Jesuit survives upset bid in tourney opener

David Douglas stays close until final minute
March 8, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Jesuit's run to a fourth-straight Class 6A boys basketball state title got off to a rocky, yet confident start Thursday at the Rose Garden.

The Crusaders got 14 points from sixth-man Werner Nistler, 11 points and seven rebounds from Collin Spickerman and hit 12 straight free throws to close out a 54-45 win over David Douglas in the quarterfinals.

Jesuit, which improved to 23-2, led just 42-41 with 57 seconds remaining when Nistler hit the first of the free throws to start the run. The Crusaders were just 6 of 15 at the line prior to that shot and finished 18 of 27 (67 percent).

David Douglas got 22 points and 11 rebounds from forward Jeremiah Harris, but couldn't finish out its upset bid, less than a week after knocking preseason state title contender Westview from the playoffs.

Jesuit, which outscored the Scots 22-0 off the bench, will play North Medford in the semifinals Friday.

The Black Tornado, one of the four No. 1 seeds to reach the quarterfinals, beat rival South Medford 59-48.




Unheralded Milwaukie upset top-ranked Mountain View 69-63 in the quarterfinals, powered by a huge game from center Keynan Middleton.

Middleton scored 34 points, including the final six in the closing 57 seconds after Mountain View had closed a 62-57 deficit to 63-61.

Milwaukie trailed 36-35 heading in to the fourth quarter.




Title turnover highlights state swim finals

Sunset, Jesuit repeat, but four other titles go to new teams
Feeb. 18, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

The expected challenges both Sunset and Jesuit were ready to face didn't materialize and they each defended their state swim titles on a day of fresh faces at Mt. Hood Community College.

Sunset repeated as boys champion at Class 6A, while Jesuit won its fourth-straight girls title.

Summit won both boys and girls titles at Class 5A, while the Cottage Grove boys and Henley girls won at Class 4A.

For the girls teams at both Summit and Henley, the title was their first after numerous second-place finishes. Summit finished second twice the past five seasons, while Henley finished second four of the past five years.

Among the day's biggest winners were Lake Oswego sophomore Sarah Kaunitz and Sunset junior Cameron Stitt, who both won two events at the Class 6A meet. Kaunitz won the 100 breaststroke, the 200 individual medley and swam legs on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, while Stitt won the 200 freestyle, the 500 freestyle and swam the anchor leg of the winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

Stitt missed establishing a all-time meet record in the 500 freestyle by .51 seconds. The 500 freestyle record is the oldest on the OSAA record books, set by Alex Stiles of Lincoln in 1984.

Among the other meet highlights, Cascade Christian sophomore Beanna Sapienza narrowly missed setting a meet record in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 54.63 seconds, just .11 off the record set by Roeburg's Kaylin Bing in 2008.

Cascade Christian senior Aaron Ghiglieri won the 100 butterfly in 49.52, less than a second off the all-time mark of 48.72 set by Aloha's Neil O'Halloran just last year.




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.


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.

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.


Sheldon vs. Lake Oswego is one tough rivalry

The schools prepare for their eighth playoff meeting Saturday
By Cliff Pfenning,

It's not hard to view Sheldon and Lake Oswego as the top rivals in high school football today.

They don't play in the same league and almost never meet during the regular season, but the games they play carry the most weight because they're in the playoffs.

When the Irish and Lakers meet for the Class 6A state title Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field, it'll be the eighth time the teams have met in the playoffs in the past 10 years.

Starting with the 2002 title game, the teams have met in the playoffs every year but 2005 and '06, with one of the teams having their season end each time. The streak includes the past four seasons.

Lake Oswego owns a 4-3 edge in the series, but the Irish have had better luck in the decade by winning the state title each time it beat the Lakers in the playoffs.

If Sheldon wins Saturday, it'll be the fourth time it's beaten Lake Oswego and won the state title each year. It'll also be the second time in three years they've gone unbeaten.

Lake Oswego has yet to win a title.

Sheldon is 38-1 since losing to Lake Oswego in the quarterfinals of the 2008 playoffs. The one loss? Lake Oswego, 45-14, in the quarterfinals last year.

This season, the Irish scored 35 points or more in their first 12 games, a streak broken only by their 18-9 semifinal win over Central Catholic in the semifinals. The streak included a 52-37 win over state power Jesuit in the second week of the season.

The Lakers are also 13-0 and have two wins over Jesuit, including 21-13 in the semifinals.

Amazingly, both schools are in the playoffs for the 13th straight year, a streak that began for both teams in 1999. Both teams have won 33 playoff games heading into Saturday's game. Lake Oswego just has three more losses - 12. Only Jesuit has more playoff wins - 35 - in that time among Class 6A schools.






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