Jesuit overcomes Westview in 2 OT struggle

Top-ranked Crusaders end on a 10-0 run for 45-38 win
Feb. 1, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Jesuit defended its position atop the Class 6A boys basketball ranks with a frustrating, physical win at Westview Wednesday night, edging the Wildcats 45-38 in the second overtime.

Senior post Colin Spickerman scored 12 points and guards Rick Maddock and Khyan Rayner added eight points each to lead Jesuit, which ran off 10 consecutive points to end the game.

Landen Lucas, Westview's 6-foot-10 post, led all scorers with 17 points, but had trouble getting the ball from teammates against the active Jesuit defense. Montie Leunen had 11 points for the Wildcats, who entered the game ranked fifth.

Jesuit took over sole control of the Metro League lead with the win, improving to 15-2 overall, 4-0 in league games. Westview is 13-4, 3-1. The teams meet in two weeks at Jesuit.

Both teams struggled to score from the start, with Jesuit scoring the game's lone basket in the opening four minutes. The Crusaders led 16-3 after a quarter and kept Lucas, who is headed for the University of Kansas, from scoring until 6:14 left in the first half. Lucas regularly established position under the basket against Spickerman, but the Wildcats' guards were unable to get him the ball.

Jesuit led 22-9 midway through the second quarter, but missed its next 10 shots to allow Westview to take a 23-22 lead early in the second half. The Wildcats grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the third quarter - seven more than they had in the first half, and trailed just 28-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

The teams traded the lead four times in the fourth quarter, which featured just 10 field-goal attempts. The first four quarters took just 70 minutes to play.

Westview led 38-35 after Leunen hit a 3-point shot on the first possession of the second overtime, but Maddock, a 6-1 senior, responded with a bucket and the Wildcats missed their final three field-goal attempts and had three turnovers to end the game.

Spickerman but the Crusaders ahead 39-39 with a rebound basket and Rayner hit shots on the next two possesions for a 43-38 lead in the final minute. Maddock closed the scoring with a pair of free throws.

Jesuit plays host to Beaverton Friday, while Westview plays at Sunset.

Beavers race past Oregon in Civil War

OSU rallies behind Cunningham, wins women's game, too
Jan. 29, 2012

Jared Cunningham delivered for Oregon State Sunday as expected - in the second half.

Held to just thee points in the first half, the Pac-12's leading scorer tossed in 24 points in the second half to power the Beavers to a 76-71 upset of Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena.

OSU trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but rallied early in the second half, led by as many as 12 points themselves and fended off an Oregon rally to win.

The Beavers were outrebounded 40-29 and had 10 shots blocked, but outshot the Ducks 30-24 at the free-throw line and pressured Oregon into a 6-of-30 performance on 3-point attempts.

The Ducks got 26 points from Devoe Joseph and 16 from E.J. Singler, but normally steady Garret Sim went just 2 of 11 from the field and finished with just five points.

Oregon missed a chance to remain tied for the conference lead and dropped to 15-6, 6-3 in Pac-12 games.

Oregon State improved to 14-7, 4-5.

The Beavers trailed 22-12 late in the first half, but just 26-23 at halftime. They used a 22-4 run in the second half to build a 61-49 lead before Oregon rallied to within 73-70 and had a chance to tie with 45 seconds left. But Singler missed a 3-point attempt and the Ducks turned the ball over after an offensive rebound.

Oregon finished with 23 turnovers, a season high.



Freshman Ali Gibson scored 23 points to lead the Beavers past the Ducks in the women's half of the Civil War Saturday at Gill Coliseum.

Patricia Bright finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds and Sage Indendi added 14 points for the Beavers, who improved to 13-7, 4-5.

Oregon got 16 points from Amanda Johnson, but fell to 11-10, 3-6.


Path to Jesuit's fourth title not an easy one

Central Catholic, Lake Oswego, Westview are top contenders
Jan. 17, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Top-ranked Jesuit will enter Metro League play Friday coming off a rare loss, underscoring the competitive nature of Class 6A this season.

The Crusaders lost 57-49 at home to second-ranked Central Catholic Friday, evening the season series between the two schools. Jesuit beat the Rams in the semifinals of the Les Schwab Invitational in December, one night before losing its first game of the season to Oak Hill Academy.

Jesuit, 11-2 and the three-time defending state champion, plays at Southridge Friday.

Central Catholic, 12-3, is on a five-game win streak that includes a win over Barlow in its Mount Hood Conference opener Tuesday. The Rams play at seventh-ranked David Douglas Friday.

No. 3 Lake Oswego, 10-4, opened Three Rivers League play with a 65-38 win over Oregon City Friday. The Lakers have lost twice to Jesuit (52-50 and 65-59 in overtime).

Central Catholic - a state tournament semifinalist last season - has losses to Lake Oswego and Westview, which lost to Jesuit in the state final last year but has since added Landen Lucas, a 6-10 forward headed to Kansas.

Fifth-ranked Westview, 10-3, opens Metro League play Friday at home against Aloha. The Wildcats also lost to Jesuit in the state final in 2010.

Teams among the outside contenders include No. 4 West Linn, No. 6 North Medford, which reached the state semifinals last season, and David Douglas, which beat Westview in overtime earlier this month.


Oregon ready to move up in Pac-12 ranks

USC, UCLA head to the Matt for weekend games
Jan. 17, 2012

Coming off only the second sweep of the Arizona schools, the Oregon men's basketball team has a chance to move up into the conference leaders with Southern Cal and UCLA headed to Eugene.

Oregon enters the games, starting with USC Thursday, in fourth place in the Pac-12 at 4-2, 13-5 overall.

Following Thursday's game with USC (0-5, 5-13), the Ducks play host to UCLA (3-2, 10-7) on Saturday in the second set of home games in confernce play.

Having played four of its six Pac-12 games this season on the road, the Ducks have been impressive in posting a 3-1 road record in league play. The other 11 Pac-12 teams have managed a combined 6-22 record on the road in conference action.



Oregon got hit by a careeer-topping performance from California's Allen Crabbe and dropped a 77-60 decision to the Bears Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.

Crabbe connected on six 3-point shots and scored 26 points to lead Cal, which improved to13-4 overall, 3-1 in Pac-12 play.

Oregon got 14 points from Devoe Joseph and 12 from E.J. Singler, but couldn't follow Thursday's win over Stanford and fell to 11-5, 2-2, earning its second split in two conference series.

The Ducks play at the Arizona schools this weekend - Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday.



Senior Devoe Joseph scored a career-high 30 points and led the Oregon Ducks to an impressive 78-67 win over Stanford in Pac-12 Conference men's basketball action Thursday at Matthew Knight Arena.

Joseph, who transferred from Minnesota during the summer, connected on 9 of 15 shots from the field, including five three-point shots, to help Oregon improve to 2-1 in conference play and 11-4 overall.

E.J. Singler made 10 free throws in the final three minutes and finished with 13 points to back up Joseph.

The Ducks continue a weekend homestand against Cal Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Josh Owen led Stanford (12-3, 2-1) with 19 points.


Beavers get wiped out by Stanford, 103-101

A four-overtime loss leaves OSU with a split of weekend series
Jan. 7, 2012

Oregon State missed an opportunity for a huge upset win when a last-second three-point attempt bounced away at the buzzer and allowed Stanford to exit Gill Coliseum with a 103-101 victory after four overtimes in Pac-12 Conference men's basketball play Saturday.

Jared Cunningham scored 19 points and Devon Collier had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Beavers. Joe Burton added 18 points and Eric Morland had six of the team's 11 blocked shots, which set a team record for a single game.

OSU had never before played four overtimes, and matched its highest point total in a conference game.

Cunningham played 54 of the game's 60 minutes.

"Well, that was one to remember, even though we didn't win," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson told media afterward. "I couldn't be happier with my team. I thought they fought hard. Tonight they realized that they can play with anybody in the country."

The Beavers, who beat Cal on Thursday, dropped to 11-5 overall and 1-3 in conference action. Stanford is 13-3, 3-1.



Oregon State won its first Pac-12 Confernce men's basketball game behind dual 24-point games from Jared Cunningham and Ahmad Starks Thursday night.

The Beavers surpassed 90 points for the seventh time this season - a school record - and beat California 92-85 at Gill Coliseum.

OSU led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but needed a 9-3 run to pull away after the Bears had rallied to with 77-73.

"I couldn't be more proud of our team and our effort, especially coming off a weekend (losses to UW and WSU) like we had," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson told media after the game. "I knew that if we could take care of the start, and it almost didn't look like we were going to down 5-0, that we would play well and go toe-to-toe with them."

The Beavers (11-4, 1-2) play host to Stanford Saturday night.


Centennial defends its home court edge, 69-65

The Eagles use a big fourth-quarter rally to beat South Salem
By Cliff Pfenning,

Heading toward the top-heavy Mount Hood Conference, the Centennial Eagles needed to regain some momentum on their home court after a disappointing loss Tuesday to Beaverton. They took care of that Friday night.

Trailing South Salem 60-54 midway through the fourth quarter, the Eagles responded with several stellar defensive stands and ran off a 17-2 run on the way to a 69-65 win in non-conference boys basketball action at Centennial.

Cam Croonquist led the senior-dominated Eagles with 19 points, including a 3-point basket with 1:05 left that gave Centennial a 63-62 lead. The Eagles made four of four free-throw attempts and got an inside score from 6-foot-8 senior Guy Powers to improve to 6-4 overall with another non-conference test set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday against Cleveland of the Portland Interscholastic League.

"This is a big win for us because one of our goals for this year was to not lose on our home court," Croonquist said. "We lost a tough game on Tuesday, but bounced back against a good team."

Beaverton rolled into the Eagles' gym Tuesday and left with a 70-62 win, a factor that played a role in the comeback from trailing in the fourth quarter.

"We were in the same situation Tuesday, in a close game and let them get away," Croonquist said. "When we were down, we reminded ourselves about our goals and that helped motivate us."

South Salem got 14 points from senior guard J.J. Ramos and 13 points from senior Kyle Atkinson, but fell to 8-5 heading into its Central Valley Conference opener at Sprague Tuesday night. The Saxons made one of their 11 three-pointers with two seconds left for the final score.

Winning at home will be a key to Centennial making any kind of noise within its league, which has three teams: Central Catholic, Barlow and David Douglas, ranked in the Top 10 in Class 6A. Friday's win could be a spark for the team as it prepares for league play, which begins Jan. 17 at home against Gresham.

Centennial, which moved up six spots to No. 24 in the 6A rankings, has has three road games before Gresham, and doesn't play one of the league's Big 3 until the following week.

South Salem, ranked No. 17, gave up its highest point total in three weeks, while suffering a fourth-quarter scoring drought that's been a key in its past three losses, all of which have been by eight points or less.

"That's a problem we've got to work on and get fixed because league play is here," first-year South Salem coach Tyler Allen said. "We can't expect to win games by scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter."

The Saxons lead the CVC in wins and are among the top 3 in rankings behind Sprague, No. 13, and North Salem, No. 16.



Phoenix brings Blazers back to Earth

After two big wins, Portland stumbles in the desert
Jan. 6, 2012

After wins over Western Conference heavyweights Oklahoma City and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers ran into a team needing a big win of its own Friday night.

And Phoenix took advantage of its opportunity, beating the Blazers handily in Phoenix, 102-77.

Jared Dudley led six Phoenix players in double figures with 18 points and Steve Nash added 17 points and nine assists as the Suns improved to 3-4 overall.

Portland, which beat the Thunder on Tuesday and Lakers Thursday night, got 14 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, but only 21 points from the rest of the starting 5.

The Blazers fell to 5-2, 1-2 on the road. The Blazers play their next three games at home where they're 4-0, beginning with Cleveland Sunday night at the Rose Garden.



Portland's hot early-season play got national attention Thursday as the Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 at the Rose Garden on TNT.

Gerald Wallace scored a game-high 31 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 5-1 on the season and remained the lone team in the Western Conference with one loss.

Jamal Crawford added 17 points and three assists.

The Blazers were outrebounded 47-39, outshot from the free-throw line by two points and even allowed the Lakers to shoot 46.8 percent from the field, but won by shooting 46.1 percent from the field, making five three-pointers to none and finishing with a 16-5 edge in points scored off turnovers.

Portland committed just four turnovers in the game.

Kobe Bryand led the Lakers with 30 points, and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Los Angeles dropped to 4-4 on the season.

The Blazers play at Phoenix tonight, then play three home games in a row.



Portland moved into the Northwest Division lead with a 103-93 win over Oklahoma City Tuesday night on the Thunder's home court.

The Blazers broke free of a 66-all tie with a 6-0 run and led from there, improving to 4-1 on the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and eight rebounds to lead Portland.

The Blazers managed a 46-40 rebounding edge, shot 15 more free throws and outscored Oklahoma City 52-40 in the second half.

Oklahoma City got 23 points from James Harden and a combined 41 points from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but lost fo the second consecutive night. The Thunder lost at Dallas Monday.

Portland has a night off before facing the Los Angeles Lakers (3-3) at the Rose Garden Thursday night. Tuesday's win put the Blazers atop the Western Conference playoff standings, although the other 14 teams are all within 2.5 games.


Early-season success is what Blazers fans deserve

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 8:34am
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 2 days 19 hours ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

It took only a quarter of the first preseason game to see the change in the Portland Trail Blazers from last season - they dove for the ball. On every play. Like wild, hungry animals.

This is just what Portland fans have been waiting for ... at least since last season ended.

The Blazers exploded onto the NBA scene in the first week of regular season action with four wins in their opening five games, including an impressive win in Oklahoma City Tuesday night. Power rankings for both ESPN and Sports Illustrated put the Blazers in the top eight in the league after opening the season in the teens.

There's plenty of reason to think they can stay in the Top 10, too, mainly because of that hungry level of play. What a change from a week before the season began, too, mainly because of the addition of Jamal Crawford, and then signing of Kurt Thomas to give the team depth, at least for one game at a time.

After Tueseday's win, the Blazers had played two fewer games than the Thunder. So, more games in fewer days is upcoming, starting with Thursday's home game with the Los Angeles Lakers - on TNT.

Thursday's game is a perfect follow-up to Tuesday's win, a game to see how the Blazers, especially All-Star-to-be LaMarcus Aldridge, will play under the glare of national attention. The Lakers play under it every time they step onto a court, and that's a factor in getting prepared for a run to the league title.

Blazers fans want to see a win Thursday, which the team can take care of by scoring more than the Lakers. That's something they can only partially control because the Lakers will be scoring, too. The thing the Blazers can control is that hunger for the ball, and as long as that keeps up they'll be at the top of the league in all kinds of categories and keep getting the national attention they need to be able to make a playoff run.


Ducks, Beavers get early season home test

Cal, Stanford visit for Pac-12 weekend series
Jan. 3, 2012

Oregon and Oregon State will get a significant early season test beginning Thursday when they play the first half of a weekend series with Cal and Stanford in Pac-12 men’s college basketball.

Cal and Stanford both swept their series with UCLA and USC and are both 12-3 heading for Thursday.

Oregon beat Washington State, but lost to Washington over the weekend and is 10-4 overall.

Oregon State got swept by the Washington schools, but is also 10-4.

The Ducks play host to Stanford Thursday at 6 p.m. in a game that will be televised by Comcast Sports Northwest. Senior Garrett Sim and junior E.J. Singler lead the Ducks in scoring at 12.8 points per game.

Oregon State, which leads the conference in scoring average at 82.6 points per game, plays host to Cal at 7:30 p.m. The Beavers also lead the conference in assists, steals and turnover margin.

Oregon State junior Jared Cunningham leads the conference in scoring at 17.0 points per game.

OSU plays host to Stanford Saturday night at 7 p.m., while Oregon plays host to Cal Sunday at 4:30 p.m., with both games being televised by Root Sports Northwest.

Oregon’s win over Washington State was the lone road win in conference play this season.

Heading into the weekend, there are no Pac-12 teams in either the Associated Press of ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Only Stanford and Cal received any votes in either poll.


Clippers end Blazers' win streak

Portland rallies late, but falls at Los Angeles, 93-88
Staff Report / Jan. 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES - Portland's run to an unbeaten season ended Sunday with a 93-88 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.

Jamal Crawford scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help the Blazers cut a 17-point deficit to two in the final minute, but a Chris Paul lay-up with nine seconds left put the Clippers up 92-88 to secure the win.

Portland fell to 3-1 and will play at Oklahoma City Tuesday night.

The Clippers improved to 2-2.

Los Angeles got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Blake Griffin and 17 points and seven assists from Chris Paul in the win.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which had a 46-38 edge in rebounds.

Oklahome City enters Tuesday's game at 5-1, following a loss at Dallas Monday night. The Thunder have experienced open conflict between stars Kevin Durant, who scored more than 30 points per game in the team's first four games, and Russell Westbrook.

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