Boys Basketball

Jeff still owns Portland

No. 1 Democrats survive No. 2 Grant again, 72-68
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Jefferson's K'lum Strickland grabbed a key turnover and made two free throws with 7.5 seconds left to secure a 72-68 victory over Grant Friday night in a battle between the state's top Class 6A teams that was everything it was everything fans had hoped for.

And, there were a lot of fans as school officials cut off ticket sales 30 minutes before the game started at 7:15 p.m.

Jefferson led 67-58 before the Generals fought back to tie the game at 68 with one minute left. But, the Demos got a basket and then Strickland's two free throws to score the third win this year, and eighth consecutive overall, against their neighborhood rivals. Grant has not beaten Jefferson since the Democrats moved back to 6A from 5A three years ago.

The Democrats beat Grant earlier this season 79-74 at the Les Schwab Invitational, 81-80 in early January befor a packed house at Marshall High, then Friday. They also beat the Generals in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs last season.

 

 

Jefferson, Grant on collision course

Grant plays at Jefferson with national attention online
Staff report

The top ranking in the state for boys basketball has fluctuated between Jefferson and Sprague for the last month, but it's finally where most of the passionate fans think it should be - with the defending Class 6A champion Democrats, who have yet to lose to an Oregon team this season.

But, Jefferson gets another solid test Friday when it plays host to No. 2 Grant in North Portland, with the game being webcast on Oregonsports.com.

Viewers in Texas are lining up to catch a glimpse of Jefferson's Kamaka Hepa, who has signed with the Longhorns. The Demos Robert Akil signed with Western Oregon two weeks ago, although as a football player.

Grant will be looking to beat the Democrats for the first time in more than three years having lost twice this season by a combined six points.

The Demos beat the Generals three times last year, including the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.

Friday's game was once scheduled by the district to be played at the Chiles Center at the University of Portland, but Jefferson coach Pat Strickland lobbied to have the game played at Jefferson to maintain homecourt advantage. The UP game would have included the Grant vs. Benson girls game.

Coverage of the game begins live at 7 p.m. on Oregonsports.com

 

 

Jefferson leads title defense ranks

Five of six champions are among state favorites
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

It's win over Lincoln might have seemed uninspired Monday night, but the Jefferson Democrats look like the favorite to win the Class 6A state title in boys basketball for a second consecutive year heading into the final three weeks of the regular season.

The Demos, who have won six state titles in the past 10 years, are ranked second behind Sprague in the OSAA ratings, but are 16-2 with both losses to out-of-state schools. They also have a pair of wins over No. 3 Grant, and the experience of numerous playoff games, something the Olympians lack having not reached the tournament since 2003.

At Class 5A, two-time champion Wilsonville is ranked fourth, but its six losses are to 6A schools or out-of-state teams. And the Wildcats, who were also in the 2015 final, have a seven-game win streak running. Silverton, the 2015 champion, is ranked No. 1.

At 4A, Banks is ranked first and is the lone unbeaten team in the state at 18-0 heading into a key game with second-ranked and defending champion Seaside tonight. The Braves are looking for their first trip to a title game.

At 3A, defending champion Dayton is No. 2 behind De La Salle of Portland, which it beat in the final last season. De La Salle has been to four title games without scoring a win.

At 2A, defending champ Santiam is eighth, with Western Mennonite – the 2011 champion - atop the rankings and Columbia Christian, a two-time champion at Class 1A, in second.

And at 1A, defending champion Sherman is second.

 

 

Sprague holds its ground in Valley

Olympians use big fourth quarter for 56-47 victory
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

SALEM - Sprague had more than just the top spot in the Valley League to contend with Friday night, it had some defense of its state ranking at stake.

And, the second-ranked Olympians handled both, using a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat host, and fifth-ranked McNary 56-47 and retain sole possession of first place in the league standings.

Senior Teagan Quitoriano scored a game-high 19 points, and junior Jailen Hammer added 14 to lead Sprague, which improved to 15-2 overall and 10-0 in league play thanks to its 10th consecutive win.

McNary trailed just 34-33 after three quarters, but let the game fly away in the following five minutes and dropped to 13-5, 8-2 and into a second-place tie with No. 10 West Salem.

The Celtics saw their eight-game win streak end, but are still confident they can wind up within the top eight seeds and secure as many as two playoff games at home on the way to a spot in the eight-team state tournament.

McNary had played to within a game of the tournament the past three seasons. The program hasn’t been to the final eight since 2005.

Senior Ricardo Gardelli led McNary with 14 points, but 11 of those were in the first quarter.

Senior Lucas Garvey and junior Boston Smith both added eight points for the Celtics.

Sprague, which played within a game of the tournament last season, plays a non-league game against Sheldon Tuesday.

Grant, Jefferson appears as state title prep

Top state teams set to meet ... again
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

It was a game once headed for the Chiles Center.

Although it's not going to be played at the University of Portland, it's still to be one of the biggest games in Oregon ... at least until the state tournament.

Grant heads to Jefferson, Feb. 16, with both of the teams likely in the top five in the state, and possibly ranked No. 1 and 2.

Players on the junior varsity teams should be ready for attention as fans arrive early to secure a seat.

Jefferson has a pair of wins over Grant this season - 79-74 in the third-place game of the Les Schwab Invitational, and 81-80 in Portland Interscholasti League play just seven days later at a packed Marshall High School gym. Attendance was so packed that the PIL originally planned to move that follow-up game, plus the Grant vs. Benson girls game, to UP, but those plans fell through.

Jefferson's streak of wins over Grant includes a 77-61 win in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state tournament last year - part of the Democrats' run to the state title.

The Demos beat Grant three other times last season, including the LSI.

Grant has not won a state title since 2008.

 

 

McNary looks for statement game

Celtics hope to run streak across Sprague Friday
Staff report

An eight-game win streak has moved the McNary High boys basketball team to No. 5 in the OSAA state rankings, but the next game is likely to at least keep it there - Sprague.

The Olympians play the Celtics at McNary Friday at 7:15. McNary has rarely had a bigger game on its home court.

Sprague,14-2 overall, already has a pair of wins over McNary this season, and is atop the Valley League standings at 9-0 - ranked No. 2 in the state between Jefferson and Grant of Portland. McNary, 13-4, is 8-1 in league play having lost in league only at Sprague, Dec. 15.

Sprague has a nine-game win streak going.

Both teams are looking to return to the state tournament, with both having lost one game short of the quarterfinals last season. Sprague was seeded No. 8, while McNary was No. 10 in the 32-team bracket.

McNary, which did not qualify for the playoffs in 2013, lost one game short of the tournament in 2015 and 2016 as well, a streak of three consecutive years. The Celtics last appeared in the eight-team state tournament in 2005.

McNary won its lone state title under legendary coach Mike Doherty in 1968, three years after opening.

Sprague last appeared in the tournament in 2003. The Olympians have never played in a state final.

 

 

Broncos get back on track

Parkrose edges Putnam in battle for second win of season
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

MILWAUKIE - In the battle to escape the cellar of the Northwest Oregon Conference, the Parkrose Broncos leaned on their seniors to deliver a 60-58 victory over host Putnam in Class 5A boys basketball action Friday night.

Seniors Justin Tran, Isamu Chang and Darnel Jones combined for 39 points to lead Parkrose, which improved to 2-8 on the season, in the conference opener for both teams.

Putnam dropped to 1-10, leaving it as one of just three schools at Class 5A with one win on the season.

Junior Ruben Onishchenko scored 16 points to lead all scorers, and senior Dustin Britt added 14 for Putnam.

Parkrose dominated much of the first half on the way to a 28-13 lead, but the Kingsmen battled back and eventually led 36-34 after an 8-0 run to start the second half. The game see-sawed for the final 12 minutes with Parkrose in the lead, but Putnam continually rallying. Putnam had an opportunity to tie or win in the final 10 seconds, but missed a three-point shot and Parkrose ran out the final seconds.

The Broncos, who have won two of the past three games, return to action Tuesday against Sandy. Only one of the losses suffered by Parkrose is to a Class 5A team.

Putnam plays host to St. Helens Tuesday. The loss is the third by three points or less in the past four games for the Kingsmen, including Wednesday's 84-83 loss at McKay in Salem. Putnam lost to Glencoe 43-40, Dec. 29, then beat Ridgeview the following day in a tournament in Bend in it's previous two games.

 

 

Oregon teams again dream of tourney title

Les Schwab Invitational brings another national field to Hillsboro
Staff report

The state’s Class 6A rankings for boys basketball should become much more organized next week following the annual Les Schwab Invitational, set for Dec. 27-20 at Liberty High in Hillsboro.

Among the 16 teams are third-ranked Oregon City, No. 4 Southridge, No. 5 Lake Oswego and defending champion Jefferson. The elite field also includes national powers Oak Hill Academy from Virginia, and Mater Dei from Santa Ana, Calif.

Since the tournament moved to Liberty High in 2004, an Oregon team has won just once - 2012 when Lake Oswego beat Jesuit in the final.

This year’s field:

Barlow Bruins
Beaverton Beavers
Clackamas Cavaliers
Grant Generals
Jefferson Democrats
Jesuit Crusaders
Lakeridge Pacers
Lake Oswego Lakers
Oregon City Pioneers
Southridge Skyhawks
South Eugene Axemen
West Linn Lions
West Salem Titans
Crespi Celts, Encino, Calif.
Mater Dei Monarchs, Santa Ana, Calif.
Oak Hill Academy Warriors, Mouth of Wilson, Va.

Hoops finally hits the hardwood

High school basketball begins across the state
Staff report

After eight months of shooting drills, defensive shuffles and flat out running until parents showed up looking at their watches, high school basketball kicked off Friday with games across the state.

McKay of Salem hit 90 points in its boys win over Lakeridge, Benson hit 87 in its boys win over Gresham, just as the school's girls team was registering a decisive 61-44 win at Jesuit.

For the Benson girls, the game was a fabulous start to a season that includes a scheduled trip for a tournament in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Snuck into all the excitement of varsity play, was Mountainside of Beaverton beginning its drive toward varsity play next year with a boys Junior Varsity 2 game against Beaverton. Mountainside opened this year.

While league play begins for some of the six classifications, the non-league boys schedule includes the annual 16-team Les Schwab Classic, Dec. 27-30, and annual Nike Invitational for girls, Dec. 27-29.

Oregon City, set to play in the Nike Invitational, began its season Thursday with a four-day tournament in California, and plans to play in an eight-team tournament in Hawaii beginning Thursday as part of its drive to win its first state title since 2014.

Sutherlin's girls team, which has won the past four Class 4A state titles, lost Friday to Dayton in a tournament it plays host to.

 

 

 

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.

 

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