State finals highlight Monday FOURCAST

The top four conversation starters for the week ahead

Here's the top four conversations starters to know about Monday morning

1. Prep volleyball, cross country hit state finales

High school volleyball teams, and cross country runners will close out their seasons this weekend across the state. The Class 6A-1A, eight-team voleyball state tournaments are set for gyms in Forest Grove, Springfield and Redmond beginning on Friday, while all nine cross country finals will be held at Lane Community College in Eugene.

2. Blazers play at Toronto

Coming off a 126-98 loss at Philadelphia, Portland heads to Toronto at 0-3 to take on the 1-2 Raptors having lost their three games by an average of 15 points. Shaedon Sharpe leads the Blazers at 19.3 points per game, while Deandre Ayton is at 8.3 points and 12 rebounds per game. Top draft pick Scoot Henderson is at 7.3 points and 3.0 assists per game.

Portland plays at Detroit on Wednesday and then at Memphis on Friday in the first game of the NBA In-Season Tournament.

3. Ducks, Beavers prep for Saturday games

Oregon plays host to Cal at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, while OSU plays at Colorado at 7, which will be the ESPN late-night game. The Ducks moved up two spots to No. 6 after a dominating 35-6 win at Utah, while OSU dropped to No. 16 after losing 27-24 at Arizona.

4. Thorns prep for NWSL Playoffs

Portland gets a home match Sunday against Gotham in the semifinals of the NWSL Playoffs. Gotham beat North Carolina 2-0 on Oct. 22 in the quarterfinals. Portland beat Gotham 1-0 at home Oct. 7. San Diego plays host to Seattle’s OL Reign in the other semifinal. Portland is the defending league champion, having beaten Kansas City 2-0 in the final last season. Gotham, known as Sky Blue FC until 2021, has not played in a final. The 2023 championship match will be played in San Diego, at Snapdragon Stadium.

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