Midwest tames Global hoops field

Landen Lucas helps West reach third-place game
By Cliff Pfenning and Nathan Sarles, oregonsports.com
Westview-bound Landen Lucas showed off his leaping ability Sunday at the Nike Global Challenge.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Sim Bhullar of Canada.
Photo by Nathan Sarles, oregonsports.com.

HILLSBORO – Portland got its first look at the return of Landen Lucas and the world of international basketball got a look at the future of the Canadian National Team this weekend during the Nike Global Challenge at Liberty High School.

Canada battled the US Midwest All-Stars into the second half of the title game of the eight-team tournament before the Midwest pulled away for a 99-94 win.

Archie Goodwin of Little Rock, Ark., led the Midwest, while 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar led Canada, which featured another 7-footer.

Lucas, who transferred to an out-of-state academy, will play his senior season at Westview, just a short distance from Sunset, where he played his first two seasons.

The 6-foot-10 center figures to be one of the top players in the state, giving the Wildcats a significant opportunity to dethrone three-time defending champion Jesuit.

“Choosing to go to Westview was more a love of coach (Pat) Coons than a dislike of coach (Todd) Sherwood,” Lucas said after the West lost to the East 122-114 in the third-place final. “They’ll just prep me more for a pro-style team.”

Westview lost to Jesuit in the Class 6A final last year.

Lucas, a last-minute addition to the West team after J-Mychal Reese of Bryan, Texas suffered an injury, played sparingly Sunday, but had 10 points and 14 rebounds in the team’s opening game, a 106-74 win over Puerto Rico.

The West lost 121-101 to the Midwest on Saturday.

The three US teams lost just once to an international team – Canada beating the East 104-83 on Saturday. In that game, Bhullar had 16 points and 11 rebounds and helped his team shoot 55 percent from the field.

Brazil, which lost just 85-74 to Canada in the first round, went 2-1 and finished fifth.

The tournament was the finale of a series of Nike Elite Tournaments that began in March.