Girls Basketball

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.

 

 

Girls hoop has plenty of consistency

Five of six defending champions look like solid contenders
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

Nearing the stretch run of the high school basketball season, a majority of the six defending champions in girls play appear as solid picks to repeat, something that has not happened in the state's history.

At least not yet.

A review of state records shows that since championships began being awarded in 1976, teams regularly repeat as champions, but rarely do the same teams repeat in the same year. The feat happened in two of the four classifications from '76 through 2006 five times, and since 2007 three of the six champions have repeated in the same year. But, no more than four.

This year, that could change, as it did last year when four of the defending champions played in finals. Just Sutherlin won for its fourth straight title at 4A.

This season Sutherlin has struggled to retain its form atop the state rankings and appears as the lone team unlikely to make a run at a title.

Southridge, at Class 6A, is rated at No. 1 among the OSAA rankings heading into the final three weeks of action.

At 5A, LaSalle returns all-tourney unanimous pick Taycee Wedin and is No. 3, behind Central, a relative newcomer to the top rankings, and Marist, a semifinalist last season.

At 4A, Marshfield is ranked ahead of Hidden Valley and has a win over the Mustangs. The Pirates are having a season for the ages as the school has never reached a final in girls play. Banks, last season's runner-up, is ranked third.

At 3A, all four semifinalists from last season are ranked in the top seven, with defending champion Blanchet Catholic at No. 4.

At 2A, defending champ Monroe is ranked second behind Kennedy, the top-ranked team from last season that Monroe beat in the semis. Kennedy won in 2016.

And, at 1A, Nixyaawii and Country Christian appear headed for a return trip to the final, which Nixyaawii won convincingly.

 

 

Kentridge overwhelms Benson girls

Second-half energy propels 54-41 victory
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Sophomore Jordyn Jenkins had a storied night scoring for the Kentridge girls basketball program Satuday night, but the team's defense and rebounding provided the edge in beating Benson in the final of the inaugural PIL Holdiay Classic.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, hit 14 of 17 shots from the field and finished with 32 points and eight rebounds. But, junior teammate JaQuaya Miller, herself 6-4, grabbed 16 rebounds without scoring, and senior guard Tresai McCarver helped hold Benson standout Tayler Lyday to just three points in the second half of a 54-41 victory at Franklin High.

6A GIRLS BASKETBALL BLOG

Benson trailed just 35-32 midway through the third quarter when Lyday seemed to run out of gas and the Techsters followed against Washington's defending Class 4A state champion. The Chargers finished with a 37-20 edge in rebounds and made 23 of 49 field-goal attempts.

"They just seemed to outwork us," said Lyday, a 6-1 guard, who has played nearly every minute of the season for the Techsters. "We seemed to slumber down when we needed to pick it up, and that was the difference."

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Lyday finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Makenzy Porter had 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point range. Four of the Benson players played all 32 minutes, something the team may struggle with when it heads to Washington, D.C., for an elite tournament next week with junior point guard Ciera Ellington nursing a hamstring injury. She may play next week.

In the tournament's other game, Sheldon beat Camas., Wash., 61-43 to finish third, Tigard beat Grant 47-36, and South Medford beat Forest Grove 59-47.

Sheldon is among teams set to play in a tournament at Tualatin beginning Wednesday. The Nike Shootout is set to begin Wednesday as well in Lake Oswego.





 

Benson, Kentridge ready to battle size

Post players figure to be key to PIL Holiday Classic final
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Benson and Kentridge, which showed significant inside presence during their opening two wins, will put their size to battle each other Saturday night in the first PILO Holiday Classic girls basketball final at Franklin High School.

Benson, with a pair of 6-foot players, and Kentridge, with three notable inside players, moved smoothly into the final with wins Thursday and Friday.

Game time is 7 p.m.

 

FIRST ROUND GAMES

The expected offensive show by the Benson girls basketball team showed up Thursday in the first round of the inaugural PIL Holiday Classic - eventually.

After being stuck on 14 points midway through the second quarter, the sixth-ranked Techsters raced past No. 3 South Medford for a 54-34 win at Franklin High School.

Junior Tayler Lyday had 16 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to lead Benson, which will play Camas, Wash., in the semifinals of the eight-team tournament Friday night at 5:15 p.m.

No. 8 Sheldon of Eugene will play Kentridge, Wash., in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.

Camas won a battle with No. 5 Tigard, 40-35, hitting 6 of 12 3-point shots as the difference.

Sheldon held off Grant, 58-53, in a game that featured 69 free throws, and the Generals rallying from a 14-point deficit to within two points in the final two minutes.

Kentridge's height and solid play overwhelmed Forest Grove, 60-26, holding the Vikings to just 10 points in the second half.

SHELDON 58, GRANT 53

In the tournament opener, Sheldon cruised to a 27-13 lead in the second quarter and appeared to have the game in hand - even their players admitted that afterward. But, behind junior Daryn Hickok, the Generals mounted comeback after comeback before the Irish survived at the final buzzer.

Junior Fallon Hanson led Sheldon with 19 points, hitting 12 of 19 shots from the line. Senior Macie Reinen added 15 points and five steals, and sophomore Aly Mirabile had 11 points and four rebounds. But, the trio also accounted for 17 turnovers, which helped keep scrappy Grant in the game.

Hickok, a 5-foot-10 guard, found space behind the Sheldon press time and again for lay-ups that cut the Irish lead to 32-22 at the half, then as close as 53-51 with 44 seconds left. But, with the Sheldon shooters suddenly going cold at the line - just 10 of 17 in the fourth quarter, the Generals couldn't take advantage. Trailing by just a basket, the Irish managed offensive rebounds on sucsessive free-throw misses, causing Hickok to look toward the ceiling and mutter "can we please get a rebound?" Eventually Sheldon found its touch and the game ended routinely.

Marin Leonard added 10 points for the Generals, who hit 20 of 28 free-throw attempts. Grant dropped to 4-2.

Sheldon, which improved to 5-1, made 27 of 41 free-throw attempts, although it hit 17 of its first 24.

Both teams finished with 21 turnovers.

CAMAS 40, TIGARD 35

The Papermakers led for most of the game, but also struggled with turnovers - finishing with 15 to just seven for Tigard. But, Camas had seven players who scored to just five for Tigard, and that simple depth played a significant role after Tigard junior post Dani Lyons went out with an ankle injury midway through the third quarter and did not return.

Senior Courtney Clemmer finished with 10 points and nine rebounds to lead Camas, which also got seven points from junior Haley Hanson, and seven points from top reserve Jordan Wilds, a senior.

Junior Paige LaFountain had 11 points, and junior Campbell Gray added 10 points to lead Tigard, which dropped to 5-3.

BENSON 54, SOUTH MEDFORD 34

The Techsters played without normal starting point guard, junior Ciera Ellington, who is out with a hamstring strain, but that was merely a speed bump once Lyday, a 6-foot-1 guard, took control against a team that features seven freshmen, one sophomore and a junior.

Benson's post combo of 6-2 junior Imani Harris and 6-foot sophomore Aujae Yoakum combined for 20 points and 18 rebounds, a tally that limited by Harris hitting just 2 of 10 free-throw attempts.

Benson, which improved to 3-0, shot 21-of 53 from the field, to just 12-of-44 for South, and made five 3-pointers to none for the Panthers, who dropped to 4-2.

Freshman Bella Pedrojetti had 10 points and eight rebounds to lead South, which also got eight points and eight rebounds from Shakia Perry.

Both Lyday and junior guard Makenzy Porter, who hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, played all 32 minutes for Benson.

KENTRIDGE 60, FOREST GROVE 26

The Chargers, the defending Class 4A state champions from Kent, Wash., dominated the game behind the scoring trio of sophomore Jordyn Jenkins, sophomore Dayla Ballena and senior Tresai McCarver, who combined for 40 points. They also combined for 14 rebounds, 12 assists and 17-of-27 shooting from the field.

Leading 46-16 at the half, Kentridge won the third quarter 10-0.

Junior JaQuaya Miller added with points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Sophomore post Olivia Grosse tallied eight points and seven rebounds to lead Forest Grove, which was coming off a 71-19 win over McKay Friday. The Vikings dropped to 4-2.

 

Benson, PIL begin quest for respect

Lady Techsters, Grant highlight holiday tournament
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

A standout cast of teams makes the inaugural PIL Holiday Classic one to focus on for girls basketball fans this week. And, maybe many years to come.

No. 3 South Medford, No. 5 Tigard, No. 6 Benson, No. 8 Sheldon and a pair of standout teams from Washington are among the eight-team field in the tournament, which begins Thursday at Franklin High School. Grant, which reached the Class 6A tournament semifinals last season, and Forest Grove are also scheduled to appear.

The tournament kicks off at 1:30 p.m. in the newly finished gymnasium, with games following at 3:15, 5:30 and 7:15.

A JV tournament will also be played during the three days, with games at the Marshall High campus.

The tournament is a huge test for Benson, which heads to an invitational tournament in Washington, D.C., the following week, and the largely overlooked PIL.

Benson next suits up Dec. 21 against No. 7 South Medford in the first round of the eight-team PIL Invitational at Franklin High School. The tournament has three other top-10 teams scheduled to play.

Following the three-day tournament, the Lady Techsters head to Washington, D.C., for an eight-team invitational, Dec. 28-30.

A team from the PIL won the state title three times in the first seven state tournaments, but last won in 1982. A team from the PIL - Benson - last played for the state title in 1991.

Grant reached the Class 6A semifinals last season before losing 36-34 to eventual champion Southridge, and finishing with the fifth-place trophy.

Benson reached the state playoffs last season but lost in the first round.

Lincoln, at No. 11, is the next-highest ranked team in the PIL so far this season, according to rankings compiled by the OSAA, with Grant at No. 20.

Forest Grove is No. 22.

Camas, and Kentridge, Wash., are scheduled to appear as well.

THURSDAY GAMES

Grant vs. Sheldon, 1:30 p.m.

Camas, Wash., vs. Tigard, 3:15 p.m.

South Medford vs. Benson, 5:15 p.m.

Kentridge, Wash., vs. Forest Grove, 7 p.m.

 

BENSON ROLLS IN OPENER

Dec. 13, 2017

After a solid, 17-point win over Jesuit in its opener, the Benson girls figured to beat neighborhood rival Jefferson easily, and it did, 77-29.

But, coach Eric Knox still had starters and fullcourt pressure on the floor for this second-ranked squad into the closing seconds ... and expectations, too.

With two minutes left, 6-foot sophomore forward Aujae Yoakum managed a steal at midcourt, and dribbled to the basket directly in front of Knox, who settled back into his chair and talked to her.

“All right, show me something,” said Knox, who played under legendary coach Ralph Miller at Oregon State in the golden days of the 1980s.

Yoakum showed him a fullspeed brick while being chased down from the side by a Jefferson defender.

Knox smiled off that line of dialogue following the game.

“We talked before the game about how to deal with our own, personal resistance,” Knox said of the game, which stood at 23-2 after the first quarter of the Portland Interscholastic League opener for both teams. “I’m trying to get the girls to shift into a different gear and experiment, get them to do something different.

“This season is very early, and the up-side for these kids is scary.”

Benson finished with four players in double figures for points, and is already in the habit of recording rebounds, assists, steals and blocks on the main scorebook for its girls, who feature just one senior.

Junior guard Makenzy Porter led the Lady Techsters with 18 points, while juniors Imani Harris, Tayler Lyday and Ciera Ellington finished with 17, 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Harris also had six rebounds, Lyday had seven assist, five steals and three rebounds, and Ellington had five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals before leaving in the third quarter with a hamstring strain - and those were “soft” numbers tallied by the team’s very busy scorekeeper.

Knox’s idea of different could easily be called regular action for boys teams. During the game, the Lady Techsters twice ran an alley-oop, just without the dunk. But, it’s a rarely seen play in girls games. The team’s pressure defense turned into steals and lay-ups routinely, but also routinely turned into uncontested lay-ups for the Democrats (although they missed many more than they made).

Junior guard Fara Kelly led Jefferson, which dropped to 2-3, with 14 points.

Lyday, who stands 6-1, is already a target for Div. I college programs, and is likely to be a candidate for Oregon Player of the Year.

 

Benson next suits up Dec. 21 against No. 7 South Medford in the first round of the eight-team PIL Invitational at Franklin High School. The tournament has three other top-10 teams scheduled to play.

Following the three-day tournament, the Lady Techsters head to Washington, D.C., for an eight-team invitational, Dec. 28-30.

Benson, which reached the state playoffs last season but lost in the first round, has played for the state title just once - losing to Lakeridge in 1991. That’s also the last time a team from the PIL played for the state title.

A team from the PIL won the state title three times in the first seven state tournaments, but last won in 1982.

Grant reached the Class 6A semifinals last season before losing 36-34 to eventual champion Southridge, and finishing with the fifth-place trophy.

Lincoln, at No. 21, is the next-highest ranked team in the PIL so far this season.

Hoops finally hits the hardwood

High school basketball begins across the state
Staff report

After eight months of shooting drills, defensive shuffles and flat out running until parents showed up looking at their watches, high school basketball kicked off Friday with games across the state.

McKay of Salem hit 90 points in its boys win over Lakeridge, Benson hit 87 in its boys win over Gresham, just as the school's girls team was registering a decisive 61-44 win at Jesuit.

For the Benson girls, the game was a fabulous start to a season that includes a scheduled trip for a tournament in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Snuck into all the excitement of varsity play, was Mountainside of Beaverton beginning its drive toward varsity play next year with a boys Junior Varsity 2 game against Beaverton. Mountainside opened this year.

While league play begins for some of the six classifications, the non-league boys schedule includes the annual 16-team Les Schwab Classic, Dec. 27-30, and annual Nike Invitational for girls, Dec. 27-29.

Oregon City, set to play in the Nike Invitational, began its season Thursday with a four-day tournament in California, and plans to play in an eight-team tournament in Hawaii beginning Thursday as part of its drive to win its first state title since 2014.

Sutherlin's girls team, which has won the past four Class 4A state titles, lost Friday to Dayton in a tournament it plays host to.

 

 

 

Oregon City girls return

The Pioneers upset South Salem, play Southridge for title
Staff report

PORTLAND - It's hard to call any victory by the Oregon City girls basketball team an upset, but technically that's what happened Friday.

Trailing by eight points early, the sixth-ranked Pioneers recovered and overcame a 25-point performance from Evina Westbrook to reach the final for the first time in four years by beating second-ranked, and two-time defending champion South Salem 54-46 in the semifinals of the OSAA Class 6A girls tournament at the Chiles Center.

N'Dea Flye led three players in double figures with 14 points for Oregon City, which will play Southridge for the title Saturday night at 8:15 p.m.

Top-ranked Southridge beat No. 4 Grant, 36-34, in the first semifinal.

Since 2001, Southridge and Oregon City have combined to win 11 state titles.

Southridge led from start to finish, but survived a late run by the upstart Generals to return to the final for the first time since 2010.

Saturday's meeting will be the third between the schools in a state final with the Skyhawks having won the previous battles in 2006 and '08.

Southridge establishes itself

Skyhawks overwhelm St. Mary's in quarterfinal win
Staff report

PORTLAND - Top-ranked Southridge blew through its quarterfinal game with St. Mary's from the opening tip, and cruised past the Blues 82-42, Thursday at the OSAA Class 6A girls basketball state tournament at the Chiles Center.

The Skyhawks scored 31 points in the first quarter to secure the eventual outcome and will play No. 4 Grant Friday as they look to return to the top of the state ranks for the first time since 2010.

Maggie Freeman led four players in double figures with 19 points for Southridge.

The Skyhawks won four consecutive titles, and five in six years beginning in 2005, but have not been to a final since.

Two-time defending champion South Salem moved into the semifinals with a 55-48 victory over Tigard, in a rematch from last season's final.

Upstart Grant beat South Medford 56-45 to become the first team from the Portland Interscholastic League to reach the semifinals since 1991 - the last time a PIL team reached the final. A Portland team has not won the state title since 1982, when Marshall won the second of back-to-back championships.

Oregon City beat rival Clackamas 55-37 in the other quarterfinal, and will play South Salem in the other semifinal.

 

 

 

Benson eyes PIL title, playoffs

Techsters dispatch Cleveland, gear up for playoff run
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Benson's season of success kept moving forward Friday with a 74-36 victory over host Cleveland in PIL girls basketball action.

Sophomore Taylor LyDay scored 20 points, sophomore Makenzy Porter added 15 and sophomore Mahogany Menefee hit four three-point shots and finished with 12 points in the win, which helped the team get one step closer to its ultimate goal: reach the state tournament for the first time since 1996.

The Techsters, who made 11 three-pointers and improved to 18-3 on the season, 13-1 in league play, while Cleveland dropped to 12-8 overall, 9-6.

Junior Julia Downing scored 15 points to lead the Warriors, who honored their three seniors: Elena Matt, Luisa Potestio and Tynesha Parnell prior to the game.

Benson beat No. 3 Grant a week earlier, and sits atop the PIL standings tied with the Generals with two regular-season games to play. Cleveland plays at Benson Monday in its season finale, while Benson follows Tuesday with it's final game at home against Franklin.

The Class 6A state playoffs begin March 1 with the first of two play-in rounds. The state tournament is set for March 9-11 at the University of Portland.

A year after reaching the

Benson started the season with narrow losses to Jesuit and Canby, but has won 18 of its last 19 games, falling just to Grant, 64-44 on Jan. 28. Defense has been the key, coach Eric Knox said Friday, to those wins. Only Grant has been able to score more than 50 points per game against the Techsters. Benson has scored more than 50 points in all but five games - three of them losses.

 

 

 

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.

 

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