Timbers keep pressure on for playoff spot

Portland's victory Saturday boosts it within a win of post-season play
Aug. 9, 2014 / Associated Press

PORTLAND - Diego Valeri has had quite a week.

First he got the assist on Landon Donovan’s game-winning goal in the MLS All-Star game victory over German power Bayern Munich.

Then he scored his fourth goal in four games as the Portland Timbers beat struggling Chivas USA 2-0 on Saturday night.

“It was a special week. Obviously the most important is this win because we needed that. But the All-Star game — that was obviously special to me,” Valeri said.

Rodney Wallace also scored in Portland’s third victory at home this season. The win gave Portland (7-7-9) a share of fifth place in the Western Conference with 11 matches left.

Chivas (6-11-5), sitting in last place in the West, has lost four straight after a four-game winning streak.

“It didn’t go well for us in the first half. We were very tentative with the ball and we lost the ball in transition, and they took advantage of that,” Chivas coach Wilmer Cabrera said.

Earlier this week the focus was on Portland because of the Major League Soccer All-Star game at Providence Park.

Timbers coach Caleb Porter led the All-Stars to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich. Donovan scored the winning goal in his record 14th All-Star game appearance, and the next day the Galaxy forward announced he was retiring from soccer at the end of this season.

The Timbers had three players on the All-Star roster, including Valeri, but then it was back to business quickly as the team makes the push toward the playoffs.

2014 NBA Playoffs

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 9:39pm
Derek Weber
Derek Weber's picture
Last seen: 2 years 46 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-08-19

Ahh, playoff time.

Let's take a look at the first round of the NBA Playoffs that started Saturday.

Indiana vs. Atlanta - Indiana. Yes, I know they lost the first game.
Miami vs. Charlotte - Miami. Come on.
Toranoto vs. Brooklyn - Brooklyn. The Nets are rolling right now.
Chicago vs. Washington - Chicago. I picked Washington to make the playoffs, not beat a team made for the playoffs.

San Antonio vs. Dallas - San Antonio. The Spurs are killing everyone.
OKC vs. Memphis - OKC. I have them in the finals.
LA Clips vs. Golden State - LA Clips. I don't like them, but I think they are too strong. Hate Griffin.
Houston vs. Portland - Portland. Homer pick. Whichever team hits its 3s will win this one.


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.



Oregon Prep Playoff Schedule

From Cross Country to Basketball to Baseball and Lacrosse
Oct. 27, 2012



Nov. 3


Nov. 10



Nov. 17



Dec. 1

FOOTBALL (Class 5A through 1A)

Dec. 8



* not sanctioned by the OSAA

Belated Meta Playoff Preview

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 2:16pm
Carlos Molina
Carlos Molina's picture
Last seen: 8 years 36 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-08-13

The NBA playoffs have begun, and Sportsland, Oregon presents A Belated NBA Playoff Preview Pod.  A few Game 1’s are in the books, so there’s a bit of an advantage in throwing out predictions after seeing how the series have started out.  Frankly, none of the weekend’s results have changed my opinion on how the series would end up.  Without further ado, here’s a preview of the Preview Pod.  How meta.  Or is it Metta?


Spurs – Jazz:  San Antonio rolled an over-achieving Utah squad in Game 1, and there’s no way they would lose to an 8 seed in back to back years.  Yes, the Spurs overachieved this year also, but in a less surprising way.  Spurs in 5.

Thunder – Mavs:  Dallas had a great chance to steal Game 1 against a young team without much playoff experience.  Then the Durantula stepped up.  Look for the Mavs to even the series after going home, but ultimately dropping their title defense in 6.

Lakers – Nuggs:  Speaking of overachievers, my surprise pick of the year got in as a 6 seed and had the unfortunate luck of running into the Andrew Bynum Wall 10 times.  The altitude will allow them to get one at home, but Denver doesn’t stand a chance in the long run.  Lakers in 5.

Grizzlies – Clips:  What I predicted to be the most compelling series of the first round proved true when the Clips needed a 28-3 run to close out the game and win by 1. This one will go the distance, unless this collapse psychologically ruins Memphis.  Grizz in 7.


Bulls – Sixers:  What could possibly go wrong with having your superstar albeit fragile MVP out in the last 2 minutes of a game that’s already been decided?  An ACL explosion, that’s what.  Bulls advance in 6, but their goal was a ring, and that’s not happening anymore.

Heat – Knicks:  What many expected to be a thrilling first round series featuring the two free agent superteams has the potential to become a clunker after the Game 1 rout the Miami laid down.  LBJ vs Melo will have to wait until Game 2 to Heat up (Rim Shot).  Heat in 5.

Pacers – Magic:  Orlando stole Game 1, but the overachievers from Indianapolis will prevail in the long run against a shorthanded Magic team, unless it’s a case of addition by subtraction for Dwight Howard.  Pacers in 6.

Celtics – Hawks:  I lied.  This is the only series where my opinion has changed after Game 1.  Rondo’s suspension after bumping a ref has doomed the C’s, who were experienced and peaking at a good time.  Now, the Hawks should be cruisin’ in the ATL.  Hawks in 6.

Check out an in depth discussion on the rest of the Playoffs on Sportsland, Oregon. 

Hawks lose another lead, prep for Game 7

Portland teeters on the edge of a series win, but loses at Kamloops
April 16, 2012

Amazingly, it happened again.

Leading by three goals with just 20 minutes to play their way into the WHL Western Conference finals, the Portland Winterhawks gave up five goals and lost 7-6 Monday night at Kamloops, B.C., to set up a Game 7 Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

The Blazers, who rallied from a 4-0 deficit in Game 4, scored the game winner with 21 seconds left, giving them hope of rallying from a 0-3 start to win the best-of-seven series.

Kamloops, the B.C. Division champion, outshot the Hawks 21-9 in the third period and 43-30 for the game, which coincided with Blazers stanout Brendan Ranford being named WHL Player of the Week, an honor Brad Ross seemed destined for last week. Ross scored his eighth and ninth goals of the playoffs Monday.



On the verge of sweeping their way into the WHL Western Conference finals last week, the Portland Winterhawks find themselves on the way back to Kamloops, B.C., for Game 6 of their conference semifinals after a 7-2 loss Saturday at the Rose Garden.

Kamloops, which trailed 3-0 in the series and 4-0 in Game 4 on its home ice Wednesday, rallied to win 5-4 Wednesday and clearly won Game 5 in Portland before a crowd of 10,135.

Portland, which reached the WHL Finals last season, still leads the series 3-2. The teams meet Monday in Kamloops, and will play in Portland, if needed, Wednesday in Game 7.

Both Western Conference semifinals are headed for Game 6, with Tri-City, which won the U.S. Division by just two points over Portland, playing at Spokane with a 3-2 series lead Monday.

Both Eastern Conference semifinals are over, with Edmonton and Moose Jaw having won 4-0. They begin the conference final Friday.

Portland outshot Kamloops 36-34 Saturday, but could only beat Blazers' goaltender Cam Lanigan twice.

Kamloops scored six of its seven goals at even strength.


Blazers begin last gasp with loss to Rockets

Portland nearly eliminated from playoff race, 94-89, at Rose Garden
April 9, 2012

Whatever dreams the Portland Trail Blazers and their hardcore fans had of the team miraculously playing into the NBA Playoffs for the fourth-straight year were effectively dashed by the Houston Rockets Monday night at the Rose Garden.

Sparked by 22 points and seven assists from Goran Dragic, the Rockets beat the Blazers, 94-89, in the start of a three-game homestand for Portland.

With the loss, the Blazers fell to 27-31, and 4.5 games behind Denver and Dallas in the race for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. With eight games remaining, eight straight wins would give the Blazers hope, but they would not only have to catch Denver or Dallas, but leapfrog Phoenix and Utah, which are also chasing the Nuggets and Mas.

Houston improved to 32-25 and stayed one game ahead of Denver and Dallas in the race for sixth place in the West.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 20 points and six rebounds and Jamal Crawford, who missed his first seven shots, had 18 points. J.J. Hickson came off the bench for 12 points and 10 rebounds, but Portland's reserves were outscored 37-24.

Portland plays host to Golden State Wednesday and Dallas on Friday.


Thunder keeps up bad weather in Garden

Portland's rally falls short in 109-95 loss to Oklahoma City
March 27, 2012

Oklahoma City rolled through Portland again in an NBA game Tuesday night, although not with the controversy as last time.

The Thunder got 32 points and 8 assists from Russell Westbrook and powered through the Blazers 109-95 at the Rose Garden.

Portland got an impressive 21 points from newly-acquired J.J. Hickson and 20 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, but lost to the Thunder for the third time in their four-game season series.

The Blazers, the NBA ruled, actually should have won the last game between the teams - Feb., 6 when a last-second shot block was ruled goaltending then reversed the next day, after the call had allowed OKC to tie the game and then win in overtime.

Since then, the Blazers have altered much of their line-up and fired coach Nate McMillan, while the Thunder continue to lead the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City, which plays at the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, built an 18-point lead at halftime, which the Blazers cut to five before the Thunder rolled to another smooth win.

Portland trailed 65-47 at the half, but rallied to within 77-72 in the third quarter.

The Thunder, 38-12 overall, outshot the Blazers, 23-27, from the field in percentage points - 57-43.

Portland plays host to New Orleans Thursday.


Hawks start playoff drive with Game 1 win

Rattie scores three times in 6-3 win over Kelowna
March 23, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Game 1 of the Western Hockey League playoffs reminded the Portland Winterhawks of how difficult the second season can be, especially against a determined opponent like Kelowna.

At least the first half did.

Kelowna led 1-0 midway through the second period when the Hawks finally broke through and went on to post a 6-3 win over the Rockets in their best-of-seven, first-round series Friday before a crowd of 6,243 at Memorial Coliseum.

Ty Rattie scored three times and Joe Morrow scored the go-ahead goal with 1.8 seconds left in the second period as home teams went 7-1 in the WHL first round Friday.

Portland, which reached the league final last season, plays host to the Rockets Saturday at 7 p.m. in Game 2 before the series heads to British Columbia,

The Hawks improved to 5-0 against the Rockets and notched their first goal of the playoffs.

"We've got a calender with spaces for 16 pucks for each win we need to get to the Memorial Cup," Rattie said. "We put our first puck in there tonight."

Portland sent a wave of shots on goal at Kelowna netminder Adam Brown - 55 total, while allowing just 29 at Mac Carruth. Brown made a valiant effort with 49 saves, but the deeper, more experienced Portland line-up took over in mid-game. The go-ahead goal came after Kelowna's defense failed to clear the puck past the Blue Line and Morrow snagged it just in front and fired it past Brown with under two seconds left in the period for a 3-2 lead.

Rattie, who scored the team's first two goals off assists by Sven Bartschi, closed out the Hat Trick with 2:29 left in the game.

The Hawks and Rockets met in the playoffs last season, when both teams won their division. Portland claimed the series 4-2 with the visiting team winning four of the games, including Kelowna's win over the Hawks in Game 1 when Brown saved 45 of 46 shots.

"We have a lot of respect for their team from last year and games this season," Hawks coach Mike Johnston said. "We're not taking them lightly at all."

Portland finished the regular season with the third best record in the league, 49-19-3-1, 102 points, while the Rockets were 31-31-4-6, 72 points.

The Hawks won 13 playoff games last season, losing to Kootenay 4-1 in the WHL Championship series.



The BCS will take care of itself for Oregon

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 6:41am
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 5 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

Looking at the latest BCS football rankings, it's pretty easy to get a little pumped up about where the Oregon Ducks are in relation to Alabama and look ahead to what might happen if certain wins and losses play out the right way.

Oregon might get screwed and not be in the national title game for a second straight year because Eastern voters are in love with the Southeastern Conference.

The BCS computers love the SEC, too.

But, Oregon fans, and college football fans nationally, needn't worry about what might happen if LSU wins the SEC title game, Oregon wins the Pac-12 title, Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma and Alabama wins its last two games.

Oregon should be in the final. Or the BCS should be scrapped in favor of a playoff system.

I'd be happy either way.

For starters, Oregon won't get into the final without an Oklahoma State loss. That's to Oklahoma, which is right on the heels of the Ducks, and would give Sooners fans a huge argument in favor of their school being in the final.

It's not hard to see the SEC champion in the final, too, since much of the Top 25 involves SEC teams, so that champion has earned its place if it's LSU, Alabama or Arkansas. Only an upset in the final by Georgia would open that spot up to Oregon or Oklahoma.

What really messes the whole national title game up is LSU and Alabama winning out, Oklahoma State losing to Oklahoma and the BCS computer moving Alabama up to No. 2 and scheduling a rematch with LSU in the title game - even though Alabama would not be a conference champion.

This scenario would only happen because the Pac-12 is so weak - only Oregon is ranked this week, and the Big 12 doesn't have a conference title game.

Plenty of voters could easily argue Alabama would actually be the second-best team in the nation. And, they might be, too.

That scenario would scream for two more rounds of playoffs - the winners of the four big bowls: Orange, Suger, Fiesta and Rose; playing in two semifinals at home sites, and then the champions playing in the title game at the site already selected, say Jan. 21 this season. The college football world is already moving there, it just might move there faster if LSU and Alabama are in the title game this season.


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