Clackamas gets its shot

Powered by a 40-point performance, the Cavs reach the final
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Elijah Gonzalez celebrates after scoring and being fouled during Friday's game.
Photo 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.

 

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