The post-Payton Pritchard Lions are still solid as tournament play nears
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
In what would be a first for boys basketball in Oregon, West Linn high is on a path to win five consecutive titles as the state playoffs near.
The Lions rode standout Payton Pritchard to Class 6A titles the past four seasons, and are ranked No. 2 according to the OSAA.
Only Jesuit has won four-straight titles in boys basketball, ironically, winning those the four years prior to West Linn's run.
Standing in West Linn's way is North Portland power Jefferson, which has won five titles in the past nine seasons. All of them, though, have been at Class 5A. This season, Jefferson is ranked No. 1 having a win over West Linn, 90-77, under its belt. The Lions have won 12-straight games since that loss, Jan. 16.
Jefferson, 20-1, lost only to Gonzaga College of Washington, D.C., during the Les Schwab Invitational in December.
State playoffs begin for 6A, 5A and 4A teams Feb. 28 with the round of 32 for 6A teams. The state tournaments are set to begin March 8 at the Chiles Center for 6A, Gill Coliseum for 5A, and in Forest Grove for 4A.
The round of 16 begins for 3A, 2A and 1A schools on Friday with defending 3A champion Dayton is ranked No. 1 heading for a home game against St. Mary's of Medford. The 3A tournament plays out March 1-3 in Coos Bay, while the 2A tournament is at the Pendleton Convention Center, and 1A is at Baker High School.
The Class 1A tournament heads for its round of 16 play Friday after eight opening-round games Tuesday that sent winners to match-ups for the eight league champions.