnovers. Emily Niebergall led the team with 11 points. La Salle beat Silverton in the final last year.

VIEW THURSDAY'S SCORES

THURSTON REACHES FIRST FINAL

The third-seeded Colts from Springfield will play for a state title for the first time, and get defending champion Wilsonville as their opponent.

Thurston beat Crater, which would have played in a final for the first time as well, 72-57, in its semifinal to avenge a pair of regular-season losses to the Comets.

Wilsonville beat Churchill 58-43 in a rematch of last year's title game.

Wilsonville beat Thurston, 55-40, in the opening round of the playoffs last season.

PIL DOMINATES 6A BOYS

Top-ranked Jefferson and No. 2 Grant both cruised through their quarterfinals Thursday, but Lincoln's upset of Southridge moved a third Portland Interscholastic League team into the Final Four for the first time.

And, upstart Barlow joined them with a 69-66 win over Tualatin - Jesse White scoring 27 points for the Bruins to counter 36 from Alexis Angeles.

Barlow qualified as the No. 29 team in the playoffs last year, and as No. 20 this season, needing two road wins just to reach the tournament. The Bruins last reached the semifinals in 1996, with their same coach - Tom Johnson - on the sideline.

SOUTHRIDGE MOVES FORWARD

Top-ranked and defending champion Southridge will play No. 4 West Linn in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. today. No. 3 Beaverton and PIL champion Benson will play at 3:15.

West Linn will be looking to reach a final for the first time since 1985. Benson reached its only final in 1991 and is trying to win a title for the PIL for the first time since 1982. Beaverton coach Kathy Adelman Naro would be only the third woman to coach a team to a title with two more wins.

CLASS 4A

Banks and Valley Catholic both shuffled gyms Thursday with differing results - Banks won both boys and girls contests, while Valley Catholic split its games moving between Forest Grove High School and Pacific University in Forest Grove.

The Banks wins moved the school a step closer to a first title in either tournament. The boys play Valley Catholic in a Cowapa League rivalry that the teams split this season, while defending champion Seaside - also from the Cowapa League - plays Newport in the other final.

Banks plays top-seeded Marshfield in the girls semifinals, while Oregon West League rivals North Marion and Cascade play in the other semifinal.

 

 

 

 

Banks readies for historic run

both boys and girls teams are among strong favorites to win
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

When the results from this past weekend's Class 4A basketball playoffs were final, Banks athletic director Ben Buchanan got busy with planning. The Braves didn't need hotel space or a lengthy bus trip, but they looked in need of just a little efficiency in travel.

The Banks boys qualified into the first quarterfinal game of the day in their bracket, while the girls got the second game of their quarterfinals. That put one game finishing as the other was starting. Fortunately, the two gyms holding the 4A tournaments – Forest Grove High and Pacific University - are just a few miles apart. Even better, Forest Grove is just six miles from Banks. With both the boys and girls teams winning their league title – these are exciting times for the formerly sleepy town on the outskirts of Hillsboro.

“The two games aren't far apart, but we want to make sure we can get everyone from one gym to the other and not miss too much of the girls game,” Buchanan said. “Everyone here has a lot of energy to support both teams.”

Braves fans in and outside the school are hoping this is the season Banks becomes a basketball school by winning a state title. Maybe even both state titles.

The boys were unbeaten for most of the year, and is 23-2. Senior Dalton Renne, a 6-foot-6 forward, was voted Cowapa League Player of the Year, a solid feat as two other league teams, Seaside and Valley Catholic – schools that met in the state final last year - played into the tournament as well.

The girls team also fields a 23-2 record, and won the Cowapa League title led by junior Aspen Slifka, who was voted league co-Player of the Year.

The Banks girls have been setting the stage for success for much of the past decade, winning a trophy six times in the past seven seasons. But only once had the Braves won a quarterfinal game – 2012, until last year. Finally, the team got through the quarters, then the semis and was on the way to a title, leading three-time champion Sutherlin 34-16 in the third quarter. But, Sutherlin found its champion's mettle, and rallied to win 49-43.

This season, Sutherlin, which beat Banks in the quarterfinals in 2016, failed to reach the tournament, and Banks has has a year's worth of drive working its game.

“With how that game went last year, it's definitely been a motivator,” fifth-year coach Brandon Begley said. “We talked a lot about how we want to leave everything on court, and not have any regrets after a game.”

Slifka said this season started almost directly after last year's title game ended as she made the all-tournament first team and teammate Sydney Gregg, now a senior, made the second team.

The Banks boys were a bit of a tournament surprise, needing a road win to reach the final eight. But, the Cowapa League had prepped them for playoff success – half of the final eight teams were from the league. After a 72-70 loss to league rival Tillamook in the quarterfinals, the Braves won two games and finished with a fourth-place trophy – the program's first trophy. Ever.

Banks has been able to display two basketball trophies in its office the past year. This year, both teams have been almost unbeatable and have filled the school's gym game after game.

“The success we had late last year, the guys we had coming back and the early season success we had this season really helped grow our confidence,” third-year boys coach Marcus Roche said. “Getting a league title in the toughest league in the state, we definitely think we're in the mix.”

Renne, who said he's likely to play at a junior college next year, has teamed with 6-7 junior Blake Gobel to give the Braves a standout frontline, and the team has two other 6-5 players behind them.

Banks didn't give up more than 50 points until its 15th win, and didn't lose until game 21. In their playoff win over Madras, the Braves hit for 102 points.

Renne said the team has gotten used to being a target.

“Teams circle us on their schedule,” he said. “It's fun to be that team. We get everyone's best.”

The basketball teams have been getting everyone's best from the community, too, with strong support at both home and away games. Renne and Slifka said they expect a very large turnout for Thursday's games.

“I haven't have anyone say they're just going to skip the whole day,” Slifka said. “But, who knows.”

 

Benson moves PIL forward

Techsters survive Tigard, 32-28, No. 1 Southridge wins
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - In a tight game from start to finish, Benson sophomore Tayler Lyday got a crucial steal with 16 seconds left and finished the scoring with a pair of free throws to boost Benson to a 32-28 victory over No. 2 Tigard Wednesday in the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament at the Chiles Center.

The win moved the Portland Interscholatic League champions to the semifinals and a game against No. 3 Beaverton - the second consecutive year a team from the PIL has reached the semifinals.

A team from the league has not won the title since 1982 and has not played in the final since 1991.

Lyday finished with 15 points - nine at the free-throw line, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Delaney Leavitt led Tigard with 10 points. The Tigers hit just 11 of 21 free throws.

CLASS 6A GIRLS

No. 1 Southridge trailed by 10 points in the first quarter and was tied at 27-all late in the third quarter, but dominated the fourth quarter and beat No. 9 Clackamas 57-42.

No. 4 West Linn beat No. 5 North Medford 42-32, and Beaverton handled No. 6 Sheldon 60-45.

CLASS 5A BOYS

Eighth-seeded Churchill edged No. 1 Silverton 53-51 in the biggest upset of the quarterfinals so far.

No. 4 Wilsonville beat Springfield 67-51, No. 3 Thurston advanced with a 70-58 win over Mountain View, and No. 2 Crater beat South Albany 65-54.

 

 

Southridge title defense continues

Skyhawks move to Chiles Center, Jefferson gets bad news
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

Top-ranked Southridge will show off its full roster today when it takes on Clackamas at the Chiles Center at 1:30 p.m. in the opening game of the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament.

That is, if star guard Cameron Brink is able to play after missing most of the team's playoff win over Canby Saturday with an ankle injury.

Southridge lost only a tournament game in December with her in the line-up, and won all 25 of its games by at least 15 points.

The eight-team bracket features eight of the top-nine ranked teams in the state.

Three other quarterfinal games follow the Southridge-Clackamas contest: No. 5 North Medford plays No. 4 West Linn at 3, No. 6 Sheldon plays No. 3 Beaverton at 6:15, and No. 7 Benson plays No. 2 Tigard at 8:15.

CLASS 5A

The girls portion of the tournament opened Tuesday at Gill Coliseum with a pair of slight upsets: No. 6 Bend beat No. 3 Central, 26-23, and No. 5 Silverton beat last year's runner-up Springfield, seeded fourth this year, 40-37. But, Marist and defending champion La Salle both won and advanced to the semifinals set for Thursday. Marist topped Crescent Valley, 53-43, and La Salle beat Crater 52-43.

The boys quarterfinals begin today with top-seeded Silverton opening against Churchill at 1:30 p.m.

In other boys games, Springfield plays Wilsonville at 3, Mountain View plays Thurston at 6:30 and South Albany plays Crater at 8:15.

CLASS 6A

The defending champion Jefferson, announced stunning news Tuesday - junior Marcus Tsohonis will not play in the tournament after breaking a finger in Saturday's win over Grants Pass. Tshonis played a key role for the Democrats in getting them to 24-3 on the season, having lost only to out-of-state teams in December.

Jefferson plays eighth-seeded Jesuit at 1:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals Thursday.

CLASS 4A

Banks appears as a key story with both the boys and girls teams in the title hunt - the boys are seeded No. 1 and girls return most of the crew that reached the final last year.

Defending boys champion Seaside is seeded second, and has a win over the Cowapa-League rival Braves. Valley Catholic of the Cowapa League is also in the tournament giving the league three of the eight qualifiers for the second straight year.

Marshfield is seede No. 1 in the girls bracket and looking to create a legacy having not played into a final in its program history. 

Defending girls champion Sutherlin did not reach the playoffs.

 

 

First-time champs highlight weekend

De La Salle and Pacific boys among six champions
Staff report

De La Salle finally ended its title headache, and Pacific ended its title drought with championships in their respective basketball tournaments to highlight results from Saturday night.

The Knights, who lost their previous four title games including last year to Dayton, beat the Pirates this year, 68-55, at Marshfield High School.

Pacific played into its first boys title game and beat Prairie City, 73-50, at Baker High School.

CLASS 3A

DAYTON 35, SALEM ACADEMY 26

Kalina Rojas scored 12 point, Jaden Moore added 10 and Chloe Cisneros had 11 rebounds to carry the Pirates to their second-straight girls title.

Second-seeded Dayton trailed 6-4 after the first quarter, but jumped to a 16-11 lead at the half, and held the lead for the remainder of the game on the way to finishing the season 29-1.

DE LA SALLE 68, DAYTON 55

The top-seeded Knights got just six points from standout senior Emmanual Reilley, but he grabbed seven rebounds, had three steals and Kadeem Nelson and Kadren Addy picked up the scoring slack with 19 points each to lead the team to its first title.

De La Salle finished 27-1 and with a 24-game winning streak.

Dayton reached the title game along with the school's girls team for the second consecutive year.

 

CLASS 2A

KENNEDY 53, MONROE 40

Kaylin Cantu scored 12 points and Sophia Carley added 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-seed Kennedy to its second girls title in three years with the win over No. 2 Monroe.

Peyton Greene and Madison Ballard scored 12 points each to lead Monroe, last season's champion.

Kennedy ended with a 36-18 edge in rebounds. The Trojans finished 29-1, having lost only to Class 3A champion Dayton in December.

COLUMBIA CHRISTIAN x, WESTERN MENNONITE

Freshman Ben Gregg, a 6-foot-6 forward, had 23 points and 19 rebounds in 32 minutes to lead No. 2 Columbia Christian to its first 2A boys title with the win over No. 1 Western Mennonite.

Columbia Christian finished with a 48-27 edge in rebounds and scored its final 10 points at the free-throw line on the way to finishing 30-1. The Knights were a consistent Class 1A power and won titles in 2010 and '14 before moving up two years ago.

 

CLASS 1A

COUNTRY CHRISTIAN 56, NIXYAAWII 54

In a classic battle between the champions from the past two seasons - and finalists last year, the No. 2 Cougars handed the top-seeded Eagles their only loss of the season to win their second title in three years.

Senior Mollie Lewandowski had 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead Country Christian, which trailed 49-40 with 4:30 left. Lewandowski scored 10 points in the remaining time, including a jump-shot at the buzzer.

Mary Stewart led all scorers with 28 points for Nixyaawii.

PACIFIC 73, PRAIRIE CITY 50

The top-seeded Pirates got a combined 34 points and 33 rebounds from seniors John Keeler and Jack Lehnherr and won the school's first boys title.

Pacific shot 60 percent from the field in the first half to take a 49-29 lead. The Pirates finished the season with a 22-game win streak.

 

 

State finals set

Title game rematches highlight finals
Staff report

The state final is a repeat of last year for two of the six championship games set for today, with one being a very sore spot.

De La Salle reached a state championship for the fifth time with its 47-36 win over Blanchet Catholic, and will face Dayton in a rematch of last season when the Knights lost in the final for the second-straight year and third time in four seasons. Added to a title game loss at Class 2A, De La Salle is entering its fifth title game without having won a title.

Dayton has won five titles, including twice in the past three seasons.

The finale is a repeat at Class 1A girls as well, with Nixyaawii facing Country Christian of Molalla - each team having won a title in the past two seasons.

CLASS 3A GIRLS

Top seed Salem Academy will face off against No. 2 Dayton, which reached the final for the fourth-consecutive year. The programs met in the final three years ago with Dayton winning - the Pirates having won in 2016 as well.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

Defending champion Monroe will play top-seed Kennedy in the final with each program having won a title in the past two seasons - Kennedy won in 2016.

CLASS 2A BOYS

Top-seed Western Mennonite faces No. 2 Columbia Christian in a battle of championship-level programs. Western Mennonite reached the final three times in five years and won the 2011 title, while Columbia Christian has been to six finals and won twice - at Class 1A. This is its first 2A final.

CLASS 1A BOYS

Top-seeded Pacific advaced to its first title game and will take on upstart Prairie City, the No. 7 seed which last reached a title game 25 years ago.

 

 

 

 

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