Boys Basketball

Grant wins epic final

The Generals claim the 6A title with last-second decision
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - The Grant Generals lost three times to neighborhood rival Jefferson this season, but won the game that mattered most Saturday night.

After a pair of free throws by Ty Rankin game the No. 2 Generals a one-point lead with seven seconds left, top-ranked Jefferson managed a shot at the buzzer that hit the rim and bounced over the backboard sending Grant players and fans into a mad celebration with a 63-62 in the championship game of the Class 6A boys basketball tournament at the Chiles Center.

Grant got 22 points from Rankin, who like teammate Kelton Samore, played all 32 minutes.

"We talked about that before the game that it was okay to lose those three games as long as we won this one," Samore said afterward. "When that shot went up at the end, I just lost my breath until it went over the backboard. Then I just ran."

Jefferson trailed by as many as seven points in the second half, but rallied and was just that basket away from defending its title from last year. Kahlil Chatman scored a game-high 30 points, grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Democrats. Jefferson, though, made just eight of 14 free throws. Chatman, Robert Ford and Kamaka Hepa played all 32 for the Democrats.

CLASS 4A

Seaside made all four of its free throws in the final 45 seconds and beat Valley Catholic 48-44 to defend the state title it won last year at Forest Grove High School.

Chase Januk scored a game-high 17 points and dished out five assists to lead Seaside.

 

Marist rallies to return to final

Class 5A heads to finals, PIL dominates 6A, Banks in 4A
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

CORVALLIS - Trailing 26-16 midway through the third quarter, top-ranked Marist started to finally hit shots and Spartans' defense dominated the game from there on the way to a 46-39 win over No. 5 Silverton in the semifinals of the Class 5A girls basketball tournament at Gill Coliseum.

Kayley Elliot led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points for Marist, which had six players score six or more points, and five players make at least two free throws.

The Spartans gave up 20 offensive rebounds, but Silverton turned those only into nine points. Maggie Roth led the Silver Foxes with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Marist had seven blocked shots.

Marist will play in its 10th state final, but last won in 1999. The Spartans lost in the qaurterfinals last year.

La Salle earned a return to the final with a 40-26 win over Bend, scoring 20 points off of just 11 turnovers. Emily Niebergall led the team with 11 points. La Salle beat Silverton in the final last year.

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THURSTON REACHES FIRST FINAL

The third-seeded Colts from Springfield will play for a state title for the first time, and get defending champion Wilsonville as their opponent.

Thurston beat Crater, which would have played in a final for the first time as well, 72-57, in its semifinal to avenge a pair of regular-season losses to the Comets.

Wilsonville beat Churchill 58-43 in a rematch of last year's title game.

Wilsonville beat Thurston, 55-40, in the opening round of the playoffs last season.

PIL DOMINATES 6A BOYS

Top-ranked Jefferson and No. 2 Grant both cruised through their quarterfinals Thursday, but Lincoln's upset of Southridge moved a third Portland Interscholastic League team into the Final Four for the first time.

And, upstart Barlow joined them with a 69-66 win over Tualatin - Jesse White scoring 27 points for the Bruins to counter 36 from Alexis Angeles.

Barlow qualified as the No. 29 team in the playoffs last year, and as No. 20 this season, needing two road wins just to reach the tournament. The Bruins last reached the semifinals in 1996, with their same coach - Tom Johnson - on the sideline.

SOUTHRIDGE MOVES FORWARD

Top-ranked and defending champion Southridge will play No. 4 West Linn in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. today. No. 3 Beaverton and PIL champion Benson will play at 3:15.

West Linn will be looking to reach a final for the first time since 1985. Benson reached its only final in 1991 and is trying to win a title for the PIL for the first time since 1982. Beaverton coach Kathy Adelman Naro would be only the third woman to coach a team to a title with two more wins.

CLASS 4A

Banks and Valley Catholic both shuffled gyms Thursday with differing results - Banks won both boys and girls contests, while Valley Catholic split its games moving between Forest Grove High School and Pacific University in Forest Grove.

The Banks wins moved the school a step closer to a first title in either tournament. The boys play Valley Catholic in a Cowapa League rivalry that the teams split this season, while defending champion Seaside - also from the Cowapa League - plays Newport in the other final.

Banks plays top-seeded Marshfield in the girls semifinals, while Oregon West League rivals North Marion and Cascade play in the other semifinal.

 

 

 

 

Banks readies for historic run

both boys and girls teams are among strong favorites to win
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

When the results from this past weekend's Class 4A basketball playoffs were final, Banks athletic director Ben Buchanan got busy with planning. The Braves didn't need hotel space or a lengthy bus trip, but they looked in need of just a little efficiency in travel.

The Banks boys qualified into the first quarterfinal game of the day in their bracket, while the girls got the second game of their quarterfinals. That put one game finishing as the other was starting. Fortunately, the two gyms holding the 4A tournaments – Forest Grove High and Pacific University - are just a few miles apart. Even better, Forest Grove is just six miles from Banks. With both the boys and girls teams winning their league title – these are exciting times for the formerly sleepy town on the outskirts of Hillsboro.

“The two games aren't far apart, but we want to make sure we can get everyone from one gym to the other and not miss too much of the girls game,” Buchanan said. “Everyone here has a lot of energy to support both teams.”

Braves fans in and outside the school are hoping this is the season Banks becomes a basketball school by winning a state title. Maybe even both state titles.

The boys were unbeaten for most of the year, and is 23-2. Senior Dalton Renne, a 6-foot-6 forward, was voted Cowapa League Player of the Year, a solid feat as two other league teams, Seaside and Valley Catholic – schools that met in the state final last year - played into the tournament as well.

The girls team also fields a 23-2 record, and won the Cowapa League title led by junior Aspen Slifka, who was voted league co-Player of the Year.

The Banks girls have been setting the stage for success for much of the past decade, winning a trophy six times in the past seven seasons. But only once had the Braves won a quarterfinal game – 2012, until last year. Finally, the team got through the quarters, then the semis and was on the way to a title, leading three-time champion Sutherlin 34-16 in the third quarter. But, Sutherlin found its champion's mettle, and rallied to win 49-43.

This season, Sutherlin, which beat Banks in the quarterfinals in 2016, failed to reach the tournament, and Banks has has a year's worth of drive working its game.

“With how that game went last year, it's definitely been a motivator,” fifth-year coach Brandon Begley said. “We talked a lot about how we want to leave everything on court, and not have any regrets after a game.”

Slifka said this season started almost directly after last year's title game ended as she made the all-tournament first team and teammate Sydney Gregg, now a senior, made the second team.

The Banks boys were a bit of a tournament surprise, needing a road win to reach the final eight. But, the Cowapa League had prepped them for playoff success – half of the final eight teams were from the league. After a 72-70 loss to league rival Tillamook in the quarterfinals, the Braves won two games and finished with a fourth-place trophy – the program's first trophy. Ever.

Banks has been able to display two basketball trophies in its office the past year. This year, both teams have been almost unbeatable and have filled the school's gym game after game.

“The success we had late last year, the guys we had coming back and the early season success we had this season really helped grow our confidence,” third-year boys coach Marcus Roche said. “Getting a league title in the toughest league in the state, we definitely think we're in the mix.”

Renne, who said he's likely to play at a junior college next year, has teamed with 6-7 junior Blake Gobel to give the Braves a standout frontline, and the team has two other 6-5 players behind them.

Banks didn't give up more than 50 points until its 15th win, and didn't lose until game 21. In their playoff win over Madras, the Braves hit for 102 points.

Renne said the team has gotten used to being a target.

“Teams circle us on their schedule,” he said. “It's fun to be that team. We get everyone's best.”

The basketball teams have been getting everyone's best from the community, too, with strong support at both home and away games. Renne and Slifka said they expect a very large turnout for Thursday's games.

“I haven't have anyone say they're just going to skip the whole day,” Slifka said. “But, who knows.”

 

Benson moves PIL forward

Techsters survive Tigard, 32-28, No. 1 Southridge wins
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - In a tight game from start to finish, Benson sophomore Tayler Lyday got a crucial steal with 16 seconds left and finished the scoring with a pair of free throws to boost Benson to a 32-28 victory over No. 2 Tigard Wednesday in the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament at the Chiles Center.

The win moved the Portland Interscholatic League champions to the semifinals and a game against No. 3 Beaverton - the second consecutive year a team from the PIL has reached the semifinals.

A team from the league has not won the title since 1982 and has not played in the final since 1991.

Lyday finished with 15 points - nine at the free-throw line, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Delaney Leavitt led Tigard with 10 points. The Tigers hit just 11 of 21 free throws.

CLASS 6A GIRLS

No. 1 Southridge trailed by 10 points in the first quarter and was tied at 27-all late in the third quarter, but dominated the fourth quarter and beat No. 9 Clackamas 57-42.

No. 4 West Linn beat No. 5 North Medford 42-32, and Beaverton handled No. 6 Sheldon 60-45.

CLASS 5A BOYS

Eighth-seeded Churchill edged No. 1 Silverton 53-51 in the biggest upset of the quarterfinals so far.

No. 4 Wilsonville beat Springfield 67-51, No. 3 Thurston advanced with a 70-58 win over Mountain View, and No. 2 Crater beat South Albany 65-54.

 

 

Southridge title defense continues

Skyhawks move to Chiles Center, Jefferson gets bad news
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

Top-ranked Southridge will show off its full roster today when it takes on Clackamas at the Chiles Center at 1:30 p.m. in the opening game of the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament.

That is, if star guard Cameron Brink is able to play after missing most of the team's playoff win over Canby Saturday with an ankle injury.

Southridge lost only a tournament game in December with her in the line-up, and won all 25 of its games by at least 15 points.

The eight-team bracket features eight of the top-nine ranked teams in the state.

Three other quarterfinal games follow the Southridge-Clackamas contest: No. 5 North Medford plays No. 4 West Linn at 3, No. 6 Sheldon plays No. 3 Beaverton at 6:15, and No. 7 Benson plays No. 2 Tigard at 8:15.

CLASS 5A

The girls portion of the tournament opened Tuesday at Gill Coliseum with a pair of slight upsets: No. 6 Bend beat No. 3 Central, 26-23, and No. 5 Silverton beat last year's runner-up Springfield, seeded fourth this year, 40-37. But, Marist and defending champion La Salle both won and advanced to the semifinals set for Thursday. Marist topped Crescent Valley, 53-43, and La Salle beat Crater 52-43.

The boys quarterfinals begin today with top-seeded Silverton opening against Churchill at 1:30 p.m.

In other boys games, Springfield plays Wilsonville at 3, Mountain View plays Thurston at 6:30 and South Albany plays Crater at 8:15.

CLASS 6A

The defending champion Jefferson, announced stunning news Tuesday - junior Marcus Tsohonis will not play in the tournament after breaking a finger in Saturday's win over Grants Pass. Tshonis played a key role for the Democrats in getting them to 24-3 on the season, having lost only to out-of-state teams in December.

Jefferson plays eighth-seeded Jesuit at 1:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals Thursday.

CLASS 4A

Banks appears as a key story with both the boys and girls teams in the title hunt - the boys are seeded No. 1 and girls return most of the crew that reached the final last year.

Defending boys champion Seaside is seeded second, and has a win over the Cowapa-League rival Braves. Valley Catholic of the Cowapa League is also in the tournament giving the league three of the eight qualifiers for the second straight year.

Marshfield is seede No. 1 in the girls bracket and looking to create a legacy having not played into a final in its program history. 

Defending girls champion Sutherlin did not reach the playoffs.

 

 

First-time champs highlight weekend

De La Salle and Pacific boys among six champions
Staff report

De La Salle finally ended its title headache, and Pacific ended its title drought with championships in their respective basketball tournaments to highlight results from Saturday night.

The Knights, who lost their previous four title games including last year to Dayton, beat the Pirates this year, 68-55, at Marshfield High School.

Pacific played into its first boys title game and beat Prairie City, 73-50, at Baker High School.

CLASS 3A

DAYTON 35, SALEM ACADEMY 26

Kalina Rojas scored 12 point, Jaden Moore added 10 and Chloe Cisneros had 11 rebounds to carry the Pirates to their second-straight girls title.

Second-seeded Dayton trailed 6-4 after the first quarter, but jumped to a 16-11 lead at the half, and held the lead for the remainder of the game on the way to finishing the season 29-1.

DE LA SALLE 68, DAYTON 55

The top-seeded Knights got just six points from standout senior Emmanual Reilley, but he grabbed seven rebounds, had three steals and Kadeem Nelson and Kadren Addy picked up the scoring slack with 19 points each to lead the team to its first title.

De La Salle finished 27-1 and with a 24-game winning streak.

Dayton reached the title game along with the school's girls team for the second consecutive year.

 

CLASS 2A

KENNEDY 53, MONROE 40

Kaylin Cantu scored 12 points and Sophia Carley added 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-seed Kennedy to its second girls title in three years with the win over No. 2 Monroe.

Peyton Greene and Madison Ballard scored 12 points each to lead Monroe, last season's champion.

Kennedy ended with a 36-18 edge in rebounds. The Trojans finished 29-1, having lost only to Class 3A champion Dayton in December.

COLUMBIA CHRISTIAN x, WESTERN MENNONITE

Freshman Ben Gregg, a 6-foot-6 forward, had 23 points and 19 rebounds in 32 minutes to lead No. 2 Columbia Christian to its first 2A boys title with the win over No. 1 Western Mennonite.

Columbia Christian finished with a 48-27 edge in rebounds and scored its final 10 points at the free-throw line on the way to finishing 30-1. The Knights were a consistent Class 1A power and won titles in 2010 and '14 before moving up two years ago.

 

CLASS 1A

COUNTRY CHRISTIAN 56, NIXYAAWII 54

In a classic battle between the champions from the past two seasons - and finalists last year, the No. 2 Cougars handed the top-seeded Eagles their only loss of the season to win their second title in three years.

Senior Mollie Lewandowski had 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead Country Christian, which trailed 49-40 with 4:30 left. Lewandowski scored 10 points in the remaining time, including a jump-shot at the buzzer.

Mary Stewart led all scorers with 28 points for Nixyaawii.

PACIFIC 73, PRAIRIE CITY 50

The top-seeded Pirates got a combined 34 points and 33 rebounds from seniors John Keeler and Jack Lehnherr and won the school's first boys title.

Pacific shot 60 percent from the field in the first half to take a 49-29 lead. The Pirates finished the season with a 22-game win streak.

 

 

State finals set

Title game rematches highlight finals
Staff report

The state final is a repeat of last year for two of the six championship games set for today, with one being a very sore spot.

De La Salle reached a state championship for the fifth time with its 47-36 win over Blanchet Catholic, and will face Dayton in a rematch of last season when the Knights lost in the final for the second-straight year and third time in four seasons. Added to a title game loss at Class 2A, De La Salle is entering its fifth title game without having won a title.

Dayton has won five titles, including twice in the past three seasons.

The finale is a repeat at Class 1A girls as well, with Nixyaawii facing Country Christian of Molalla - each team having won a title in the past two seasons.

CLASS 3A GIRLS

Top seed Salem Academy will face off against No. 2 Dayton, which reached the final for the fourth-consecutive year. The programs met in the final three years ago with Dayton winning - the Pirates having won in 2016 as well.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

Defending champion Monroe will play top-seed Kennedy in the final with each program having won a title in the past two seasons - Kennedy won in 2016.

CLASS 2A BOYS

Top-seed Western Mennonite faces No. 2 Columbia Christian in a battle of championship-level programs. Western Mennonite reached the final three times in five years and won the 2011 title, while Columbia Christian has been to six finals and won twice - at Class 1A. This is its first 2A final.

CLASS 1A BOYS

Top-seeded Pacific advaced to its first title game and will take on upstart Prairie City, the No. 7 seed which last reached a title game 25 years ago.

 

 

 

 

High schools hit the road

Teams set travel plans for state tournaments
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

The end of the high school basketball season drew into clear view Saturday night for three of the six classifications across the state.

With the first and/or second round of games complete, the eight-team fields for the Class 3A, 2A and 1A state tournaments were set and hotel arrangements were busily being made for Coos Bay, Pendleton and Baker City.

Among the teams was Portland's De La Salle North Catholic, which beat Colton 73-29 at its home court located at the Salvation Army to reach the tournament for the sixth consecutive year. In three of those years, the Knights have reached the title game only to lose each time, including the past two seasons.

This year, coach James Broadous said after the win the team might try a different approach to the tournament.

"We're thinking about staying at a different hotel," Broadous said. "We've got one assistant coach who is a bit superstitious, and we have to raise the money to travel, too. So, that might be something that happens."

De La Salle is the top seed in the Class 3A tournament having improved to 24-1 overall with its only loss coming to Tualatin's Horizon Christian, which played its way in Saturday as well. Also in the tournament is Dayton, which beat De La Salle in last year's final.

The top four seeds in five of the six upcoming playoff brackets reached the final eight. Only third-seeded Damascus Christian lost in the Round of 16 in Class 1A boys, falling to visiting Joseph 55-43 Saturday. Joseph won two road games to advance to Baker City.  

Here are the quarterfinal match-ups.

CLASS 3A

At Marshfield HS/North Bend HS

BOYS, Thursday at Marshfield

Blanchet Catholic vs. Horizon Christian, 1:30 p.m.; De La Salle vs. Irrigon, 3:15 p.m.; Dayton vs. Oregon Episcopal, 6:30 p.m.; Cascade Christian vs. Santiam Christian, 8:15 p.m.

GIRLS, Thursday at North Bend

Salem Academy vs. Nyssa, 1:30 p.m.; Clatskanie vs. Blanchet Catholic, 3:15 p.m.; Creswell vs. Rainier, 6:30 p.m.; Coquille vs. Dayton, 8:15 p.m.

 

CLASS 2A

At Pendleton Convention Center/Pendleton HS

BOYS, Thursday at Pendleton Convention Center

Western Mennonite vs. Grant Union, 1:30 p.m.; Oakland vs. Toledo, 3:15 p.m.; Vernonia vs. Knappa, 6:30 p.m.; Kennedy vs. Columbia Christian, 8:15 p.m.

GIRLS, Thursday at Pendleton HS

Heppner vs. Kennedy, 1:30 p.m.; Faith Bible vs. Grant Union, 3:15 p.m.; St. Paul vs. Oakland, 6:30 p.m.; Monroe vs. Gold Beach, 8:15 p.m.

 

CLASS 1A

At Baker High School

BOYS, Thursday

Pacific vs. Hosanna Christian, 1:30 p.m.; Triad vs. Nixyaawii, 3:15 p.m.; Joseph vs. Jordan Valley, 6:30 p.m.; Prairie City vs. Sherman, 8:15 p.m.

GIRLS, Wednesday

Country Christian vs. Joseph, 1:30 p.m.; Jordan Valley vs. Days Creek, 3:15 p.m.; Powder Valley vs. Hosanna Christian, 6:30 p.m.; Damascus Christian vs. Nixyaawii, 8:15 p.m.

 

 

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

 

 

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