Boys Basketball

Benson handles Jeff again with authority

Second-ranked Techmen beat Democrats 69-42
By Cliff Pfenning,

When Bryce White looked back upon Benson’s 69-42 win over Jefferson Friday night, he described the outcome in one word: humiliation.


After getting beaten and sometimes drubbed by the Democrats – three-time defending boys basketball state champions in Class 5A – in the past, the Techmen pounded their neighborhood rival for the second time in a month.

“They did that to us last year,” White said after scoring 20 points. “I think it was by 50 or something, so we wanted to get back at them.”

Jefferson, on the way to finishing 26-3 with one loss by forfeit last year, beat Benson in February by a margin that caused both teams to simply not report the score to media outlets other than Jefferson had won.

Benson, which dropped from Class 6A to 5A in summer, responded to that loss with a 76-53 win over Jefferson Dec. 17. Friday the Techmen got 21 points from standout senior Andrew Andrews and improved to 8-2 overall.

Benson, ranked No. 2, has lost to No. 1 Corvallis (69-60) and Jesuit, the No. 1 team in Class 6A (68-54).

Jefferson, which graduated most of its talent from the three-year title run in June, fell to 5-6 overall. The Demos’ previous three games were decided by three points or less. Sophomore Terrell Penney Jr. led Jefferson with 11 points.

The teams meet again Feb. 4 at Jefferson.

Jefferson led 6-5 midway through the first quarter, but Benson fired off a 16-2 run and eventually led 36-16 at the half.

Benson's roster full of quick guards and small forwards overcame the taller, but less experienced Jefferson roster through the kind of effort expected from a state title contender.


De La Salle runs to solid win on the big court

Knights overcome a key loss with defense and shooting
By Cliff Pfenning,

Just 30 seconds into Tuesday's Lewis and Clark League opener, De La Salle High lost its one true post player for the game with a knee injury.

Donta Scott, a 6-foot-4 junior, went to the bench, and then to the hospital, as the Knights fell behind Warrenton 9-4. Then, they pulled together and ran to a 67-53 win at Concordia University in a boys basketball game.

Junior Ali Liban scored 19 points, senior Brenton Douglas had 17 points and senior Will Garofalo added 12 to push the Knights to 5-1 overall.

"Losing Donta right away, that had us kind of scared," said Douglas, the team's lone returning starter from last season's state tournament qualifier. "But, our big people stepped up and we worked the ball around like we know how. Overall we played pretty good."

After falling behind immediately, the Knights responded with a 20-1 run to end the first quarter and kept the lead to seven or more for the remainder of the game. They forced 28 turnovers, and hit 24 or 45 field-goal attempts (53 percent) in their only home game at the home of the NAIA Cavaliers - the team's only game scheduled for the court this season. The Knights' regular homecourt, the North Portland Salvation Army, features seating for slightly more than 100 spectators.

Senior Reese Johnson led Warrenton (2-3) with 19 points.

With Scott out, De La Salle turned to 6-1 senior Xavier Houston and he finished with 11 points, and more importantly, 11 rebounds.

The Knights, who finished sixth at last season's Class 3A tournament, used defense and a pair of three-point shots as the key to their first-quarter run. The Warriors aided the run by missing five of six free throws.

Warrenton opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run to pull within 24-17, but De La Salle responded with a 7-0 run of its own and that set the tone of the game - Warrenton rallying, but never getting closer than nine points thereafter.

"We were always making a run, but we just seemed to be one basket short of really getting close," Warrenton coach Jash Jannusch said. "But we played them even the last three quarters, so that's a good sign for when we play them at home."

The teams meet again Jan. 21 at Warrenton.

On Frdiay, De La Salle plays at Corbett (4-2, 0-1), while Warrenton plays host to No. 3 Valley Catholic, which beat Corbett 69-46 Tuesday.


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