Prep

Cardinals move PIL forward

Football playoffs begin with few upsets statewide

The OSAA football playoffs got underway Friday with the usual slew of big scores from heavy favorites, one near major upset, and one score that reminded fans statewide that basketball season is less than a month away.

Teams that played host to games Friday went 34-8, although top-seeded Mountain View essentially survived it's game with Milwaukie, winning 3-0. The Cougars improved to 10-0 on the season, but won for the second consecutive game by just three points. Milwaukie, which lost to second-seeded Wilsonville 49-0 two weeks ago, closed out its season at 5-4. Wilsonville beat Bend 41-21 in its first-round game.

Of the home teams that lost, none were seeded lower than fifth, and three were in the Class 3A ranks.

The noteworthy score happened in Oregon City, where the host Pioneers beat visiting Sunset, 75-72, to advance to a second-round game at second-seeded Clackamas, which beat Willamette of Eugene 53-0.

Portland Interscholastic League champion Lincoln broke free from a 7-3 lead at halftime with four touchdowns in the third quarter and held off Lakeridge, 49-38, and Grant beat McMinnville, 47-13, to earn the district two representatives in the second round.

 

 

State playoffs gear up

Championship finals begin Saturday
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

The high school state playoffs began this past weekend in several sports, but the big events - the state finals - begin Saturday.

The annual cross country finals are set to begin at 10 a.m. on the 5,000 meter course at Lane Community College Saturday, with individual and team titles being awarded in four classifications.

Titles in boys and girls soccer, volleyball and football will also be awarded by the Oregon School Activities Association during the next five weeks.

Championship tournaments for boys and girls water polo are set for the Osborn Aquatic Center on the campus of Oregon State University Thursday through Saturday at Class 5A, and Nov. 10-11 for Class 6A. Water polo is organized outside the OSAA.

Newberg has a three-year win streak going at the Class 6A boys tournament, while Mountain View has won the past two Class 5A boys titles in water polo.

Central Catholic enters the cross country championships as the favorite to not only win the Class 6A boys title, but continue its four-year win streak long into the future. The Rams won the Mount Hood Conference title Wednesday scoring the minimum 15 points - and with the top eight finishers. None of Central Catholic's top eight finishers were seniors. The Rams have won 10 titles since winning their first in 2003.

Summit will look to return to ownership of the Class 6A boys level after having its five-year win streak snapped by Crater last year. The Storm will run into Central Catholic next year, though, as the school moves up to the Class 6A level.

Volleyball championships will play out this weekend as well, with eight-team tournaments set to begin Friday at three courts across the state. Liberty High School in Hillsboro will host the Class 6A and 5A tournaments, with title matches set for Saturday night. Forest Grove High School will play host to the Class 4A and 3A tournaments, while Ridgeview High School in Redmond will play host to the Class 2A and 1A tournaments.

Country Christian of Molalla has the lone volleyball title win streak having won the past three titles at Class 1A.

Sisters and Crook Country, schools that played for the Class 4A title last year, met in the quarterfinals Friday morning with the defending-champion Outlaws winning in three sets.

Boys and girls soccer state title matches in all six classifications will be played Nov. 11 at Liberty High and Hillsboro Stadium. Oregon Episcopal has the lone soccer win streak having won the past three Class 3A girls titles. Of the eight championship matches from last year, three were decided by penalty kicks and only one was decided by more than one goal - Catlin Gabel's 3-1 win over Portland Adventist in the Class 3A boys final.

The state football championship games are scheduled for Nov. 25th and Dec. 2.

Clackamas and West Salem enter the Class 6A playoffs as two of the more interesting teams stemming from their histories: neither has been to a championship game. Clackamas has gone undefeated this season, averaging 53 points per game and earning the second seed in the 32-team tournament. West Salem enters with one loss and the fourth seed. A team from the Salem area has not played for the title since McNary won in 2001.

Since 2008, no team has won the Class 6A title with more than one loss on their schedule. There are seven teams this year with one or no losses heading into Friday.

Only Dufur has a title win-streak going having won the past two Class 1A championships.

 

 

Benson sweats out summer

The schools' athletic program will continue after some worries
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - For an athletic program that survived plenty of rumors of being cut entirely this summer, Monday’s opening day of conditioning practices was a welcome relief at Benson High School.

Now, the real sweating begins.

Benson’s fall teams, as with all other programs across the state, began non-contact drills Monday heading into one of the hottest forecasts on record. And, they’re happy to deal with it.

"We were all a little bit nervous about what might happen," senior Tariq Walker said Monday. "I'm glad to be on the field again. I'm not worried about the heat, or the season really. I don't know how many guys we might have come out, or what to expect about winning, so it's just go out and play hard and do the best you can. That's what we can focus on."

Benson's football team is set to play an independent schedule - one outside of the Portland Interscholastic League, as it did a year ago, with the goal of returning to PIL league play. Although the school is classified as 6A as with the other PIL schools, it's schedule is made up primarily of Class 5A schools, and other independent teams - Glencoe of Hillsboro is also playing an independent schedule.

Third-year head coach Devarieous Sly-Clay said he felt confident the Techmen would play this fall, in all varsity sports, based on conversations and testimony from coaches to the district in spring. But, he said he wasn't fully given the green light until early July.

"(The district athletic office) pretty much told us they weren't going to cut athletics this year," Sly-Clay said. "But, they didn't say anything about next year.

"They're doing a lot of data collection to see whether athletics works out here, but they're missing a key point in getting input from the kids. It makes a huge difference to a lot of these kids to have athletics at their school. Hopefully, they'll take that into consideration."

Benson dropped football in 2014 due to low numbers, and is slowly bringing it back in spite of not having any kind of feeder program. The PIL is promoting youth football with posters across the community, but it only represents eight of the nine schools - Benson does not have a youth program.

Benson suited up two dozen players for most of its games last year, including a girl who is on the roster again this year as a receiver. The team expects to add an exchange student from Germany when daily doubles begin Aug. 14

They're coming off what could easily be considered a highly successful season - winning three games.

Senior Tyler Phillips, the team's returning quarterback, said the football team is a significant element to his high school experience, especially since he's been involved in athletics since age 3.

"Sports has been such a huge part of my life, it would be a tremendous letdown if it were taken away," said Phillips, who also plays baseball. "Sports teaches you discipline, respect, so many other things. If helps you sort out your time, like for training, like you would for studying for a class.

"I hope we can have a great season, a great experience and get people excited so there's a team for the freshmen and sophomores to play on next year."

Sly-Clay said he anticipates around two dozen players again to be part of the program in two weeks, and is hopeful a letter being sent out to incoming freshmen might bring in enough players for a freshman team. Benson is in a unique situation in that there is such a demand to attend the school that most students are selected through a lottery system. Having a youth program that got a student into the school through athletics could easily be seen as recruiting.

"Benson is a great school, but it's got more than a few things working against it in terms of athletics," he said. "It would be great if there was some way we could get student-athletes here without it being looked at as recruiting."

BENSON SCHEDULE

Sept. 1     Milwaukie (5A)

Sept. 8     Parkrose (5A)

Sept. 15   At Woodburn (5A - independent)

Sept. 22   Fort Vancouver, Wash., 5:30 p.m. Homecoming

Sept. 29   Rainier (3A)

Oct. 6       Heritage, Wash.

Oct. 12     Glencoe (Independent)

Oct. 20     At The Dalles (5A - Independent)

Oct. 27     At Kings Way Christian, Wash.

 

Jefferson returns to top of state

Democrats beat upstart Clackamas 70-67 in final
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

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.

 

Oregon City girls return

The Pioneers upset South Salem, play Southridge for title
Staff report

PORTLAND - It's hard to call any victory by the Oregon City girls basketball team an upset, but technically that's what happened Friday.

Trailing by eight points early, the sixth-ranked Pioneers recovered and overcame a 25-point performance from Evina Westbrook to reach the final for the first time in four years by beating second-ranked, and two-time defending champion South Salem 54-46 in the semifinals of the OSAA Class 6A girls tournament at the Chiles Center.

N'Dea Flye led three players in double figures with 14 points for Oregon City, which will play Southridge for the title Saturday night at 8:15 p.m.

Top-ranked Southridge beat No. 4 Grant, 36-34, in the first semifinal.

Since 2001, Southridge and Oregon City have combined to win 11 state titles.

Southridge led from start to finish, but survived a late run by the upstart Generals to return to the final for the first time since 2010.

Saturday's meeting will be the third between the schools in a state final with the Skyhawks having won the previous battles in 2006 and '08.

Clackamas gets its shot

Powered by a 40-point performance, the Cavs reach the final
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - The Clackamas boys basketball program finally played its way into being noticed Friday.

Sparked by a 40-point outburst from senior point guard Elijah Gonzalez, the Cavaliers upset four-time champion West Linn 78-71 in the semifinals of the OSAA Class 6A boys tournament at the Chiles Center.

Gonzalez made nine 16 shots from the field, and 19 of 22 free-throw attempts to lead Clackamas, ranked third, to within a game of its first title.

"We're on a tremendous run, and it's so fun," Gonzalez said afterward. "I always told my dad I was going to lead my team to a state title, and now it's happening."

Clackamas, 24-4, will play top-ranked Jefferson, 26-1, at 3:15 p.m. Saturday for the title.

Jefferson beat Beaverton 63-54 in its semifinal.

West Linn, 22-5, got 17 points from Nolan Bertain, and 15 points from Rodney Hounshell, but saw its drive for an unprecedented fifth straight title end with a late scoring drought. The Lions led 69-68 with 33 seconds left, but Clackamas scored the next 10 points, including seven by Gonzalez.

Matt O'Brien added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

 

Southridge establishes itself

Skyhawks overwhelm St. Mary's in quarterfinal win
Staff report

PORTLAND - Top-ranked Southridge blew through its quarterfinal game with St. Mary's from the opening tip, and cruised past the Blues 82-42, Thursday at the OSAA Class 6A girls basketball state tournament at the Chiles Center.

The Skyhawks scored 31 points in the first quarter to secure the eventual outcome and will play No. 4 Grant Friday as they look to return to the top of the state ranks for the first time since 2010.

Maggie Freeman led four players in double figures with 19 points for Southridge.

The Skyhawks won four consecutive titles, and five in six years beginning in 2005, but have not been to a final since.

Two-time defending champion South Salem moved into the semifinals with a 55-48 victory over Tigard, in a rematch from last season's final.

Upstart Grant beat South Medford 56-45 to become the first team from the Portland Interscholastic League to reach the semifinals since 1991 - the last time a PIL team reached the final. A Portland team has not won the state title since 1982, when Marshall won the second of back-to-back championships.

Oregon City beat rival Clackamas 55-37 in the other quarterfinal, and will play South Salem in the other semifinal.

 

 

 

West Linn readies for challenge

Lions trounce North Medford, move closer to fifth title
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - West Linn might not be the outright favorite to win a state title this year, but they didn't play like that Wednesday.

The four-time defending champions blew through North Medford on the way to 55 points in the first half, and rolled to a 89-59 victory in the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 6A Boys Basketball tournament at the Chiles Center.

Senior Rodney Hounshell hit four three-point shots on the way to 20 points, and senior Braden Olsen made eight of this 10 attempts on the way to 20 points as the second-ranked Lions improved to 22-4 and moved to the semifinals, where they will play third-ranked Clackamas.

West Linn is aiming to be the first boys team at all classifications to win five consecutive titles.

"We definitely wanted to make a statement that we're here to win," said Hounshell, who played at Lake Oswego last year. "Everyone thinks we're the underdog because we aren't ranked No. 1, but we're here to get that fifth state title for the team and for the school."

North Medford got 22 points from Brad Allen, but dropped to 21-6 and will play West Salem in the consolation semifinals.

 

Gonzales leads Cavs to win

A near triple double helps beat West Salem 68-52 and move to semis
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Elijah Gonzales made a solid statement Wednesday that he's ready to move into the role played by Payton Pritchard the past three years, and lead his team to a state title.

Gonzales, a 5-foot-9 guard, scored 31 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead Clackamas to a 68-52 win over West Salem in the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball state tournament at the Chiles Center.

Gonzales mad 12 of 22 shots, including six of 12 three-point attempts, and carried the Cavaliers to the semifinals, moving one step further in the tournament than last year when Pritchard, now a starter at the University of Oregon, led West Linn to its fourth consecutive state title. Pritchard was the state Player of the Year his final three seasons as well.

"This is very exciting getting to play this far into the tournament," Gonzales said afterward. "We're playing well, and playing as a team, and I can't wait for our next game."

West Salem got 20 points from Kyle Greeley, but hit just 38 percent of its field-goal attempts, and just six of 15 free throws.

 

Beavers get past Westview, 56-42

Metro champions move onto Jefferson
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Beaverton got another win over rival Westview, and kept pace with top-ranked Jefferson in the process in the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball tournament at the Chiles Center.

Following Jefferson's fourth win over its rival Grant, Beaverton got 22 points and seven rebounds from junior Jake Estep, and nine points and 11 reounds from Hunter Sweet to beat the Wildcats 56-42, its fourth win over Westview.

Beaverton moved to a 27-15 lead at halftime, and kept the margin at or near double figures for the remainder of the game, and improved to 22-4.

The Beavers are set to play Jefferson in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Jefferson won an early-season game between the two 71-63.

Westview got 16 points and six rebounds from Mason Elliott, but dropped to 22-5. Its only other loss besides the Beavers was to Grant, 53-49, in the Les Scwab Invitational.

 

 

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