pil basketball

Demos pass key PIL test

Jefferson edges Grant 53-48 in tense battle
By Cliff Pfenning

PORTLAND - Third-ranked Jefferson got an early start to the playoffs in what it hopes will be a state-title run Friday in a 53-48 victory over rival Grant in a PIL boys basketball game at Jefferson.

Grant's strategy involved slowing the game down significantly and that nearly turned into a significant upset, although the Demos were able to survive and remain unbeaten in league play, and extend their win streak to nine games.

Jefferson got 21 points from sophomore Lamar Washington and 16 points from junior Kamron Robinson in the win, but it wasn't a typical league victory. The Demos, state runners-up the past two season, were held to their lowest total in nine leage wins, and led by just three points with five minutes remaining. They stretched the lead to seven several times, but Grant, which got a teram-high 14 points from senior Emanuel Steward, kept forcing turnovers and remained a threat to tie or win into the closing seconds, missing several three-point shots.

"That's the strategy we'll probably see throughout the playoffs," Jefferson coach Pat Strickland said. "We just need to get together and start playing playoff basketball right now."

Jefferson improved to 14-4 overall, 9-0 in PIL games. Grant, which beat Jefferson in the 2018 state final, dropped to 11-7, 7-2 with both of its league losses to Jefferson.

The Democrats lost the title game to Jesuit last season, and the Crusaders remained No. 1 in the state with a 46-44 win over Beaverton Friday. Jefferson actually moved to No. 2 with the win Friday.

The Demos play host to Wilson Tuesday, while Grant, which dropped one spot to No. 12 with the loss, plays host to Benson the same night. 

Only Jefferson and Grant are among the top 32 ranked teams in the state.

The Generals had scored at least 61 points in their seven league wins, but ran a very deliberate offense and trailed just 12-11 at the end of one quarter and just 25-23 at halftime. Jefferson stretched the lead to 46-36 after three quarters, but a 7-0 run to start the fourth cut that deficit to just three with 5:15 remaining. Jefferson's size, led by Robinson at 6-foot-9, Washington at 6-4 and freshman Marquis Cook at 6-9, collected several offensive rebounds and they were able to get a dunk, a rebound basket and three free throws to round out its scoring.

Jefferson heads toward the post season without a senior on its roster, something Cook said might play to their benefit.

"Without a senior, people might be looking at us as not having enough experience to win," he said. "But, we've got three guys who were on last year's team, and we've all been playing club ball for years, so we think we're going to be ready for the playoffs.

 

 

Jeff still owns Portland

No. 1 Democrats survive No. 2 Grant again, 72-68
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Jefferson's K'lum Strickland grabbed a key turnover and made two free throws with 7.5 seconds left to secure a 72-68 victory over Grant Friday night in a battle between the state's top Class 6A teams that was everything it was everything fans had hoped for.

And, there were a lot of fans as school officials cut off ticket sales 30 minutes before the game started at 7:15 p.m.

Jefferson led 67-58 before the Generals fought back to tie the game at 68 with one minute left. But, the Demos got a basket and then Strickland's two free throws to score the third win this year, and eighth consecutive overall, against their neighborhood rivals. Grant has not beaten Jefferson since the Democrats moved back to 6A from 5A three years ago.

The Democrats beat Grant earlier this season 79-74 at the Les Schwab Invitational, 81-80 in early January befor a packed house at Marshall High, then Friday. They also beat the Generals in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs last season.

 

 

Jefferson runs past Jesuit to tournament

Top-ranked Demos use fastbreaks to beat Crusaders 98-86
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - The anticipation of a Jefferson vs. West Linn state final took another step forward Friday as the top-ranked Democrats beat visiting Jesuit 98-86 in the second round of the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball playoff.

Junior Kamaka Hepa scored 28 points, sophomore Marcus Tsohonis added  23 and seniors Geno West and Thomas Miles combined for 32 points to lead Jefferson in an intense game that featured 51 free throws and a pair of technical fouls.

Hepa led the way at the free-throw line by making all 12 of his attempts. Tsohonis hit four of the team's six three-point shots.

The victory advanced the Demos to the eight-team state tournament that begins Wednesday at the Chiles Center, with second-ranked West Linn playing on the the other side of the bracket.

Jefferson is 24-1, having lost only to Gonzaga College of Washington, D.C, in the Les Schwab Invitational in December, 91-70, plays Portland Interscholastic League rival Grant at 1:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Democrats have beaten Grant three times this season, including in the LSI.

Grant, which beat Sprague of Salem 74-72 Friday, improved to 17-8.

The Demos beat West Linn 90-77 on January 16; but have the memory of a semifinal loss to the Lions last season still fresh in their memories. West Linn won its fourth-straight state title last season and is attempting to be the first school to win five consecutive titles in boys play.

West Linn, which beat Lincoln of the PIL 76-65 Friday, plays North Medford in the quarterfinals at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.

In other quarterfinal games, Beaverton plays Westview at 3:15, and West Salem and Clackamas play at 6:30.

 

Grant, Lincoln split rivalry games

The Generals win the boys game, but the Cardinals own the girls game Friday night
Jan. 18, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

The crosstown rivalry between Grant and Lincoln played to a tie Friday night as the Generals and Cardinals split their basketball games with the visitor winning each game.

Grant won the boys game 63-54 at Lincoln, while Lincoln won the girls game 76-54 at Grant.

The victors in each game remained unbeaten in the Southwest Division standings.

Grant's win in the boys game was a blowout for a half, with the Generals leading 45-18 after two quarters. Aiming to win by 40, Grant applied its fullcourt defense throughout the second half, but the Cardinals managed to handle it with assertive play that began to frustrate the Grant players due to a lack of what they felt were fouls not being called.

Lincoln rallied and closed quickly in the final two minutes as the Generals failed to consistently make free throws.

"This was a disappointing win for us," Grant coach Paul Kelly said. "We were winning easily at halftime and wanted to keep that level of play up, but some of the calls got into our head and that affected our play.

"But, it's a good learning experience, especially because we want to play for the state title and we're going to have to handle situations like this in the future."

Terrell Penney led Grant with 14 points, while Theo Friedman added 12.

Lincoln's assertive play in the girls game led to a 22-10 lead after a quarter and their game did not slow down as they won easily.

 

 

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