Three Rivers League rivals West Linn and Tualatin will play for a fourth time this season - a much anticipated fourth game - after both won their semifinal contests at the Class 6A boys basketball state tournament Friday at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus.
West Linn's speed helped it to nearly a dozen uncontested lay-ups and one uncontested dunk on the way to a 89-69 victory over Lincoln.
Tualatin's steady shooting helped it survive a mild scare from Barlow and win 68-55.
The Lions and Timberwolves will play for the state title at 8:15 Saturday in the final game of the boys and girls tournaments.
South Medford and Clackamas will meet in the girls final at 3:15.
West Linn, ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 28-1 record, has won all three of the previous meetings with the Tualatin season: 73-69 at the Les Schwab Invitational, and 60-54 and 89-78 in TRL league play. The Lions have won 15 straight since their lone loss to De La Salle of California on Jan. 16.
Tualatin enters at 23-5 having avenged one of its two losses of the season outside of the three to West Linn. The Wolves lost at Barlow 86-85 in December.
West Linn senior Jackson Shelstad made 14 of 24 field-goal attempts and finished with 32 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Adrian Moseley added 16 points and eight rebounds. The Lions were 12 of 26 from three-point territory.
Tualatin got 27 points from Josiah Lake, 17 points from AJ Noland and 15 points and eight rebounds from Jaden Steppe. The Wolves led by 15 late in the third quarter, but Barlow's defense helped it get back to within three with five minutes left. But the team's shooting helped it prevail. Tualatin hit an amazing 23 of 43 field-goal attempts, and 17 of 20 free-throw attempts in the win.
Cliff is a lifelong resident of Oregon and has four decades of experience as a writer, photographer, videographer, broadcaster and now producer. He's a grad of Benson and the University of Oregon, and publishes Oregonsports.com as well as OSPN, which is scheduled for delivery as a streaming App in May.
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