Boys Basketball

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.

 

 

Jefferson rolls through Grant again

Top-ranked Democrats beat neighborhood rivals for fourth time
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Top-ranked Jefferson overcame a sluggish first half and beat league rival Grant 77-61 Wednesday in the opening round of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball tournament at the Chiles Center.

The win advanced the Democrats to the tournament semifinals for the second straight year, and was the fourth time they beat Grant this season.

Jefferson got 17 points from senior Geno West and 12 points and nine rebounds from sophomore Kamata Hepa, while improving to 27-1. Leading 35-28 at halftime, the Demos outscored the Generals 42-33 in the second half.

"It's important for the guys because they're all friends, and play against each other all the time," Jefferson coach Pat Strickland said. "There's some bragging rights there."

Jefferson made eight of 24 three-point shots, but Grant made just two of 11.

Grant got 16 points from Anthony Deloney, and will enter the consolation bracket with a chance to finish fourth.

 

 

 

 

Jefferson runs past Jesuit to tournament

Top-ranked Demos use fastbreaks to beat Crusaders 98-86
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - The anticipation of a Jefferson vs. West Linn state final took another step forward Friday as the top-ranked Democrats beat visiting Jesuit 98-86 in the second round of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball playoff.

Junior Kamaka Hepa scored 28 points, sophomore Marcus Tsohonis added  23 and seniors Geno West and Thomas Miles combined for 32 points to lead Jefferson in an intense game that featured 51 free throws and a pair of technical fouls.

Hepa led the way at the free-throw line by making all 12 of his attempts. Tsohonis hit four of the team's six three-point shots.

The victory advanced the Demos to the eight-team state tournament that begins Wednesday at the Chiles Center, with second-ranked West Linn playing on the the other side of the bracket.

Jefferson is 24-1, having lost only to Gonzaga College of Washington, D.C, in the Les Schwab Invitational in December, 91-70, plays Portland Interscholastic League rival Grant at 1:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Democrats have beaten Grant three times this season, including in the LSI.

Grant, which beat Sprague of Salem 74-72 Friday, improved to 17-8.

The Demos beat West Linn 90-77 on January 16; but have the memory of a semifinal loss to the Lions last season still fresh in their memories. West Linn won its fourth-straight state title last season and is attempting to be the first school to win five consecutive titles in boys play.

West Linn, which beat Lincoln of the PIL 76-65 Friday, plays North Medford in the quarterfinals at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.

In other quarterfinal games, Beaverton plays Westview at 3:15, and West Salem and Clackamas play at 6:30.

 

De La Salle defends its turf

Knights head back to 3A tourney with 49-46 win over Coquille
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - The De La Salle North Catholic basketball program might not have a dazzling on-campus arena, but it definitely has a home territory in the Class 3A hoop world at the Moore Street Salvation Army Gym. And, the Knights did what they needed to protect their home court Friday, and played their way back into the boys state tournament with a 49-46 victory over Coquille.

Sophomore Kadeem Nelson scored 15 points, senior Jordanos Lincoln scored 10 and senior Marquis Guntle added 10 points, including hitting all four of this free-throw attempts in the final 40 seconds to send the team back to the tournament in Coos Bay for the fifth consecutive year.

Junior Seth Waddington scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Red Devils, who lost to the Knights for the third time in four years in the tournament play-in game. Coquille has missed the tournament by one victory eight times in the past nine years, and has not been to the double-elimination tournament since 2003.

De La Salle improved to 20-5 on the season, and will play Amity in the quarterfinals Thursday at North Bend High School. Amity beat Colton 69-63 Friday to improve to 21-5.

Coquille finished at 19-7.

The Class 3A Tournament begins Wednesday with the girls quarterfinals, then picks up with the boys quarterfinals Thursday. The boys and girls championship games are set for Saturday at Marshfield High in Coos Bay.

De La Salle's quickness and physical play seemed to catch Coquille off-guard at the start of the game, and the Knights went up 9-0 before the Red Devils scored. Early in the second quarter the lead extended to 18-7, but junior guard Henry Scolari led the Coquille comeback by continually breaking the De La Salle fullcourt pressure. A series of lay-ups by senior forwards Noah Hyatt and senior Dustin Davis, and clutch jump shots from Waddington eventually turned into a 34-33 lead when Davis completed a three-point play with 2:16 left in the third quarter.

Coquille led 38-36 entering the fourth quarter, but quickly reached 10 team fouls and the Knights spent much of the fourth quarter at the free throw line. De La Salle outscored Coquille 13-8 in the final quarter, with nine of those points as free throws as the lead changed hands five times.

A pair of free throws by Scolari with 43 seconds left cut De La Salle's lead to 45-44, then after Guntle hit a pair of free throws, Hyatt scored after an offensive rebound to make the score 47-46. Guntle drew a quick foul and hit both shots with nine seconds left.

Coquille set up Waddington for a game-tying shot, but it missed and the Knights celebrated a return to the Southern Oregon Coast.

 

 

 

 

Grant battles to key victory

The Generals' offense doesn't quite click, but they beat Lincoln 61-50
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - A season-low total of points in the first quarter might have been just what the Grant Generals needed as they head toward the state playoffs.

After putting up just six points in the first quarter and trailing by as many as 10 points in the half, Grant rallied behind solid defense and strong passing to overcome an inspired performance by Lincoln, 61-50, in a PIL boys basketball game Tuesday at Lincoln.

Grant got 15 points from junior Kelton Samore, and 14 points each from senior Noel Bangsberg and sophomore Aaron Deloney to improve to 14-8 overall and 12-3 in league play with one game left against Benson. The Generals are ranked No. 9 by the OSAA calculations, which would put them in position to play host to possibly two games in the state playoffs next week.

"I told them that's playoff basketball, at it's best for us," Grant coach Robert Key said of his post-game team meeting. "One of the best wins on the road for us all season."

Lincoln got 15 points from junior Bryce Sloan, but got outscored 22-6 in the fourth quarter and dropped to 13-8, 10-5 with its OSAA ranking at 16. At No. 16, the Cardinals would play host to a first-round playoff game.

Grant entered the game with the idea a win would boost its resume to a ranking of No. 8, with a key factor being its strength of schedule that includes top-ranked Jefferson twice as well as No. 2 West Linn twice. All four games were among its eight losses. At No. 9, they would only play host to the first-round game and play the second round at the 8th seed unless that team lost in the first round.

The resume boost looked shaky in the first eight minutes as the Generals missed lay-ups and an array of outside shots, scoring just six points and trailing 14-6 after one quarter. The team ramped up its offense to trail just 29-24 at halftime and finally got the lead at 37-36 on an offensive rebound by the 6-foot-9 Samore with 3:16 left in the third quarter.

Lincoln finished out the quarter with an 8-2 run and led 44-39 with eight minutes left. But, the Cardinals scored only one point in the first five minutes of the quarter and strong free-throw shooting by Deloney - who made nine of this 10 free throws, boosted the Generals to the win.

 

 

 

West Linn aims for historic boys 5-peat

The post-Payton Pritchard Lions are still solid as tournament play nears
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

In what would be a first for boys basketball in Oregon, West Linn high is on a path to win five consecutive titles as the state playoffs near.

The Lions rode standout Payton Pritchard to Class 6A titles the past four seasons, and are ranked No. 2 according to the OSAA.

Only Jesuit has won four-straight titles in boys basketball, ironically, winning those the four years prior to West Linn's run.

Standing in West Linn's way is North Portland power Jefferson, which has won five titles in the past nine seasons. All of them, though, have been at Class 5A. This season, Jefferson is ranked No. 1 having a win over West Linn, 90-77, under its belt. The Lions have won 12-straight games since that loss, Jan. 16.

Jefferson, 20-1, lost only to Gonzaga College of Washington, D.C., during the Les Schwab Invitational in December.

State playoffs begin for 6A, 5A and 4A teams Feb. 28 with the round of 32 for 6A teams. The state tournaments are set to begin March 8 at the Chiles Center for 6A, Gill Coliseum for 5A, and in Forest Grove for 4A.

The round of 16 begins for 3A, 2A and 1A schools on Friday with defending 3A champion Dayton is ranked No. 1 heading for a home game against St. Mary's of Medford. The 3A tournament plays out March 1-3 in Coos Bay, while the 2A tournament is at the Pendleton Convention Center, and 1A is at Baker High School.

The Class 1A tournament heads for its round of 16 play Friday after eight opening-round games Tuesday that sent winners to match-ups for the eight league champions.

 

 

 

 

 

State hoop finals begin

Top seeds among champions in first weekend of tournaments
March 5, 2015 / Staff report

The first wave of state basketball championship tournaments played out during the weekend at sites across the state.

At Class 3A, sixth-seeded St. Mary's of Medford beat No. 4 seed De La Salle North of Portland 59-53 in a stellar boys final at Marshfield High School.

Top-seed Dayton ran out to a 40-25 edge after two quarters and won the girls title 56-42 over Amity.

St. Mary's had a 7-2 run in the final two minutes in the boys final.

Teddi Hop had 18 points and Shawnie Spink added 12 points and 12 rebounds for Dayon in the girls final.

 

At Class 2A, second seeded Vernonia beat top seed Regis 57-49 to win the boys title, while top-seed Kennedy beat Burns 52-32 in the girls final at the Pendleton Convention Center.

Tristam Adams led three Vernonia players in double figures with 14 points.

Kenzie Ratliff scored 25 points to lead Kennedy in its win.

 

At Class 1A, the Sherman boys and Country Christian girls won titles in the tournament at Baker City.

Sherman rallied in the second half to beat Columbia Christian 53-45, winning the second two quarters 35-22.

Country Christian forced 22 turnovers in its 54-37 win over North Douglas. Kennedy Nofziger scored a game-high 18 points for Country Christian.

 

Demos overwhelm Cardinals

Jefferson avenges its only PIL loss with a powerful 76-55 win at Lincoln
Feb. 10, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

PORTLAND - The Jefferson High boys basketball team apparently got the message the Lincoln High team sent them Jan. 10. If the Democrats didn't play like they wanted to win the state title, they ran the risk of losing.

Tuesday, they showed off they don't plan on losing anytime soon.

Behind a dominating defensive performance led by senior center Isaiah Robinson's five blocked shots, and 24 points from senior point guard Kadeem Strickland, the Democrats ran over Lincoln, 76-55, avenging the 65-64 loss the Cardinals handed them in their first meeting.

The win was their ninth-straight by double-digits, and eighth-straight by at least 21 points. Jefferson improved to 15-4 overall, 12-1 in PIL play, a game ahead of the Cardinals in the race for the league title.

Jefferson dominated from the outset, turning a 7-3 lead into an 18-3 tsunami of offense and defense. Lincoln, tempered by the pass-first, shoot second mentality of teams that haven't tasted state glory, got overwhelmed into the fourth quarter, when Jefferson led 65-30. The Cardinals responded to reach the final score, but the PIL's hopes for playoff glory clearly rest with Jefferson. And, the Democrats know it.

Cards ready their hand

Lincoln gears up for duel with Jefferson by beating Benson 56-43
Feb. 6, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

PORTLAND - The ebb and flow of the high school boys basketball season showed itself in the second half of Lincoln's win over Benson Friday night as the Cardinals pulled out to a solid lead, extended it to a bigger lead, watched it dissolve then cruised to a 56-43 decision.

Lincoln led 35-29 at halftime, and 44-32 early in the fourth quarter before Benson rallied to within 44-41 with three minutes left. After a series of missed shots and turnovers by both teams, free throws eventuall pushed the host Cardinals to the win and a 10-1 record in the Portland Interscholastic League, 14-5 overall.

Sophomore guard Jonah Pemberton scored 17 points and junior Nic Wolf added 11 to lead Lincoln, which moved a half-game ahead of idle Jefferson in the race for the league title. The teams meet Tuesday at Lincoln.

"Our collective goal all season has been to win the league title," Wolf said. "Everyone knows Jefferson is the top team, and for us to win the league title we have to beat them. Having that win over them gives us a lot of confidence, but we know they remember that. It's going to be a big test."

Sophomore Will Lakayi led all scorers with 18 points for Benson, which dropped to 5-14 overall, 2-9. The Techmen have a week off before playing at Cleveland.

Lincoln's fluid season started off at 3-4 before a run of 11 wins in the past 12 games, including four in the past eight days. Within the stretch the Cardinals beat Jefferson 64-64 on a last-second three-point play by Pemberton.

Three days later they beat Madison 80-28, but a week after that they lost to Cleveland 66-48 showcasing the keys to their season - energy and focus. With a team of primarily role players, the Cardinals were possibly playing above their talent in beating Jefferson, which won the Class 5A state title last season and won a pair of games in the Les Schwab Invitational - one over currently third-ranked Jesuit.

"We definitely played with a lot of energy," Wolf said of the Jefferson win. "We matched their energy and their focus and that's been our biggest challenge this season - keeping that consistent energy and focus."

Jefferson responded to the loss, which came during a day of league games at Marshall High, Jan. 10, with seven consecutive wins by an average margin of 36 points. Jefferson is ranked sixth in the latest OSAA Rankings, while Lincoln is 14th. No other PIL team is ranked higher than 25th.

Lincoln has three state titles to its resume - 1919, '52 and '57, and was a state player from 2009-13 under coach David Adelman. But last season, the team fell to 27th in the state rankings under coach Sean Christensen. Lincoln last won the PIL title - the title with all the current schools playing at the same classification - in 2003.

 

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