Girls hoop has plenty of consistency

Five of six defending champions look like solid contenders
By Cliff Pfenning,

Nearing the stretch run of the high school basketball season, a majority of the six defending champions in girls play appear as solid picks to repeat, something that has not happened in the state's history.

At least not yet.

A review of state records shows that since championships began being awarded in 1976, teams regularly repeat as champions, but rarely do the same teams repeat in the same year. The feat happened in two of the four classifications from '76 through 2006 five times, and since 2007 three of the six champions have repeated in the same year. But, no more than four.

This year, that could change, as it did last year when four of the defending champions played in finals. Just Sutherlin won for its fourth straight title at 4A.

This season Sutherlin has struggled to retain its form atop the state rankings and appears as the lone team unlikely to make a run at a title.

Southridge, at Class 6A, is rated at No. 1 among the OSAA rankings heading into the final three weeks of action.

At 5A, LaSalle returns all-tourney unanimous pick Taycee Wedin and is No. 3, behind Central, a relative newcomer to the top rankings, and Marist, a semifinalist last season.

At 4A, Marshfield is ranked ahead of Hidden Valley and has a win over the Mustangs. The Pirates are having a season for the ages as the school has never reached a final in girls play. Banks, last season's runner-up, is ranked third.

At 3A, all four semifinalists from last season are ranked in the top seven, with defending champion Blanchet Catholic at No. 4.

At 2A, defending champ Monroe is ranked second behind Kennedy, the top-ranked team from last season that Monroe beat in the semis. Kennedy won in 2016.

And, at 1A, Nixyaawii and Country Christian appear headed for a return trip to the final, which Nixyaawii won convincingly.



Sprague holds its ground in Valley

Olympians use big fourth quarter for 56-47 victory
By Cliff Pfenning,

SALEM - Sprague had more than just the top spot in the Valley League to contend with Friday night, it had some defense of its state ranking at stake.

And, the second-ranked Olympians handled both, using a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat host, and fifth-ranked McNary 56-47 and retain sole possession of first place in the league standings.

Senior Teagan Quitoriano scored a game-high 19 points, and junior Jailen Hammer added 14 to lead Sprague, which improved to 15-2 overall and 10-0 in league play thanks to its 10th consecutive win.

McNary trailed just 34-33 after three quarters, but let the game fly away in the following five minutes and dropped to 13-5, 8-2 and into a second-place tie with No. 10 West Salem.

The Celtics saw their eight-game win streak end, but are still confident they can wind up within the top eight seeds and secure as many as two playoff games at home on the way to a spot in the eight-team state tournament.

McNary had played to within a game of the tournament the past three seasons. The program hasn’t been to the final eight since 2005.

Senior Ricardo Gardelli led McNary with 14 points, but 11 of those were in the first quarter.

Senior Lucas Garvey and junior Boston Smith both added eight points for the Celtics.

Sprague, which played within a game of the tournament last season, plays a non-league game against Sheldon Tuesday.

Grant, Jefferson appears as state title prep

Top state teams set to meet ... again
By Cliff Pfenning,

It was a game once headed for the Chiles Center.

Although it's not going to be played at the University of Portland, it's still to be one of the biggest games in Oregon ... at least until the state tournament.

Grant heads to Jefferson, Feb. 16, with both of the teams likely in the top five in the state, and possibly ranked No. 1 and 2.

Players on the junior varsity teams should be ready for attention as fans arrive early to secure a seat.

Jefferson has a pair of wins over Grant this season - 79-74 in the third-place game of the Les Schwab Invitational, and 81-80 in Portland Interscholasti League play just seven days later at a packed Marshall High School gym. Attendance was so packed that the PIL originally planned to move that follow-up game, plus the Grant vs. Benson girls game, to UP, but those plans fell through.

Jefferson's streak of wins over Grant includes a 77-61 win in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state tournament last year - part of the Democrats' run to the state title.

The Demos beat Grant three other times last season, including the LSI.

Grant has not won a state title since 2008.



Cheer teams gear up

Season begins drive to state championships, Feb. 10
By Cliff Pfenning,

More than 20 teams from across the state showed up to David Douglas High School for the annual Scotsmen Rumble Saturday as the state's Cheerleading teams continued to prep for the state championships, which take place at Memorial Coliseum in three weeks, and Gladstone provided a standout performance.

Moving to the Coed Small Division after winning the state title at Class 4A last year, the Gladiators nailed much of their routine, although missed enough moves that coach Shelby Tracy had a measured review.

"I'd say we probably were about a seven on a 10-point scale," Tracy, who moved to head coach this season after four years as an assistant, said.

Among the five Coed teams, Gladstone placed first, besting Milwaukie, Glencoe, Canby and Oregon City.

Westview edged Beaverton and five other schools for first in the Class 6A division results. The Dalles finished first at Class 5A and Central Linn took first in Class 3A.


David Douglas sat out as it played host to the event. The Scots, though, figure to be one of Gladstone's top challengers having edged them in the Pacer Invitational last week and the Laker Rumble the week before. David Douglas won the state title two years ago, but finished second to Newberg last year. Newberg is headed for the all-girl Class 6A division this season.

At the Newberg Classic Saturday, wher the Tigers sat out as hosts, Lake Oswego edged Clackamas in the Class 6A performances. West Albany took the Coed Small division, South Albany won the Class 4A division and Willamina took the Class 3A division.

In the Coed Large division, Tualatin edged Lebanon and McMinnville, last year's state champion, for its second win in three weeks. Tualatin last won a state title in 2012.

Aloha, which has won three state titles and finished second at Class 6A last year, has a competition win from last week.

Most teams will be in action Jan. 27 at either Clackamas or Sheldon in Eugene, and then Salem or Tualatin, Feb. 3.




McNary looks for statement game

Celtics hope to run streak across Sprague Friday
Staff report

An eight-game win streak has moved the McNary High boys basketball team to No. 5 in the OSAA state rankings, but the next game is likely to at least keep it there - Sprague.

The Olympians play the Celtics at McNary Friday at 7:15. McNary has rarely had a bigger game on its home court.

Sprague,14-2 overall, already has a pair of wins over McNary this season, and is atop the Valley League standings at 9-0 - ranked No. 2 in the state between Jefferson and Grant of Portland. McNary, 13-4, is 8-1 in league play having lost in league only at Sprague, Dec. 15.

Sprague has a nine-game win streak going.

Both teams are looking to return to the state tournament, with both having lost one game short of the quarterfinals last season. Sprague was seeded No. 8, while McNary was No. 10 in the 32-team bracket.

McNary, which did not qualify for the playoffs in 2013, lost one game short of the tournament in 2015 and 2016 as well, a streak of three consecutive years. The Celtics last appeared in the eight-team state tournament in 2005.

McNary won its lone state title under legendary coach Mike Doherty in 1968, three years after opening.

Sprague last appeared in the tournament in 2003. The Olympians have never played in a state final.



Newberg sweeps state water polo titles

Bend boys, Hood River girls take 5A titles
Staff report

CORVALLIS - The Newberg boys and girls water polo teams tamed the state at the same time Saturday night, earning titles in the annual Oregon High School Water Polo 5A boys championships played at Osborn Aquatic Center, Nov. 11.

The Newberg girls beat Lincoln, while the boys beat Lakeridge for their fourth consecutive title.

Both Newberg teams won titles in the same year in 2012.

In the Class 5A matches, the Bend boys beat crosstown and East League rival Summit 13-11 for the school's first trip to the title match.

Ian Marks and Alex Moore scored four goals apiece for the Lava Bears, who led 9-4 at halftime.

Kole Miller scored four goals and Chance Caruso scored three for Summit, which played in the state title match in 2013, 2014 and 2015, winning the crown in ’14.

The 5A/4A girls state championship went to Hood River Valley, which beat Sandy 24-5 in the final to defend its title.



Broncos get back on track

Parkrose edges Putnam in battle for second win of season
By Cliff Pfenning,

MILWAUKIE - In the battle to escape the cellar of the Northwest Oregon Conference, the Parkrose Broncos leaned on their seniors to deliver a 60-58 victory over host Putnam in Class 5A boys basketball action Friday night.

Seniors Justin Tran, Isamu Chang and Darnel Jones combined for 39 points to lead Parkrose, which improved to 2-8 on the season, in the conference opener for both teams.

Putnam dropped to 1-10, leaving it as one of just three schools at Class 5A with one win on the season.

Junior Ruben Onishchenko scored 16 points to lead all scorers, and senior Dustin Britt added 14 for Putnam.

Parkrose dominated much of the first half on the way to a 28-13 lead, but the Kingsmen battled back and eventually led 36-34 after an 8-0 run to start the second half. The game see-sawed for the final 12 minutes with Parkrose in the lead, but Putnam continually rallying. Putnam had an opportunity to tie or win in the final 10 seconds, but missed a three-point shot and Parkrose ran out the final seconds.

The Broncos, who have won two of the past three games, return to action Tuesday against Sandy. Only one of the losses suffered by Parkrose is to a Class 5A team.

Putnam plays host to St. Helens Tuesday. The loss is the third by three points or less in the past four games for the Kingsmen, including Wednesday's 84-83 loss at McKay in Salem. Putnam lost to Glencoe 43-40, Dec. 29, then beat Ridgeview the following day in a tournament in Bend in it's previous two games.




Past Team Champions

1975    Beaverton def. Cottage Grove
1976    David Douglas def. Beaverton
1977    Beaverton def. David Douglas
1978    David Douglas def. Cottage Grove     
1979    David Douglas def. Cottage Grove
1980    Cottage Grove def. Tigard
1981    Cottage Grove def. Gresham
1982    Gresham def. Sheldon
1983    David Douglas def. Cottage Grove
1984    Tigard def. David Douglas     
1985    Sheldon def. Newberg     
1986    Newberg def. North Eugene     
1987    Newberg def. Sheldon         
1988    Newberg def. Sheldon     
1989    Newberg def. Sheldon
1990    Sheldon def. Newberg
1991    Gresham def. Newberg
1992    Newberg def. Sheldon
1993    Newberg def. Sheldon
1994    Newberg def. Sheldon
1995    Newberg def. Sheldon
1996    Newberg def. Westview
1997    Newberg def. David Douglas
1998    Newberg def. Sunset     
1999    Newberg def. Westview
2000    Westview def. Sunset    
2001    Westview def. Sunset    
2002    Beaverton def. Westview    
2003    Westview def. Newberg
2004    Westview def. Sunset    
2005    Newberg def. Aloha    
2006    Newberg def. Southridge
2007    Newberg def. David Douglas
2008    Newberg def. Tualatin    
2009    Newberg def. Tualatin    
2010    Tualatin def. Newberg
2011    Tualatin def. Newberg
2012    Newberg def. Tualatin
2013    Tualatin def. Lincoln
2014    Tualatin def. West Albany
2015    Newberg def. Barlow
2016    West Albandy def. Westview
2017    Newberg def. Lincoln

2008    Ashland def. Parkrose
2009    Parkrose  def. Ashland
2010    Sandy def. West Albany
2011    West Albany def. Ashland
2012    West Albany def. Summit
2013    West Albany def. Summit
2014    Madras def. Parkrose
2015    Summit def. Mountain View
2016    Hood River def. Summit
2017    Hood River def. Sandy


Past Team Champions

1970    Sunset def. North Bend
1971    Sunset def. Centennial
1972    Sunset def. Sandy
1973    David Douglas def. Sandy
1974    David Douglas def. Sheldon     
1975    Sheldon def. David Douglas
1976    Sheldon def. David Douglas     
1977    David Douglas def. Cottage Grove
1978    Cottage Grove def. David Douglas
1979    Cottage Grove def. Tigard
1980    Cottage Grove def. Gresham
1981    Gresham def. David Douglas     
1982    David Douglas def. Parkrose    
1983    David Douglas def. Sheldon     
1984    David Douglas def. Sheldon     
1985    Sheldon def. David Douglas
1986    Sheldon def. Centennial
1987    Tigard def. Sheldon     
1988    Sheldon def. Tigard     
1989    Newberg def. Sunset     
1990    Sheldon def. Newberg    
1991    Newberg def. Sheldon     
1992    Newberg def. Sheldon     
1993    Sheldon def. Newberg     
1994    Newberg def. Sunset
1995    Sheldon def. Sunset         
1996    Beaverton def. Westview     
1997    Beaverton def. Newberg     
1998    Westview def. Sheldon
1999    Newberg def. Westview    
2000    Newberg def. Westview    
2001    Westview def. Ashland
2002    Westview def. Aloha
2003    Westview def. Newberg
2004    Westview def. Sandy
2005    Newberg def. Westview
2006    Newberg def. Westview
2007    Newberg def. South Eugene
2008    Newberg def. Southridge
2009    Newberg def. Southridge
2010    Newberg def Tualatin
2011    Southridge def. Newberg
2012    Southridge def. Newberg
2013    Southridge def. Newberg
2014    Newberg def. Southridge
2015    Newberg def. Barlow
2016    Newberg def. Southridge
2017    Newberg def. Lakeridge

2008    Ashland def. Paarkrose
2009    Ashland def. Parkrose
2010    West Albany def. Ashland
2011    Ashland def. West Albany
2012    Ashland def. West Albany
2013    Mountain View def. Summit
2014    Summit def. Hood River
2015    Mountian View def. Summit
2016    Mountain View def. Parkrose
2017    Bend def. Summit


Past Team Champions


1995    Lakeridge
1996    Lakeridge d. West Linn/Wilsonville
1997    Lakeridge d. West Linn/Wilsonville
1998    Lakeridge d. West Linn/Wilsonville
1999    Lakeridge d. West Linn/Wilsonville
2000    Lakeridge d. West Linn/Wilsonville
2001    Lakeridge 8, West Linn/Wilsonville 7
2002    West Linn/Wilsonville 15, Lakeridge 6    
2003    West Linn/Wilsonville 13, Lake Oswego 7
2004    Sunset 9, West Linn/Wilsonville 7
2005    Lake Oswego 12, Lincoln 11
2006    Lake Oswego 13, Lincoln 12 (OT)
2007    St. Mary’s 15, Oregon City 11 (OT)
2008    St. Mary’s 16, Lake Oswego 10
2009    Oregon City 23, Lake Oswego 7
2010    Oregon City 15, Wilson 6
2011    Lake Oswego 10, Oregon City 8
2012    Lake Oswego 15, West Linn 13
2013    West Linn 19, Lake Oswego 13
2014    Lake Oswego 11, West Linn 5
2015    West Linn 12, Lake Oswego 10
2016    Lake Oswego 12, West Linn 8
2017    Lake Oswego 13, Oregon Episcopal 3

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