Grant returns to semifinals with 2-1 win

Two goals by freshman Madison Hairston boost the Generals past Canby
Nov. 10, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

Freshman forward Madison Hairston scored in the 77 minute to break a 1-all tie and propel the Grant Generals past Canby Saturday and into the Class 6A girls soccer semifinals.

Hairston, urged by coach Tim Copeland to shoot more rather that pass, took a pass from her sister Juliana at the top of the penalty box, avoided one defender and shot the ball off the inside of the left post for the game winner, just two minutes after the Cougars had missed a penalty kick.

The win was the 10th-straight for the Generals, 13-3, and moved them back to the semifinals two years after reaching the final, where they lost in overtime to Jesuit.

Grant, which lost to Canby early in the season, will play host to Thurston, which beat Jesuit Saturday, Tuesday in Portland.

Canby got a goal from senior Maddie Gerritsen, and finished at 11-7.



Sherwood keeps rolling with big win at Wilsonville

Games at Southridge, Wilsonville and Scio put rankings to a test
Oct. 12, 2012

Sherwood scored another victory and moved into the top spot among Class 5A football teams Friday with a 35-14 victory at Wilsonville in a Northwest Oregon Conference game.

The Bowmen have lost just once in the past three seasons - the state championship game last year - and improved to 33-1 during that span. They also moved up from No. 3 to No. 1 in the OSAA Power Rankings. Despite the loss, Wilsonville, which held Sherwood to its lowest point total of the season, also moved up - from No. 5 to No. 4.

With neither team likely to lose in the next two weeks, they'll both have the week of No. 2 off as the state playoffs begin with Play-In games involving the teams ranked No. 9 through 24.

In other big games Friday, Southridge scored a huge upset at home against Jesuit, 26-21, which only put more drama into the final two weeks of the season with No. 3 Aloha playing both Jesuit and Southridge in those weeks.

Aloha survived a determined effort from Grant with a 24-16 win. The Warriors play at Jesuit this week.

In Class 3A, Scio scored a 24-21 victory over defending champion Santiam Christian and remained at No. 3 behind Cascade Christian at No. 2 and Dayton at No. 1.



Oct. 10, 2012

One of the state's best football rivalries, the start of a two-game playoff preparation series for Jesuit and another test for a small-school power highlight this weekend's high school games, which contain mostly routine games - or opportunities for big upsets - Thursday night.

No. 3 Sherwood plays at No. 4 Wilsonville for the top spot in the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference, a key position in terms of state playoff seeding and home field advantage, Friday at 7 p.m.

Sherwood enters the game at 6-0 and has outscored opponents by a whopping 309-74, and handed No. 9 Marist its lone loss, 34-20. The Bowmen played in the last two state title games, winning in 2010 before losing last year's final 14-13 to Mountain View.

Wilsonville (5-1) has outscored its opponents 288-88 in its five wins, and has lost only to Sprague of Salem, which is ranked No. 5 at Class 6A. The Wildcats, who were state champions at Class 3A in 2004, have been as far as the semifinals only once since the OSAA moved to six classifications in 2006.

In Class 6A, No. 3 Aloha (6-0) gets to host a rematch with Grant, which handed it a loss last season at Grant Park. The Generals are ranked only 30th and are 3-3 overall, but lost just 42-28 to Sunset and 36-33 two weeks ago at Sprague and to No. 13 Sunset.

No. 4 Jesuit plays at No. 8 Southridge Friday as well, a week before a home game with Aloha. Jesuit has lost just to No. 2 Central Catholic, while Southridge is 3-3 with its three losses by 10 or fewer  points. The Skyhawks play Aloha in two weeks.

At Class 3A, defending state champion and fifth-ranked Santiam Christian plays host to No. 3 Scio in a PacWest Conference battle. Scio played in the last three Class 2A state chammpionship games - winning in 2009 and '10, before the school moved up due to its attendance figures. Scio (5-1) has scored 54 points or more in four of its five wins and lost only to top-ranked Dayton (5-0), which lost in the state title game last season. Santiam Christian (5-1) has scored 41 points or more in all of its wins and lost only to No. 2 Cascade Christian (6-0) in its season opener.

Week 2 heats up with Grant Bowl game

Neighborhood clash among the state's top games
Sept. 5, 2012

Two schools with perhaps the state's longest-running rivalry, will meet Friday in the annual home game Grant High plays on the city field just outside its doors.

Grant and Jefferson, located just 40 blocks apart, suit up for a 4 p.m. game as the state moves into the second week of action.

The rivalry between the Northeast Portland schools extends to 1924 when Grant opened its doors. Combined, the two schools have won or tied for nine state titles.

Both teams lost their openers Friday: Class 6A Grant at Centennial, 49-42, and Class 5A Jefferson at home to Woodburn, 21-14, in coach Aaron Gipson's first game as head coach.

In other highlight games, Central Catholic travels to Eugene to play Sheldon in a rematch of a Class 6A semifinal from December. Sheldon won 19-8 at Jeld-Wen Field, but lost the title game the following week to Lake Oswego.

In other Class 6A highlight games, Roseburg is at Sprague, Westview travels to South Medford, Lake Oswego visits Centennial and Tualatin plays at Southridge.

In Class 5A, Sherwood is at Marist in a Class 5A game among teams that reached the semifinals last fall. Marist fell to Mountain View in the semifinals, a week before Sherwood lost 14-13 to the Cougars in the title game.

Also Friday, Mountain View takes on visiting Century of the Class 6A Pacific Conference. Sept. 14, Mountain View plays host to Class 6A Sprague.

North Portland's Roosevelt High will show off its refurbished track Friday when it plays host to Gladstone of Class 4A.

At Class 4A, defending champion LaSalle of Milwaukie is at Douglas, while Klamath Union travels to Ridgeview of Redmond, which will be playing its first game against an Oregon team after dispatching Medicine Hat, Alberta, 53-6 Friday. Also, LaGrande, which lost its opener 58-14 to Class 3A Nyssa, is set to play in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday against the Hiram Johnson Warriors.

In Class 3A, Cascade Christian of Medford, which beat defending state champion Santiam Christian handily in its opener, plays at Class 4A Henley, which lost its opener in overtime to Class 5A Crook County. Also, Rainier is host to Horizon Christian of Tualatin.

At Class 2A, defending champion Gold Beach plays host to Regis in a rematch of a quarterfinal from last year. Also, Weston-McEwen, a semifinalist from last year, is one of three schools at the class set to play teams from Washington.

And, at Class 1A, defending champion Perrydale, which lost to Camas Valley last week in a rematch of the 2011 final, plays host Friday to Siletz Valley, which won its opener 80-20. Camas Valley plays host to Butte Falls on Saturday.


McMinnville returns to elite level, Jesuit stays hot

Depth propels both Grizzlies and Crusaders to favored spots in 6A meet
Feb. 17, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

McMinnville returned to the top of the state's swim programs with championship-caliber depth Friday after the preliminary heats at the OSAA state swimming championships.

With its three relays all set for finals - two of them having qualified first or second - and three finalists in the 100 butterfly, the Grizzlies are poised to win their first state title since 2002.

McMinnville's line-up, led by seniors Matthew Valentine and Blake Tillery, appears on the way to scoring more than 180 points, while defending champion Sunset is in the 160-point range. Grant, which won two years ago and placed second last year, is headed for a total of around 130.

In the girls race, Lake Oswego's strong challenge to Jesuit hit a major snag when its 200 medley relay team was disqualified. Sophomore Sarah Kauniz posted an All-America time in the 100 backstroke for the Lakers and also qualified first for the finals in another and senior Catherine Yee qualified second and fourth in two finals. Their other two relay teams qualified first and second.

Jesuit, the three-time defending champion, qualified all three of its relay teams either first or second.

The championships conclude Saturday at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatics Center.


Moser muscles into public's attention

Former Grant standout makes waves nationally at UNLV
By Cliff Pfenning,

If you remember prep standout Mike Moser of Grant and followed him only casually, you probably remember him landing at UCLA two years ago.

He stayed there a year.

He showed up on the national radar this week, though, at UNLV after the Runnin' Rebels beat North Carolina over the weekend in the championship game of a tourney in Las Vegas.

Moser had 16 points and 18 rebounds in the 90-80 win and was named national Player of the Week by ESPN. Wednesday, he went off for 34 points and 10 rebounds in a 94-88 double-overtime win at UC Santa Barbara.

Not too shabby for someone who basically disappeared at UCLA.

It's great to see the accolades for a person who is now in the same draft class as former Jefferson standout Terrence Jones, regarded as one of the top players in the nation by numerous sources. Moser might not yet be in the same class as Jones in terms of pro potential, but he's making some great strides and putting up numbers that'll keep him moving there. Wednesday, he hit five three-pointers.

Moser left Grant as something of a raw talent, a player who could score and play defense, but mostly because he was taller and had longer arms than opponents. He hadn't yet grown into the muscular player who could handle opponents near a basket, on offense or defense. That seems to have changed.

What makes Moser's strides most notable is that he's in a different class in terms of reputation for a lot of people who knew both players in North and Northeast Portland. Moser played on both ends of the court, while Jones regularly didn't cross mid-court to play defense as a junior or senior. Jefferson still won the state title both seasons, but that only made those people close to the teams it beat angrier with his apparent lack of interest.

Moser didn't play that way - give some credit to his coach Tony Broadous for that.

Now that UNLV is ranked in the Top 25 and is 8-0 with potential, Moser is likely to start drawing some comparisons to Jones as both are small forwards in the NBA. Jones might be the better player, currently, but Moser might be the hungrier player and that has a way of turning into a longer career.


Grant's Ice Cream Man

Mike Moser leads Grant's 6A title defense
By Cliff Pfenning,

When Grant High senior Mike Moser thinks about his basketball skills and his presence within a game, and links it to a flavor of ice cream, it takes just a second to come up with an answer.

“Chocolate,” he says while preparing for a recent practice. “Everybody likes it and it’s smooth.”

Grant coach Tony Broadous picks the same flavor for the 6-foot-8 senior forward.

“Chocolate,” he says. “That’s my favorite.”

Then Broadous puts a texture on his answer.

“And maybe some orange sherbert, a little mixture of both.”

And he’s not alone.

Beno Memory, Moser’s club team coach, picks a type of sherbert.

“Rainbow,” he says. “It’s got a lot over flavors and Mike’s got a lot of parts to his game.”

Mfon Udoka, who’s been practicing with Moser for years, took several minutes to think of one specific flavor.

“I can’t think of even one,” she says, “but it would probably be some kind of sherbert.”

Sherbert … not exactly the texture most basketball players would want to be associated, especially one who is ranked No. 50 among high school seniors by ESPNU, is headed for NCAA power UCLA and has been invited to the Nike Hoop Summit by USA Basketball.

But, Moser’s play is smooth like chocolate and light like sherbert. In the final week of the regular season, Moser scored 46 points in a 66-63 win over Wilson and then 35 in a 78-67 win over Benson.

It might have been the quietest 81-point week in state history, mostly because of Moser’s style of play and 170-pound body.

“You see this thin frame and you’re not going to say he’s a banger,” Memory says of Moser, who’s averaging 22.3 points per game. “He definitely has to get stronger and bigger.”

“He’s got a good attitude,” Broadous says. “He’s not a guy who’s going to cry to the referee, he’s just going to play through most everything.
“But he’s still just a young guy. Sometimes people watch him and say ‘how can he be going to UCLA?’ But he’s still just a high school kid who’s working hard to get better.”

We all scream for ice cream
Affiliating Moser with ice cream is simple because of his family tradition. His mother, Jeanne, is a co-owner of Rose’s Ice Cream, a restaurant located on NE 42nd and Alberta, where he eats usually five times a week.

Jeanne Moser, like his coaches, connects Mike’s ice cream intake with a simple lack of fairness.

How can he eat so much - and not just ice cream - and still not gain weight?

“If there were any justice in the world, he’d weigh 1,000 pounds,” Jeanne Moser says with a laugh. “He’s young, so it makes sense that he works it off and doesn’t gain any weight.”

Moser came into the family as a one-month old, when Jeanne Moser adopted him from Dallas, Texas, the first of four children she adopted as a single women.

Adoptions and raising foster children have become a family tradition as Jeanne’s sister, Jane, has also adopted children. And, from around the world: Brazil, India, Haiti.

Mike Moser played numerous sports as a youngster but his height and passion for athletics helped him hone in on basketball. He played on the Grant varsity team as a freshman.

Jeanne Moser says that while Mike developed during his first two years at Grant, his skills blossomed last summer under the tutelage of Memory and on an AAU team, I-5 Elite, funded by Ime Udoka. At the Nike Global Challenge, Moser lit up Internet blogs as being a player to watch.

“He learned a lot of technique and really honed it,” Jeanne Moser says. “That’s when we really started to recognize his potential.”

Jeanne Moser says one of the joys of watching Mike and the Generals play is their teamwork on the court, which reflects Mike Moser’s personality.
“He’s not a ball hog, he’s not too much into the ego of it all,” she says. “He just wants to play, and play as a team. He likes the hard work that goes into it and likes it when his teammates like that hard work, too.”

Both Broadous and Memory have added to the foundation set by his family.

“We want our players to be able to play the game the right way,” says Memory. “We want his to have a good attitude, a strong work ethic and be a good teammate and continue to use those things in his journey with basketball.”

Moser says Broadous has played a key role beyond basketball.

“He’s helped me with my overall game,” Moser says of his coach, “but he’s also helped me with growing up, with how to be a man. We’ve had our ups and downs, but he’s always stuck by my side.”

California dreamin’
With a scholarship to UCLA in his future, Moser is a prime target for NBA expectations.

He expects that of himself, as do the legions of UCLA fans. Of the five incoming Bruins, Moser is No. 5 in terms of buzz on sites such as The other four recruits are from California, and the most recent Oregonian to play in Westwood, Lake Oswego’s Kevin Love, headed to the NBA after one season.

The recruiting class is ranked No. 9 in the nation by ESPNU, which had only one other Pac-10 school in the top 25 – Washington at No. 14.
Moser is the only Oregonian headed for one of those 25 programs.

UCLA ended up as Moser’s second pick after he initially committed to Arizona. When Wildcats’ coach Lute Olson left the program for health reasons, Moser took the opportunity to switch programs and headed for Westwood and coach Ben Howland.

He almost headed for Oregon State and coach Craig Robinson because of what he saw as a chance to play significant minutes as a freshman, but couldn’t resist the lure of a bigger program in an NBA market.

“The atmosphere and the history there and Ben Howland as a coach,” he says, “it’s really a good fit for me.”

While Love went from Oregon to UCLA to the NBA, Moser fits into the mold of a player who would most likely work through four years of schooling before reaching the NBA dream.

Ironically, Moser’s thin frame isn’t much of a drawback because of his age. Coaches and fans alike see a tall, lanky leaper with long arms ready to be molded by the rigors of the college game.

“I think I’m ready,” he says. “If I’m not, I’m going to get there.”

Even with a strong class of Californians heading for and returning to Westwood, Moser is still predicted as being part of the playing mix next season.
“It’s going to be an adjustment because players are going to be a lot tougher,” Broadous says. “And Ben Howland has a reputation as being tough as nails. There’s some things he’s going to have to work on the get consistent playing time, but Mike’s a quick learner and he’s always in the gym, so I’m confident he’ll get playing time as a true freshman.”

As for the NBA, Moser, like most major college recruits, has his hopes.

“That’s a goal of mine,” he says. “I’m going to keep working hard and playing hard, but that’s a long ways away.”

“He’s got the talent to play in the NBA,” Memory says. “His versatility, his length and athleticism … I can definitely see him playing at the next level.”
Broadous says the NBA might be the kind of dream Moser should think about as a college senior.

“He’s got the talent and the drive,” Broadous says. “I believe he’ll play somewhere professionally.”

General doubts
Being ranked second and the defending champions, the Generals are already a marked team before opponents and fans single out Moser as the player to focus on defensively.

Added to that, Moser is the only Grant player averaging double figures in points.

And, the Generals didn’t exactly blow out the competition in the PIL. The team finished 10-2 in league games, but four of those wins were by five points or less. And they beat Jefferson and Roosevelt of Class 5A by just five points combined in January.

Last season, the Generals had Moser alongside guard Paul McCoy, who graduated to the program at Southern Methodist, where he’s getting significant playing time. The Generals also had Mike James, who moved to junior college.

Moser still feels like the title belongs to the Generals until another team takes it from them.

“We feel like one of the favorites,” Moser says, “but there’s definitely a lot of doubters so we’re going to surprise some people.”

Broadous says Moser and the rest of the Generals are ready for the challenge, even if they get linked to sherbert ice cream.

“It’s a different team and Mike’s had to step up into the leadership role, but he’s done a good job with that,” Broadous says. “We’re peaking at the right time. I wouldn’t trade this team for any other in the state.”

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