Benson runs over Jefferson, 70-52

Top-ranked Tech holds Demos to 15 points in second half
Feb. 7, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Benson's Iko Hollis runs over Jefferson's Kadeem Strickland, who was called for a blocking foul, in the third quarter of a 70-52 win Tuesday.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com.
Bryce White reacts to what first appeared as a knee injury Tuesday.

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."

 

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