PORTLAND - Geno West led the Jefferson boys basketball team to the top ranking in the state this season, and Saturday he carried the program to another title.
West scored a game-high 28 points, grabbed five rebounds and had four assists in 31 minutes to lead the Democrats past Clackamas 70-67 in the championship game of the OSAA Class 6A state tournament at the Chiles Center.
West, a senior, helped Jefferson take a 62-60 lead by hitting a three-point shot with 2:51 left in the game, then had an assist and made four free throws in the remainder of the game, and senior teammate Thomas Miles added 20 points and six rebounds.
Jefferson, 26-1, won its ninth state title, but first at the top classification since 2000.
Clackamas, 24-4, got 22 points and five rebounds from senior Elijah Gonzales, and 17 points and seven rebounds from junior Cole Turner in finishing second for the second time in school history.
The hotly contested game featured 53 free throws and 47 three-point attempts.
Top-ranked Democrats beat neighborhood rivals for fourth time
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
PORTLAND - Top-ranked Jefferson overcame a sluggish first half and beat league rival Grant 77-61 Wednesday in the opening round of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball tournament at the Chiles Center.
The win advanced the Democrats to the tournament semifinals for the second straight year, and was the fourth time they beat Grant this season.
Jefferson got 17 points from senior Geno West and 12 points and nine rebounds from sophomore Kamata Hepa, while improving to 27-1. Leading 35-28 at halftime, the Demos outscored the Generals 42-33 in the second half.
"It's important for the guys because they're all friends, and play against each other all the time," Jefferson coach Pat Strickland said. "There's some bragging rights there."
Jefferson made eight of 24 three-point shots, but Grant made just two of 11.
Grant got 16 points from Anthony Deloney, and will enter the consolation bracket with a chance to finish fourth.
Top-ranked Demos use fastbreaks to beat Crusaders 98-86
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
PORTLAND - The anticipation of a Jefferson vs. West Linn state final took another step forward Friday as the top-ranked Democrats beat visiting Jesuit 98-86 in the second round of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball playoff.
Junior Kamaka Hepa scored 28 points, sophomore Marcus Tsohonis added 23 and seniors Geno West and Thomas Miles combined for 32 points to lead Jefferson in an intense game that featured 51 free throws and a pair of technical fouls.
Hepa led the way at the free-throw line by making all 12 of his attempts. Tsohonis hit four of the team's six three-point shots.
The victory advanced the Demos to the eight-team state tournament that begins Wednesday at the Chiles Center, with second-ranked West Linn playing on the the other side of the bracket.
Jefferson is 24-1, having lost only to Gonzaga College of Washington, D.C, in the Les Schwab Invitational in December, 91-70, plays Portland Interscholastic League rival Grant at 1:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Democrats have beaten Grant three times this season, including in the LSI.
Grant, which beat Sprague of Salem 74-72 Friday, improved to 17-8.
The Demos beat West Linn 90-77 on January 16; but have the memory of a semifinal loss to the Lions last season still fresh in their memories. West Linn won its fourth-straight state title last season and is attempting to be the first school to win five consecutive titles in boys play.
West Linn, which beat Lincoln of the PIL 76-65 Friday, plays North Medford in the quarterfinals at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.
In other quarterfinal games, Beaverton plays Westview at 3:15, and West Salem and Clackamas play at 6:30.