South Medford kept is season of destiny going Wednesday in the Class 6A girls basketball quarterfinals, while chief rival Oregon City got shelved.
The Panthers, ranked No. 1 all season, beat Glencoe 62-50 to reach the semifinals for the first in school, while the Pioneers, ranked second virtually all season, lost to Three Rivers League rival West Linn, 49-43, at the Rose Garden.
South Medford will face Central Catholic, another school that has not won a state title, in the semifinals Friday, while West Linn will play Westview, which is the lone remaining school to have won a title - in 2000.
Central Catholic beat St. Mary's 51-48, while Westview edged Southridge 39-37.
At 5A, defending champion and top-ranked Springfield and No. 2 Willamette easily won their quarterfinals to continue on a path to a championship showdown. Springfield overwhelmed Wilsonville 59-15, while Willamette beat Milwaukie 59-32. The Millers will play Bend, a 49-39 winner over Hermiston, in the semifinals Friday at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, while Willamette will play West Albany, a 52-36 winner over Lebanon. West Albany lost to Springfield in the final last year.
Bend has never played in a final.
At Class 4A, both Philomath and Banks scored upsets to reach the semifinals. Philomath, seeded fourth, upset No. 1 seed Madras, 34-32, while third seed Banks beat second seed Mazama, 44-33. In the other quarterfinals, top seed Sutherlin beat Cascade 41-38, and second seed Tillamook beat third seed Henley 43-37.
Philomath will face Tillamook and Sutherlin will face Banks in the semifinals at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
Banks and Tillamook are playing for their first title.
No. 2 Oregon City beats Lake Oswego three days before key TRL game
Feb. 7 2012 / By Jordan Royer, oregonsports.com
Second-ranked Oregon City girls basketball team rolled in and out of Lake Oswego Tuesday with a 76-41 tune-up in preparation of its game with No. 4 Clackamas Friday.
Jenae Paine and Catelyn Preston set the tone early for the Pioneers as they combined to score 19 first-quarter points and help their squad to a 25-12 advantage entering the second quarter. They didn't let up there as Marcie Lugar helped add to the Oregon City lead. Paine finished the contest with 16 points while Preston and Lugar each tallied 14.
“Everyone is working hard in the right way and it gives everyone a chance to score … tonight was my night, I guess,” Lugar said.
Oregon City, now winners of seven straight, have averaged over 80 points since its loss to top-ranked and unbeaten South Medford. The Pioneers improved to 17-2 overall, 6-0 in Three Rivers League play.
Lindsay Shallman scored 10 points for Lake Oswego, but finished with 12. Marlee Chovich added eight points for the Lakers, who dropped to 10-9, 1-5.
Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf said his team is playing to its game plan as it gets farther removed from the 69-50 loss to South Medford in the title game of the Nike Interstate Shootout, Dec. 30.
“If we can make the easy ones then we can get into our press," Guelsdorf said. "It all starts with pressure.
“I like how we are playing, I like our chemistry."
Oregon City beat Clackamas 64-58 when the teams met at Clackamas, Jan. 17. Clackamas enters Friday's game at Oregon City at 15-4, 4-2 with its other TRL loss coming to West Linn.
Oregon City plays host to West Linn Tuesday.
Oregon City......25 15 16 20
Lake Oswego...12 11 7 11
Oregon City- Walters 2-0-6; Gertz 1-0-3; Lugar 5-4-14; Goff 1-0-2; Fifield 2-0-5; Jer. Paine 1-2-4; Jo. Paine 3-2-8; Bradford 1-0-2; Johnson 1-0-2; Jen. Paine 5-2-16; Preston 7-0-14
Jan. 18, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
For a school that's never been past the state tournament quarterfinals, South Medford has turned into a national power in just one year.
Following a four-point win over Springfield in their season opener, the top-ranked Panthers have beaten every in-state opponent by at least 15 points, including a 69-50 blowout of No. 2 Oregon City in the title game of the Nike Northwest Shootout. The team has scored 81 points or more in nine of its 14 wins and has reached No. 12 in the MaxPreps National Rankings.
South Medford opened Southern Oregon Conference play with three wins by an average of 24 points.
Oregon City, 13-2, has scored 60 or more points in all of its wins and has one of the state's most bruising schedules, including a trip to Hawaii, to back up its ranking. The Pioneers are looking for their first title in three seasons.
No. 3 Westview, 9-4, and No. 4 Central Catholic, 13-1, which has lost only to Westview, appear as the top outside contenders. The Rams are 5-0 in Mount Hood Conference play.
Crusaders win third-straight boys title, first girls title
The Jesuit Crusaders won their first girls basketball state title with a late scoring burst and outstanding overall play from first-team all-tournament selections Rachel Mendelsohn and Elizabeth Brenner.
With the game tied at 36, Brenner hit a jump shot and later added a free throw and Mendelsohn hit three free throws for the Crusaders' remaining points. Clackamas, which trailed by 13 at halftime, had two shots to tie in the final 10 seconds, but missed both.
Brenner finished with 17 points, while Mendelsohn added 15.
Jen Reese had 10 points and seven rebounds for Clackamas, which was also seeking its first title.
JESUIT 60, WESTVIEW 46
The Crusaders rallied from a halftime deficit with 41 second-half points and easily won their third straight boys title, becoming the first school to win three straight boys titles at the highest classification.
Four Jesuit players reached double figures led by Jordan Akwenuke with 14 points. Kyle Wiltjer added 13 points and five rebounds.
Austin Kuemper led Westview with 15 points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats, seeking their first title, lost to Jesuit in the final last year as well.
Top-ranked Jesuit avoided the pressure of an anticipated dogfight with Oregon City by shooting its way to a solid 72-61 win in the semifinals of the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament Friday at the Rose Garden.
Elizabeth Brenner made 7-of-8 shots from the field and scored 23 points, Jean Parker hit four 3-point shots and the Crusaders made 21 of 36 free throws to reach the final for the fourth time.
Jesuit will attempt to win its first title Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Aly Holterhoff led Oregon City with 17 points.
A day after the top-ranked boys basketball team from Jesuit pounded Roseburg of the Southern Oregon Conference, the girls basketball team from Jesuit pounded South Medford of the Southern Oregon Conference to join the boys in the semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament at the Rose Garden.
Jesuit beat South 57-35 to advance to the semis for the second straight year.
The Crusaers will play in the semifinals Friday at 1:30 p.m., with the Jesuit boys playing their semifinal with Central Catholic in the following game tentatively set to start at 3:15 p.m.
Amy Delong hit just four of 16 shots from the field Saturday, but they were all 3-point shots and her 16 points and 13 rebounds led Vale to the Class 3A girls basketball state title with a 49-36 win over Salem Academy at Marshfield High School.
The title is the school's third, following a Class 3A title in 1990 and 2A in 1993.
At Class 2A, the trio of Kasse Keudell, Kayla Dolby and Becca Buck scored nine points each and led Regis past Scio 41-21 at the Pendleton Convention Center for its third title and second in two years.
Regis won at Class 2A in 1985 and at Class 3A last year before the school dropped to 2A this year.
In Class 1A, Jessica Simpson scored 20 points and Kanisha Perry added 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Nizyaawii to the school’s first state title in any sport with a 75-50 win over Hosanna Christian at Baker High School.
Upsets are few as 6A, 5A, and 4A tournament fields are set
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The seniors on the Clackamas High girls basketball team were plenty nervous heading into Saturday's playoff game with Three Rivers League rival West Linn, regardless that they'd lost just one game all season.
In the final week of the regular season, they beaten the Lions just 47-42 and they were facing a program history of heartbreak.
"It was a long day, waiting for the game," senior forward Jen Reese said. "I just wanted to get on the floor so we could win and then go to the tournament."
Reese scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and senior guard Natalie Myers scored a team-high 17 points to lead the second-ranked Cavaliers past West Linn 55-35 and into the eight-team Class 6A state tournament. Clackamas is in the tournament for the second time in three years, but will play at the Rose Garden this year.
Clackamas will play St. Mary's Academy Thursday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Cavaliers have reached the final 16 in state playoff action 19 times, but have never reached the semifinals.
Top-ranked Jesuit, the runner-up last year, played its way in as well with a 70-27 win over Barlow. The Crusaders will face South Medford in the first game of the girls tournament Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Oregon City, Tigard, South Eugene and Beaverton also played their way in Saturday. In the Class 6A bracket, only one visiting team - St. Mary's - won in the 24 games played Wednesday and Saturday.
In Class 5A, top seeds West Albany and Springfield played their way into the tournament, which will be played at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. All eight home teams won Saturday.
At Class 4A, top seedes La Salle and Cascade won, but Mazama and Crook County pulled upsets to reach the tournament at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. Crook County, a No. 7 seed, is the lowest seed to play into the 6A, 5A or 4A tournament among boys or girls teams.
SATURDAY RESULTS CLASS 6A TIGARD 53, Tualatin 34 BEAVERTON 55, Westview 50 CLACKAMAS 55, West Linn 35 JESUIT 70, Barlow 27 OREGON CITY 42, Southridge 30 SOUTH EUGENE 55, Lincoln 29 SOUTH MEDFORD 74, Glencoe 60 St. Mary's Academy 53, THURSTON 42
CLASS 5A WILLAMETTE 48, Liberty 45 HERMISTON 60, South Albany 33 CRESCENT VALLEY 44, The Dalles-Wahtonka 27 WEST ALBANY 47, Wilson 28 SHERWOOD 55, North Eugene 50, (OT) SPRINGFIELD 59, Milwaukie 29 WILSONVILLE 59, Jefferson 46
CLASS 4A BANKS 47, Philomath 40 LA SALLE PREP 70, Baker 26 HENLEY 55, Ontario 33 Mazama 60, TILLAMOOK 51 MADRAS 61, Siuslaw 31 Crook County 47, CENTRAL 42 BROOKINGS 48, Junction City 27 CASCADE 58, La Grande 44
The seniors at Roosevelt High earned at least one win this season in girls basketball thanks to a standout game by freshman Zoe MacWilliamson.
MacWilliamson scored 15 points to lead the Roughriders past Marshall 43-37 Wednesday at Roosevelt. The Riders also got eight points from senior Ilena Allen and six points from junior Megan Norton during the battle of winless teams.
Roosevelt, 1-16, plays host to Crook County Friday and then at Marshall to close the regular season, Feb. 18.
Marshall, 0-14, plays host to Crook County on Wednesday and then the Roughriders.
Jesuit's boys and girls teams moved to No. 1 in the latest OSAA rankings heading into the weekend.
Portland Adventist's height keys its season expectations
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
It took only a handful of minutes for the Portland Adventist girls basketball team to assert itself over visiting Horizon Christian in a non-league game Thursday night.
Shortly after tip-off, the Cougars jumped out to a 14-1 lead against a team that narrowly missed the state playoffs last year. With a frontline that features three 6-foot posts, the Cougars might be expected to jump to big leads in most or all of their games.
They’ve been following through, posting five wins to open the season by an average margin of 29 points. They beat the Hawks 63-35 Thursday, then followed that up with a 55-35 non-league win Saturday at Santiam Christian, which played into the state semifinals the past two years.
The Cougars are hoping their frontline will be the backbone of a state tournament run - something the team’s senior class has missed by one game the past three seasons.
“We’ve got expectations of winning the Lewis and Clark League and then placing as high as we can at state,” says coach Ty Johnson. “But, winning the Lewis and Clark is our goal.”
Portland Adventist reached the state playoffs the past three seasons, but always as the Lewis and Clark League No. 3 team, which meant a road game to a league champion in the round of 16. The Cougars needed that win to advance to the eight-team state tournament at Willamette University, but lost each year.
“We’ve gotten to the playoffs, but just haven’t been able to win that Sweet Sixteen game,” Johnson says. “That’s why winning the league is so important, so we can host that game.”
The Cougars feature six seniors, led by 6-foot post Hannah King and 5-4 point guard Heather Schosnig. Senior guards Julie Berdan and Coisha Graham, and forwards Alyssa Bailey and Ellie Evans give the team plenty of experience on the court.
With the addition of 6-0 junior Danica Aboujaoude and 6-2 sophomore Sydney Tonack rotating through the frontline, the Cougars have the makings of a tournament team.
On Thursday, the frontline trio all scored in double figures and combined for 39 points.
“We have a lot tall players and that gives us a lot of confidence on the court,” says King, a regular starter last season.
Schosnig says the summer of camps and training helped prepare the team for a strong start, with Aboujaoude and Tonack blending in from the junior varsity last season.
“We played a lot of summer league games, and as a team we’re getting collectively better,” says Schosnig. “Last year was a big disappointment, not getting to state. I think that helped motivate us for this year.”
“We did a lot of things to improve in the summer,” says Aboujaoude, “and we’ve started with some pretty good statement games.
“We’re really doing a good job of getting the ball inside to our tall players. And, we’re fast, too. We run the court well.”
Heading into league play, the Cougars are actually fourth in the OSAA standings among Lewis and Clark teams behind Warrenton (No. 8), Catlin Gabel (No. 9) and De La Salle (No. 14). Portland Adventist is No. 16.
The Cougars don’t face any of those teams until January, which will give them plenty of time to prepare for a playoff run.
“I really want to win the league title, and then get to state,” Schosnig says, adding that as a senior this season truly has only one goal.
“I really hope we can play as a team throughout the year, make it to the Elite Eight and then win state.”