Boys Basketball

Gordon shows his bigtime game

Archbishop Mitty's 6-8 forward lights up for 43 points in LSI opener
Dec. 26, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

If it weren't for a few missed dunks, Aaron Gordon might have set a single-game scoring record at the Les Schwab Invitational Wednesday night at Liberty High.

Instead, he settled for 43 points as the Archbishop Mitty High from San Jose, Calif., beat Southridge of Beaverton 80-70 in boys basketball action.

Gordon, who is 6-foot-8 and among the best high school players in the nation, made 20 of 25 shots from the field, with four of the misses coming on attempted dunks, to lead the Monarchs to the quarterfinals of the 16-team holiday tournament, where they will face four-time defending Class 6A state champion Jesuit.

The Crusaders beat Sheldon 77-39 in their opener to improve to 8-0 on the season.

The tournament record is 46 points, according to tournament organizers.

"We got a chance to watch them play," Monarchs' coach Tim Kennedy said. "We don't expect Aaron to get so many good looks at the basket like he did today."

Southridge got 21 points from A.J. Monterrosi in the loss, which dropped it to 4-4.

The Skyhawks represented themselves well throughout the game inspite of Gordon's huge size advantage. Scrappy play had the team within 56-54 late in the third quarter before a pair of turnovers turned into easy baskets for the Monarchs, who scored the first eight points of the third qaurter to take a 68-54 lead.

Gordon finished with 15 rebounds as well.

"We played okay today," said Gordon, who has publicly narrowed his college choices to Washington, Arizona and Kentucky, "but we gave up way too many points. We have to do a lot better job on defense."

On the day, the three out-of-state teams all won. Gonzaga Prep of Washington, D.C., beat Clackamas 90-51, and Neumann-Goretti of Philadelphia, beat Tigard. In other games, Century beat Columbia River of Vancouver, 58-47, Central Catholic beat Jefferson 84-67, West Linn beat Sprague 78-59 and Lake Oswego beat Sunset, 59-39.

In the quarterfinals, Jesuit and Archbishop Mitty meet at 5:30 p.m., following Century's battle with Gonzaga Prep at 4 p.m. Lake Oswego meets Central Catholic at 7 and West Linn faces Neumann-Goretti at 8:30 p.m.






Jesuit repeats for a third time

Crusaders create first boys 4Peat with win over Lake Oswego
March 10, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

A year after establishing a win at one level, the Jesuit Crusaders established one for all levels with a 52-42 win over Lake Oswego in the Class 6A boys basketball final at the Rose Garden Saturday.

Last year, the Crusaders became the first school to win three-straight titles at the large-school classification, and matched three-peats by several other schools at lower classifications, including Jefferson's run at Class 5A (2008-10).

No school in Oregon had ever won four straight titles until Saturday.

With speedy guards Khyan Rayner and Xavier Coleman combining for 30 points, and suffocating defense holding LO's star junior Calvin Hermanson to a respectable 20 points, the Crusaders capped off another memorable season and won the school's sixth title since 1999 - all of them under coach Gene Potter.


CLASS 5A - Corvallis repeats

A night after title rematch in the semifinals, Corvallis defended its 2011 title with a 63-51 win over stubborn Milwaukie at Matthew Knight Arena.

Henry Parker and Jake Ehlers both scored 19 points to lead the Spartans, who finished at 24-4.

Milwaukie trailed just 34-32 midway through the third quarter, but couldn't sustain the momentum that had carried it through upsets the previous two days.


CLASS 4A - Central earns another title

Tanner Omlid scored on a lay-up with five seconds left to propel Central to a 49-47 win over defending champion Phoenix at Gill Coliseum.

Omlid, who led all scorers with 17 points, took a pass from Brendan Cutsforth on the way to the basket as the Panthers won for the second time in three years.



Jesuit returns to state final to face Lakers

Crusaders' defense sparks 47-31 win, Lake Oswego beats rival West Linn
March 9, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Top-ranked Jesuit played its way into the Class 6A boys basketball state final for the fourth straight year with a 47-31 win over North Medford Friday at the Rose Garden.

There, they'll face Lake Oswego, which will play in the final for the first time since the Kevin Love era ended in 2007.

Lake Oswego, which won the state football title in fall, beat Three Rivers League rival West Linn in its semifinal.

Saturday's final is a rematch of the 2005 final that featured Love as a sophomore. Jesuit won.

In its semifinal, Jesuit The Crusaders forced 22 turnovers and held the Black Tornado to just 11 points in the first half on the way to the win.

Khyan Rayner scored 22 points for Jesuit, which has won the title the past three seasons.

North Medford will play for third place Saturday for the second straight year in a rematch of a quarterfinal game from last season, when it beat the Lions.

Lake Oswego scored the first seven points of its game and led much of the game by double digits behind a stellar performance from junior forward Calvin Hermanson, who scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. He made all four of this three-point attempts.


CLASS 5A - Corvallis, Milwaukie return

Corvallis broke free of a tight game in the fourth quarter, outscoring Benson 32-18 for a 59-45 win in a finals rematch from last season.

The Spartans, who beat Benson in double overtime last year, made 32 of 42 free-throw attempts in the game, including all eight from forward Nolan Hansen.

Corvallis will play Milwaukie, which played into its first final in nearly 60 years with a 59-41 upset of Wilsonville, in the final at Matthew Knight Arena.

The Mustangs, who won the state title in 1954, got 23 points and nine rebounds from forward Keynan Middleton and made an incredible 60 percent of its shots - 24 of 39 - from the field. The hot shooting overcame a 17-3 edge in offensive rebounds for Wilsonville, which managed to shoot only 30 percent - 17 of 56 - from the floor.


CLASS 4A - Phoenix, Central meet again

Defending champion Phoenix and Central, which won the title two years ago, will face off in the championship game Saturday at Gill Coliseum.

Phoenix beat Sisters 74-55, while Central beat Seaside 40-26.





Jesuit survives upset bid in tourney opener

David Douglas stays close until final minute
March 8, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Jesuit's run to a fourth-straight Class 6A boys basketball state title got off to a rocky, yet confident start Thursday at the Rose Garden.

The Crusaders got 14 points from sixth-man Werner Nistler, 11 points and seven rebounds from Collin Spickerman and hit 12 straight free throws to close out a 54-45 win over David Douglas in the quarterfinals.

Jesuit, which improved to 23-2, led just 42-41 with 57 seconds remaining when Nistler hit the first of the free throws to start the run. The Crusaders were just 6 of 15 at the line prior to that shot and finished 18 of 27 (67 percent).

David Douglas got 22 points and 11 rebounds from forward Jeremiah Harris, but couldn't finish out its upset bid, less than a week after knocking preseason state title contender Westview from the playoffs.

Jesuit, which outscored the Scots 22-0 off the bench, will play North Medford in the semifinals Friday.

The Black Tornado, one of the four No. 1 seeds to reach the quarterfinals, beat rival South Medford 59-48.




Unheralded Milwaukie upset top-ranked Mountain View 69-63 in the quarterfinals, powered by a huge game from center Keynan Middleton.

Middleton scored 34 points, including the final six in the closing 57 seconds after Mountain View had closed a 62-57 deficit to 63-61.

Milwaukie trailed 36-35 heading in to the fourth quarter.




Lakers overpower OC on way to TRL showdown

Hermanson's first-quarter burst leads to 63-44 win
Feb. 7 2012 / By Jordan Royer,

Calvin Hermanson scored 13 first-quarter points and the Lake Oswego Lakers took a 20-9 lead on the way to a 63-44 victory over visiting Oregon City in Class 6A boys basketball action Tuesday night. 

Hermason set the tone early with an alley-oop slam and the Lakers used a strong post game to earn the victory, which sends them to West Linn Friday just a game behind the Lions in the Three Rivers League title chase.

Coach Mark Shoff was happy with the way his team started. “I thought we started off really well … then we got, what I tell them, cute, and we paid the price for it at times.”

Lake Oswego's 20 point first quarter was followed up by a slow quarter offensively but its defense allowed just eight points in the quarter to keep the Pioneers from drawing close.

In the third it appeared the Lakers had figured things out offensively once again as they piled on 21 points to widen the margin, allowing them to put it on cruise control for the remainder of the game.

Their shooting from the outside, however, is a concern moving forward for coach Shoff. They shot just 25 percent from behind the arc Tuesday.

The 21 points from Hermanson led all scorers while teammates Alex Matthews and Jason Luhnow added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Joey Baldwin scored 16 points in the loss for the Pioneers.

The win improves Lake Oswego to 14-5 and they are now winners of four straight. Their last loss came on January 18 at the hands of West Linn, 63-60 in overtime.

Oregon City is 4-15, 1-5.


Oregon City......9 8 14 13

Lake Oswego..20 10 21 12

Oregon City- Hole 3-0-6; Baldwin 5-3-16; Polk 2-0-4; Jones 1-1-3; Mayo 6-1-14; Nguyen 0-1-1

Lake Oswego- Anderson 0-2-2; Luhnow 3-2-11; Allen 0-1-1; Hermanson 10-1-21; Quarterman 2-0-4; Casliek 0-3-3; Matthews 5-3-13; Lomax 4-0-8


Benson runs over Jefferson, 70-52

Top-ranked Tech holds Demos to 15 points in second half
Feb. 7, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Top-ranked Benson's drive to win its first state title at Class 5A nearly hit a season-ending snag with 4:05 left in a 70-52 win over Jefferson Tuesday.

Senior forward Bryce White, who's scoring and brash talk have led the Techmen to the top of the state rankings, collapsed to the ground clutching his right knee after battling for an offensive rebound with teammates.

The crowd at Benson went silent, as fans of the home team looked for a sign of White's condition. Coach Troy Berry walked over, talked to White for five seconds, then returned to the Benson bench, which reassured the crowd the injury was merely a cramp.

"I've never a cramp before," White said after quietly scoring 16 points. "I thought my calf broke. I know your calf can't break, but that's how much pain I was in."

"I was hoping his leg wasn't broke," Franklin said, "because he's a big factor on this team. We need him."

Benson remained in full control of the Portland Interscholastic League race with its 14th straight win, inmproving to 15-2 overall and 10-0 in league contests. Jefferson, ranked 14th, remained in second at 10-8, 7-3.

Norman Franklin scored a game-high 20 points to lead Benson.

Victor Sanders, a junior, led the Democrats with 17 points.

Benson scored relatively easily throughout the first half, with Franklin making several off-balance shots. But, Jefferson, a team with no seniors, scapped its way into a 37-all tie before the Techmen took the lead for good with six seconds left in the half.

Berry re-directed his team's focus at halftime.

"The first half we were just lazy," Franklin said. "Coach told us we needed to pick up our intensity and we got together and that's what we did."

Benson, aided by several foul calls that went its way, outscored Jefferson 21-8 in the third quarter and 10-7 in the fourth.

"This is a big win for us because it showed that we're the best team in the PIL," White said, "and also we're the best in the state."


Jesuit overcomes Westview in 2 OT struggle

Top-ranked Crusaders end on a 10-0 run for 45-38 win
Feb. 1, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Jesuit defended its position atop the Class 6A boys basketball ranks with a frustrating, physical win at Westview Wednesday night, edging the Wildcats 45-38 in the second overtime.

Senior post Colin Spickerman scored 12 points and guards Rick Maddock and Khyan Rayner added eight points each to lead Jesuit, which ran off 10 consecutive points to end the game.

Landen Lucas, Westview's 6-foot-10 post, led all scorers with 17 points, but had trouble getting the ball from teammates against the active Jesuit defense. Montie Leunen had 11 points for the Wildcats, who entered the game ranked fifth.

Jesuit took over sole control of the Metro League lead with the win, improving to 15-2 overall, 4-0 in league games. Westview is 13-4, 3-1. The teams meet in two weeks at Jesuit.

Both teams struggled to score from the start, with Jesuit scoring the game's lone basket in the opening four minutes. The Crusaders led 16-3 after a quarter and kept Lucas, who is headed for the University of Kansas, from scoring until 6:14 left in the first half. Lucas regularly established position under the basket against Spickerman, but the Wildcats' guards were unable to get him the ball.

Jesuit led 22-9 midway through the second quarter, but missed its next 10 shots to allow Westview to take a 23-22 lead early in the second half. The Wildcats grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the third quarter - seven more than they had in the first half, and trailed just 28-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

The teams traded the lead four times in the fourth quarter, which featured just 10 field-goal attempts. The first four quarters took just 70 minutes to play.

Westview led 38-35 after Leunen hit a 3-point shot on the first possession of the second overtime, but Maddock, a 6-1 senior, responded with a bucket and the Wildcats missed their final three field-goal attempts and had three turnovers to end the game.

Spickerman but the Crusaders ahead 39-39 with a rebound basket and Rayner hit shots on the next two possesions for a 43-38 lead in the final minute. Maddock closed the scoring with a pair of free throws.

Jesuit plays host to Beaverton Friday, while Westview plays at Sunset.

Central Catholic survives at David Douglas, 57-54

Second-ranked Rams rally from 9 points down in the second half
Jan. 20, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Eighth-ranked David Douglas nearly pulled off a significant upset Friday night at home against No. 2 Central Catholic by using an energetic start to the second half to forge a 35-26 lead that had the Rams on the brink of losing for just the fourth time this season.

That's when senior Danny Brakebush calmly sank 3-point shots on back-to-back possessions to spark the Rams on what would become a 15-4 run and efficient free-throw shooting turned into a 57-54 win in a Mount Hood Conference boys basketball game.

Brakebush finished with a game-high 21 points, while junior forward Austin Dyer had 13 and senior guard Lucas Hunter added 12 for the Rams, who improved to 13-3, 2-0 in conference games.

"We know we've got a target on our backs and it's good to win close games like this," said Hunter, one of five new starters. "Us and Jesuit. There's a lot of good teams in the state, but we know we're one that everyone wants to beat."

David Douglas got 17 points from senior post Jeremiah Harris, 13 points from senior guard Taye Baker and 12 points from senior Kevin  Hurley, but had a three-game win streak snapped and dropped to 8-7, 1-1.

The Scots used the power game of Harris, who is 6-foot-5, and scrappy defense to roll off a 6-0 run to start the second half. Then, after Brakebush hit a couple free throws, they rolled off another 6-0 run that ended when the Rams quickly inbounded, found Brakebush and he nailed a three.

After David Douglas failed to score on a fastbreak, the Rams calmly found Brakebush open again and he hit the second three that started their scoring again.

"Those shots definitely kept us in the game," Hunter said. "Without those, the game probably would have been over."

"It's fun to get to take big shots like that," said Brakebush, one of the new starters. "I've been waiting a long time to get a lot of minutes; we all have. We've got five new starters, a new coach (Dan Munson) and we just want to go as far as we can this season."

After building the big lead, the Scots had trouble getting the ball to Harris and Central ramped up its defense, creating two turnovers in the final minute. The Rams also got an offensive rebound after a missed free throw and turned that into a basket for a 52-49 lead with 36 seconds left.

Central went just 4 of 7 from the free-throw line in the final minute, but hit its first nine to finish at 13 of 16. The Scots made 9 of 16.

"This is a tough loss, but we fought them hard and we know we can beat them," Hurley said. "Our goal is to win the state tournament and we think we're one of the teams that can do it. We get to play Central again at their place. We'll just keep working to get better an beat them when we see them next."

Despite the loss, the Scots actually moved up in the Class 6A rankings to No. 7 due to the complex ranking system that rewards teams for playing quality opponents such as one ranked No. 2.

The teams play at Central Catholic Feb. 10.


Path to Jesuit's fourth title not an easy one

Central Catholic, Lake Oswego, Westview are top contenders
Jan. 17, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Top-ranked Jesuit will enter Metro League play Friday coming off a rare loss, underscoring the competitive nature of Class 6A this season.

The Crusaders lost 57-49 at home to second-ranked Central Catholic Friday, evening the season series between the two schools. Jesuit beat the Rams in the semifinals of the Les Schwab Invitational in December, one night before losing its first game of the season to Oak Hill Academy.

Jesuit, 11-2 and the three-time defending state champion, plays at Southridge Friday.

Central Catholic, 12-3, is on a five-game win streak that includes a win over Barlow in its Mount Hood Conference opener Tuesday. The Rams play at seventh-ranked David Douglas Friday.

No. 3 Lake Oswego, 10-4, opened Three Rivers League play with a 65-38 win over Oregon City Friday. The Lakers have lost twice to Jesuit (52-50 and 65-59 in overtime).

Central Catholic - a state tournament semifinalist last season - has losses to Lake Oswego and Westview, which lost to Jesuit in the state final last year but has since added Landen Lucas, a 6-10 forward headed to Kansas.

Fifth-ranked Westview, 10-3, opens Metro League play Friday at home against Aloha. The Wildcats also lost to Jesuit in the state final in 2010.

Teams among the outside contenders include No. 4 West Linn, No. 6 North Medford, which reached the state semifinals last season, and David Douglas, which beat Westview in overtime earlier this month.


Centennial defends its home court edge, 69-65

The Eagles use a big fourth-quarter rally to beat South Salem
By Cliff Pfenning,

Heading toward the top-heavy Mount Hood Conference, the Centennial Eagles needed to regain some momentum on their home court after a disappointing loss Tuesday to Beaverton. They took care of that Friday night.

Trailing South Salem 60-54 midway through the fourth quarter, the Eagles responded with several stellar defensive stands and ran off a 17-2 run on the way to a 69-65 win in non-conference boys basketball action at Centennial.

Cam Croonquist led the senior-dominated Eagles with 19 points, including a 3-point basket with 1:05 left that gave Centennial a 63-62 lead. The Eagles made four of four free-throw attempts and got an inside score from 6-foot-8 senior Guy Powers to improve to 6-4 overall with another non-conference test set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday against Cleveland of the Portland Interscholastic League.

"This is a big win for us because one of our goals for this year was to not lose on our home court," Croonquist said. "We lost a tough game on Tuesday, but bounced back against a good team."

Beaverton rolled into the Eagles' gym Tuesday and left with a 70-62 win, a factor that played a role in the comeback from trailing in the fourth quarter.

"We were in the same situation Tuesday, in a close game and let them get away," Croonquist said. "When we were down, we reminded ourselves about our goals and that helped motivate us."

South Salem got 14 points from senior guard J.J. Ramos and 13 points from senior Kyle Atkinson, but fell to 8-5 heading into its Central Valley Conference opener at Sprague Tuesday night. The Saxons made one of their 11 three-pointers with two seconds left for the final score.

Winning at home will be a key to Centennial making any kind of noise within its league, which has three teams: Central Catholic, Barlow and David Douglas, ranked in the Top 10 in Class 6A. Friday's win could be a spark for the team as it prepares for league play, which begins Jan. 17 at home against Gresham.

Centennial, which moved up six spots to No. 24 in the 6A rankings, has has three road games before Gresham, and doesn't play one of the league's Big 3 until the following week.

South Salem, ranked No. 17, gave up its highest point total in three weeks, while suffering a fourth-quarter scoring drought that's been a key in its past three losses, all of which have been by eight points or less.

"That's a problem we've got to work on and get fixed because league play is here," first-year South Salem coach Tyler Allen said. "We can't expect to win games by scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter."

The Saxons lead the CVC in wins and are among the top 3 in rankings behind Sprague, No. 13, and North Salem, No. 16.



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