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- Written by 3AbballYoda
- Published on February 25, 2013
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[Editor Note: The following in-depth preview of the 3A girls and boys basketball quarterfinal round is provided courtesy of Benjie Hedgecock (Yoda) as a follow-up to his previous Sweet 16 preview. Please note the locations of Thursday's quarterfinal games. The 3A girls bracket is at Marshfield H.S. while the 3A boys games are at North Bend H.S. The venues remain mixed until Saturday, when all games will be played at Marshfield H.S.
Please join us inside with Yoda's take (and his vast observers' network) on the 3A boys and, for the first time ever, the Girls opening round matchups. The OSAA and the 3A fans have enjoyed Coos Bay/North Bend as a venue very much over the first two years and this year should be even more fun as the local South Coast communities open their arms to players and fans alike to continue to make this the “Best State Tourney Location” in Oregon(No offense to Baker City or Pendleton which are also wonderful hosts).
Here’s How the final 8 were ranked by the various Ranking Services…
|Yoda Observers Poll 2/20||Estimated Final Coaches Poll||Final OSAA RPI Rankings||
2/20 Oregonprepsports .net BCS Poll
|1)Horizon Christian||1) Blanchet||1) HC||1) HC|
|2)Blanchet||1) Horizon Christian||2) VC||2) Blanchet|
|3)Valley Catholic||3) Valley Catholic||3) Blanchet||3) VC|
|3)Dayton||4) Dayton||4) Dayton||4) Dayton|
|5)Cascade Christian||5) Cascade Christian||5) PAA||5) CC|
|6)Coquille||6) Coquille||6) De La Salle||6) Creswell|
|7)Creswell||7) Creswell||7) CC||7) Coquille|
|8) Salem Academy||8) PAA||8) Coquille||9) De La Salle|
|9)Pleasant Hill||9) De La Salle||10) OES||10) PAA|
|10)Portland Adventist||10) Salem Academy||12) Creswell||11) Lakeview|
|11)Delassalle||11) Pleasant Hill||13) Pleasant Hill||14) Burns|
|12)OES||12) OES||17) Salem Academy||15) OES|
|13)Burns||13) Burns||20) Sheridan||18) Phill|
|14)Sheridan||14)Sheridan||21) Riverside||22) Riverside|
|15)Riverside||15) Riverside||23) Burns||25) Salem Academy|
|16)Lakeview||16) Lakeview||25) Lakeview||27) Sheridan|
|Final Yoda Oberservers Ranking||Estimated Final Coach Poll||OSAA Final Rankings||Oregonprepsports.net BCS poll|
|1) Vale||1) Vale||1) VC||1) SC|
|2) Nyssa||1) VC||2) Vale||2) VC|
|3) Scio||3) Rainier||3) StMarys||3) Vale|
|3) VC||4) StMary’s||4) Rainier||4) Rainier|
|5) Willamina||5) SC||5) Nyssa||5) Willamina|
|5) Rainier||6) Nyssa||6) Scio||7) StMary’s|
|7) SC||7) Willamina||7) Willamina||10) Nyssa|
|7) St Mary’s||8) Scio||10) SC||13) Scio|
Here’s the Final 8 Margin of Victory, Best Offense, Best Defense…
|Team||Margin of Victory||Offense||Defense|
|De La Salle||6.6||57.8||51.2|
|Team||Margin of Victory||Offense||Defense|
Power Rating including only the 8 teams against each other
HC 6-1 only 3A loss to Dayton, has beat Blanchet, VC, Dayton twice, CC, PAA
Blanchet 2-1 only 3A loss to HC, has beat Dayton, CC
VC 7-1 only 3A loss to HC, has beat PAA 3 times, De La Salle 2 times, OES 2 times
Dayton 2-3 beat HC, CC, lost to HC twice, Blanchet
CC 0-3 lost to HC, Blanchet, Dayton
PAA 3-6 lost to HC, VC 3 times, De La Salle, OES, has beat De La Salle twice and OES
De La Salle 3-6 lost to VC twice, PAA twice, OES twice, beat PAA, and OES twice
OES 3-5 lost to VC twice, PAA and De La Salle twice, beat PAA, and De La Salle twice
Vale 2-0 beat Nyssa twice
VC 1-2 beat Rainier, lost to Rainier twice
Rainier 2-1 beat VC twice, lost to VC
SC 2-1 beat Willamina, Scio and lost to Scio
Willamina 0-1 lost to SC
Nyssa 0-2 lost to Vale twice
Scio 1-1 beat SC, lost to SC
Who is hot...
VC was great from start to finish in their blowout of up tempo Burns after rolling PAA at District.
Blanchet won a great 3 game league playoff in fine form and then put it to the Sparts.
PAA, De La Salle, OES are riding high after their first round close wins over Coquille, Phill and Salem Academy(3 very good teams).
Dayton was shaken in the first half but settled down and played great in the second half vs Riverside who ran out of gas trying to play up tempo.
HC after a nice 12 point win over Dayton at District, HC was good from start to finish offensively but couldn’t close out on Lakeview shooters and gave up the most points anyone can remember in HC history.
CC played well vs Lakeview at district, then felt lucky that they were able to come from behind 7 down to win in the last 3 minutes as it was looking bleak as Creswell had outplayed them for 29 minutes.
Scio is riding high after their district final win over SC(Minus Suemalo) and then holding off a stubborn Amity squad.
Rainier is feeling good after knocking off VC at district then having a nice 14 point win over Phill.
SC beat a very tough Glide team by 11 after losing the district final to Scio without their Post.
Willamina is feeling great after surviving Amity in OT at district then holding Corbett to 25 points.
Vale is doing well after beating a tough CC team by 30.
Nyssa is feeling good after pushing Vale to the wire in league and the beating an athletic Creswell team by 15.
St Mary’s is happy beating a talented PAA team by 9.
VC is coming off Rainier’s second win over them in the District Finals, then struggling vs WC..or does that just make them more hungry…only SC will know.
Current Longest Win Streaks
Boys-Blanchet 15, VC 15, CC 10
Girls-Willamina 14, Rainier 13, Vale 12, St Mary’s 12, Scio 5
Distance traveled to Coos Bay
Nyssa, 503 Miles, Vale, 483 Miles, Rainier, 275 Miles, Portland Adventist, 230 Miles, Valley Catholic, Beaverton 221 Miles
De La Salle, Portland, 227 Miles, OES, Lake Oswego, 220 Miles, Horizon Christian, Tualatin 209 Miles, Dayton, 200 Miles
Blanchet Catholic, Salem 178 Miles, Scio, 170 Miles, St Mary’s, Medford, 168 Miles, Cascade Christian, 166 Miles
Willamina, 157 Miles, Santiam Christian, Adair Village, 144 Miles
Teams that were in last year and how they did
Boys Dayton-1st, HC-2nd, Blanchet-4th, PAA-5th, VC-6th, CC-7th
Girls Vale-1st, VC-2nd, Rainier-5th, SC-7th, Nyssa-7th
New Teams to Coos Bay
Boys De La Salle, OES
Girls Scio, Willamina, St. Mary’s
Opening Day, Wednesday night activities and why to come early
All takes place at North Bend High School
5:30 Coaches Meeting(Coaches talk about their teams and this year will probably gang up on Coach Hop)
6:30 Player Feed
7:15 Inspirational Speech to kids from a former D-1 Basketball player who played with one hand(Amy Stott style)
7:30 3 Point Contest for both Boys and Girls (two person teams) Come watch some of these possible top shooters in 3A
Forrest Garcia and Justin Sutton, Dayton
Micheal Loomis and Wyatt Houston, HC
Gabe Taylor and Liam Cassidy, VC
Trevor Howard and Micheal Anderson, Blanchet
Alex Miller and Cody Scoggins, CC
Woodworth and Halverson, PAA
Zak Paul and Mike Fesser, De La Salle
Hiawatha Davis and Hiraki, OES
Paige and Riley Graham, Scio
Sarah Martinez and Jackie Ramirez, Nyssa
Kaylynn Bush and Chelsea Alsdorf, VC
Emily and Rose Alvarez, St. Mary’s
Kayla Knox and Jaden Thurston , Rainier
Emily Griner and Nicole Magnussen, SC
Whitney Anderson and Brook Wilson, Willamina
Becca Hawkins and Megan William ,Vale
Coaches (see list of all Boys Coaches in 3A and length of service in “Who’s that Coach?”)
Brian Morse, CC(Dean of coaches in 3A, great record over 26 years, well respected by everyone)
Dave Brown, HC(has taken his team to 4 out of 4 finals and is favored for a 5th, Fine man of god, teaches great D)
Ron Hop, Dayton(Defending Champs coach, taken his club to state 9 of 11 years, one of top half court defense coaches)
Norm Ballou, PAA(Great career at PAA, took some time off and back with his Press and “Wear you Out” 32 minutes of up tempo style, animated and fun to watch coach a game)
Jon Tromblay, Blanchet(Absolutely his best job coaching this year, has planned well before games and has made some great strategic moves during the games and has not only developed his stars but also 4 great role players, could be a coach of the Year season for him)
Joel Sobotka, VC(First year as a HS coach has been pretty fun for him and his squad who put defense and unselfish play first, They have great spacing and use his college defenses to frustrate everyone, has really developed his players to their potential and that has been refreshing for players and parents)
James Broadus, De La Salle(First year as a head coach taking his team all the way to Coos Bay, he really extends the court and gives his players the sets to put them in a position to be successful, nice full court man press and he likes to push the ball up the court and he has the kids to do it)
Loren Pratt, OES( First Year has been very good due to Pratt’s defensive emphasis and clearly outlining his kids roles for each game, he has tall bigs and great guards and he makes the most of their skills at both ends)
Jason Johnson, Vale(One of the most respected coaches in Oregon Girls BBall, Unselfish and highly skilled players)
Danny Pratt, Nyssa(the designer of the “Valley” offense that a lot of teams have adopted in boys & girls across Oregon)
John Innes, VC( uses more players than any other in his full court press rotation, hard working selfless teams)
Richard Vasey, St. Mary’s(great offensive mind, like Pratt, well respected by his peers)
Justin Duke, Scio(has coached Scio to two previous state title games in 2A and is a great planner and motivator)
Wendi Miller, SC(total buy in from players and parents supporting Miller’s leadership of SC)
Tom Anderson, Willamina(Dean of WVL coaches, great defensive and fundamentals coach)
Doug Knox, Rainier(one of the more humorous coaches you will meet and well respected in and out of town)
3A Players to watch List in the Elite 8 (We left the coaches all league team list on the Sweet 16 Preview, so refer to that if you want to see both first and second team YODA all league list)
(mostly first team all leaguers, but some others as well)
|Micheal Loomis, HC||Kaylea Knox, Rainier|
|Brent Counts, Blanchet||Whitney Anderson, Willamina|
|Nate Bernards, Dayton||Rylie Graham, Scio|
|Calvin Anderson, HC||Chelsea Alsdorf, VC|
|Gabe Taylor, VC||Katlyn Hashagen, Nyssa|
|Alex Miller, CC||Megan Williams, Vale|
|Patrick Counts, Blanchet||Jessie Seumalo, SC|
|Jarrett Gray, VC||Becca Hawkins, Vale|
|David Sellers, CC||Kaylynn Bush, VC|
|Justin Sutton, Dayton||Sarah Martinez, Nyssa|
|Larry Kemp, Delasalle||Paige Graham, Scio|
|Halverson, PAA||Emily Alvarez, St Marys|
|Trevor Howard, Blanchet||Nicole Magnussen, SC|
|Forest Garcia, Dayton and Wyatt Houston, HC||Brooke Wilson, Willamina|
|(Both all state had they not been injured)||Jackie Ramirez, Nyssa|
|Mike Fesser, De La Salle||Kyra Toney, Willamina|
|Hiraki, OES||Rose Alvarez, St Marys|
|Davis, OES||Kylee Crape, Rainier|
|Hiatt, Dayton||Liah Fulk, Vale|
|Coggins, CC||Kasey Anderson, Willamina|
|Cassidy, VC||Bailey Mcdevvit, VC|
|Woodworth, PAA||Jaden Thurston, Rainier|
|Jackson, OES||Lillian Martin, St Marys|
|Belan, HC||Viv Juncal, St Mary’s|
(L) Blanchet's Brent Counts and (R) Horizon Christian's Wyatt Houston at Coos Bay as sophomores in 2011
Photos by Bruce McCain
Game by Game Matchups ... What it takes to win
Thursday all Boys games at North Bend High School
1:30 Horizon Christian vs Oregon Episcocal Thurday
OES executed a great game plan to beat a tough Coquille team and will have to take that plan and make it even better vs the tourney favorite Horizon Christian Hawks who have played in the last four state championship games. A positive note for OES was that Lakeview put up 70 on the Hawks last week so if Hiraki and Davis(had 5 threes and 22 points vs Coquille) can hit the three balls that HC gives them then they could pull the upset. Another key for OES in their 2-3 zone is that their two 6-8 Jackson and 6-6 Harms big men stay out of foul trouble but be very aggressive rebounding.
OES has to decide what they are gonna do on defense as well as HC loves to camp on the 3ball line and shoot uncontested shots from any range. OES can test the waters and see if HC is hot and if they are they will have to adjust and go close out or switch to man because once HC gets hot it’s very difficult to stop them. Coach Dave Brown’s defense first coaching style and mature way of dealing with his young men has worked well this year. Make no mistake, their 4 quarters of defensive lapse last week will not be repeated this week.
Parker Belan, one of 3A’s top defenders will be all over Davis in this one and HC will be looking to push the ball up tempo like they did scoring 89 vs Lakeview. Loomis and Anderson have got to stay out of foul trouble for the Hawks and the role players Pihas, Selland, Hall, Merleau and Belan have got to step up and hit shots if Loomis and Anderson and are in foul trouble or are being double teamed just as they did against Dayton in the district final as Pihas and Selland both reached double figures. I can’t verify it but it appeared Selland hurt his hand in the Lakeview game so I’m not sure if they will activate Wyatt Houston from the injured reserve list a day early.
HC has the chemistry and the talent and coaching to win the whole thing but they can’t look past OES because OES can play some D of their own and they can shoot the rock(as Coquille learned). OES has to be prepared to face a team similar to VC who they are familiar with that beat VC early in the season and they have to have a plan for the Anderson-Loomis tandem who have been almost unstoppable all year.
3:15 Dayton vs Portland Adventist Thurday
These two have a great rivalry going as PAA knocked off the Pirates in the quarterfinals when Nate Bernands and Forrest Garcia were freshman. The next meeting was in the sweet 16 as PAA came to Dayton and Long and Woodworth put on a shooting clinic but the Pirates held them off at home and went on to take 2nd at state. The third meeting was last year in the semifinals the night after VC had some success stalling the loaded Pirate squad so there was the fear that Coach Ballou would also take the air out of the ball but he didn’t. PAA chose to go manoamano and stood toe to toe with the Pirates as Torkelson dropped two 3 balls in AJ’s eye and PAA was the better team in the first quarter.
The Pirates then woke up and Corey Hiatt had his best game ever and the pirates put on a fast break clinic the rest of the night. The point being that the Pirates have respect for PAA and they look forward to a great game. PAA’s full court pressure is disconcerting for anyone staring at it but the opportunity to have a high scoring game filled with athletic feats at both ends of the court makes the Pirate Nation and the Pirate players smile as they prepare for battle. This could be one of the oddest first round games as guys are high fiving each other and lifting each other off the ground after being knocked over. Both these squads are really physical and sometimes to the point of being overly aggressive with bumps and forearms and hands on and this game will be full of that. Hopefully the kids get loose refs and let them go.
Coach Ballou vs Coach Hop using all their timeouts and PAA using 10 guys and Dayton using 8 guys will make for an action packed game. Some of the great matchups (I Know PAA plays zone but Dayton plays Man), are marquee players Bernards(1st team all State QB) vs First Team LCL and talented junior Ryan Halverson for all state basketball honors, the quickest man in 3A-Forrest Garcia - see photo at left - (Offensive Player of the Year in Football) in the grill of sharpshooter senior Woodworth(tore up SAC from 3), Football Defensive Back Player of the Year Jared White on point guard Jared Johnson, the athletic and quick 6-4 Corey Hiatt on the 6-5 Post man Brett Wilson who has torn up the LCL big men all year, and the Pirates all state d back and playmaker Justin Sutton on PAA’s Martin Chinn who can play inside and out and who had two killer drives to the basket to win the SAC game last week. The five Dayton starters return from all be key parts of last year’s state title team.
For PAA, 9 players return from last year of which 6 played a lot of minutes. Both teams have the experience and both teams go into the game expecting to win. Dayton’s 8 man rotation consists of 3 freshman who have been great all year and will play a huge part in this game…they are actually more skill driven so a game like this is right down their alley but PAA’s bench is deep and the first two guys off it are freshman 6-0 point guard Trent Torkelson(yes his lil Bro) and 6-2 soph post Brock Wilson and Dayton counters with a pair of 6-0 point guards in Zach Spink and Devin Nowlin and a 6-4 frosh post(who had 10 vs HC last week) Jarred Ashley. PAA will respond with Boskind, Bailey and Hansen.
One of the keys for PAA to win is to be able to make shots and to be able to keep the Pirates from breaking their press because the Pirates finish a lot better at the basket than SAC did last sat night. PAA has to stop the all state Bernards from going off for 41 like he did vs Willamina during league. Dayton has to have a big “Steve Nash” type game from their playmaker Justin Sutton, he doesn’t even need to score a point, hes that good, he just needs to break the single game state assist record and the Pirates will have success. Dayton needs to not get rattled by the PAA full court press like they did in the first half vs Riverside last week and they have to not make the same mistake as SAC made and let Woodworth or whomever has the hot hand for PAA wander free and roam around without being contested all night. PAA has to get a good game out of point guard Johnson with few turnovers and they have to get a big night out of the Post Wilson who at times looks like a million bucks like with the last jump hook that he closed the SAC game out with. Halverson and Chinn are so steady and fundamentally sound that I think they will bring it. If you get a chance check out the battle between the backup freshman point guards as it should be fun to watch. PAA will be very good again next year and have a great future ahead of them.
First team to 100 wins! Good Luck to both teams. Also the winner gets the sportsmanship trophy also!
6:30 Blanchet Catholic vs De La Salle Catholic Thurday
If you thought last week’s game between Phill and Delassale was weird with turnovers everywhere and full court pressure by De La Salle and half court pressure by Phill, well, then this one will be even more fun to watch as the 5-7 sized lightning quick and athletic full court pressure up tempo Coach Broadus led De La Salle Knights try to take down the 6-8 top post in 3A in Brent Counts. Counts is joined by his 6-3 brother Patrick Counts and they are one of the best 1-2 punches in 3A. Trevor Howard is the one that will impress the De La Salle kids as they may have never seen a guy shoot from as far out as this kid does without blinking.
Then there’s Blanchet’s point guard Kyle Ruiz who has skills to match the De La Salle players and is looking forward to showing those although his Coach, Jon Tromblay doesn’t want Kyle or any of his kids getting caught up in De La Salles freelance game plan that has worked so well all year. Tromblay wants to slow it down and make it a half court game while Coach Broadus wants a high scoring affair. Blanchet is deeper than Phill so Tromblay will go to his bench more and keep guys fresh. The Counts brothers have to stay out of foul trouble.
For De La Salle, Kemp has got to get in the paint and draw fouls from the bigs and Fesser has got to get going early in this one and not wait around. The De La Salle man to man full court press could cause some problems for Blanchet early to keep this one close. De La Salle has got to be careful and not hack their way into the bonus as the referees at the state tourney call it much tighter than the regular Portland refs on the first day. The next two days the refs loosen up and you can be more physical but the first day you never know what your gonna get and the ref could blow the whistle on every ticky tack bump that occurs.
On the other hand sometimes you draw refs that will let the kids play more physical and that is a double edged sword in the case of Blanchet as they are very rough and physical on defense and setting screens on offense. Anderson for Blanchet could be huge in this one as could Zak Paul of De La Salle. Blanchet will play man to man and mix in a zone so even though De La Salle see the man and say’s sweet, it’s really not so fun as Blanchet can be as good as any team on defense. De La Salle has got to shoot the ball when Blanchet is in the zone and that is where Zak Paul comes in. De La Salle needs to keep this one up tempo and stay in the game preferably with a lead or else Blanchet is very tough with a lead. But one thing is sure….everyone will be watching this one to see these smaller and quicker De La Salle guys show how they had the guts to knock off Phill last week and people want to see how Blanchet deals with it.
8:15 Valley Catholic vs Cascade Christian Thurday
This should be the best battle of the first round as these two teams really matchup well size and talent wise and they both have great coaches that will be trying to maximize their own team’s strengths while minimizing their own team’s weaknesses. The Dean of 3A Coaches Brian Morse vs the former University of Portland Assistant Head Coach, Joel Sobotka. That’s a great story in itself in planning and strategizing but you would NEVER be able to get these two guys to mention anything but how they love their kids and how great their kids are…believe me I tried….Although both these teams play great defense(and that will ultimately be the story in this one), they have some really interesting matchups and both squads go really deep into their bench and probably further than anyone but PAA who plays 10.
My favorite battle to watch(other than the coaches) is the SCL Players of the Year, and one of Oregon’s top point guards in CC senior Alex Miller vs VC’s long and lean point guard with the 37 inch jump reach Jarrett Gray who was first team LCL. These two are really tough kids and that matchup will be a battle. Another matchup is CC’s 6-7 Post David Sellers vs VC’s 6-7 Gabe Taylor although CC will probably have Thompson or Joffer cover Taylor and VC’s Prunty will probably cover Sellers. Brown vs Cassidy in the battle of the shooters. Coggins vs Buuck in a duel of athletic ability. Tysen Prunty of VC is really a guy we should have been talking about all year. He really goes after the loose ball, defends well and can run the court. If he will just stay out of foul trouble that would keep him on the court longer.
Then check out these guys on the deep benches of both teams….CC’s 6-5 Seth Knox, 6-5 Aaron Cesaro, 6-2 Stephen Joffer and 6-2 Kristian Kammersall and 6-2 Dante Olsen vs VC’s 6-7 Alex Butz, 6-3 Caanan Sellers and 6-0 Kazuma Lane and 6-3 Carlos Catabayan. These bench players would be starters on most teams and that gives these two coaches a lot of flexibility to deal with situations that arise on the court during a game. Taylor has to stay out of foul trouble and Gray has to shut down Miller. For CC, they have got to get a lead and not play from behind as VC won’t play to “Not lose” like Creswell did. Miller has got to get his normal 18 points and 7 assists and Sellers has got to rebound well and make his shots. It will be fun to watch Brown and Coggins shoot for CC and Cassidy and Buuck shoot for VC from the wings. I wonder if either team will switch from man to zone and if either will pull out a full court press?
CC may have to use the defensive skills of Joffer to defend Taylor and VC may need Butz to slow down Sellers. It will be interesting to see which kids come of the bench to address the situation at hand during the game. CC’s best win of the year against 3A teams was last week taking down #6 Creswell so they are excited to make VC their best win of the year to date. VC on the other hand has beat WC, PAA, De La Salle and OES so they kind of approach things differently and just do their thing executing their plan and feel that everything else will take care of itself. VC is favored but CC has been building all year for this game and they are up for the Challenge.
Thursday all Girls games at Marshfield High School
1:30 Santiam Christian vs Valley Catholic Thurday at Marshfield High School
These two teams may be viewed as contrasting in styles with Valley Catholic’s full court zone pressure and Santiam Christian’s more deliberate attack but they both use their athleticism to their advantage and I expect both teams to try and control the tempo in a way that suits their strengths. Valley Catholic has been ranked #1 in the Coaches Poll for the majority of the season before recently falling to Rainier for the second time this season but don’t expect the loss to rattle Coach John Innes club.
After falling to Vale in last year’s State Championship game this team is hungry to get back to the title game and certainly has the athletes to do it. Led by Chelsea Alsdorf, Kaylynn Bush, and Bailey McDevitt VC’s stingy full court and half court zone defense has caused teams fits all year and if SC doesn’t control the ball this one could get away from them. Santiam Christian is led by first year coach Wendi Miller, the recent recipient of the PacWest Coach of the Year Award, will look to control the defensive end with 1st Team All PacWest Selections Jessi Seumalo and Nicole Magnuson. Seumalo comes in averaging over five blocks a contest and anchors a tenacious man to man defense that allows their guards to take chances knowing they have one of the most athletic posts at any level playing behind them.
Allowing just 36ppg, Santiam Christian will need to keep the game at a tempo they are comfortable with and allow Magnuson to create offensively and let Seumalo clean up the boards. Look for Emily Griner to join the scoring mix as well and if she is able to contribute offensively SC has a chance to pull off the first upset of the tournament. Who controls the tempo in this game? Can VC’s full court zone pressure cause SC fits like it has to so many other teams this year? Will Seumalo, Magnuson, and Griner be able to slow down the Alsdorf, Bush, and McDevitt attack? Can VC continue to rotate players in using their press and get deep in to SC’s bench? Tempo is critical in this early afternoon matchup and the team that is able to control the ball and limit turnovers should come out on top.
3:15 Nyssa vs Rainier Thursday at Marshfield High School
Nyssa is knocking on the door for a state championship a year earlier than expected by people outside of Eastern Oregon. Nyssa is led by6-1 Junior Post Katlyn Hashagen who is a shot blocking machine who is continuing her ball swatting after her player of the year volleyball season in the EOL. Getting her the rock is arguably the best passer in 3A, Jackie Ramirez who is back for her junior season. Her concussion last year during the Rainier game was felt by a lot of us to be a game changer so she has promised to not get hurt this time. The lone starting senior(why Nyssa will be so good next year with underclassmen) is 5-5 sharp shooting Sarah Martinez who is also a defensive stopper.
The Bulldogs are coached by Danny Pratt who is the designer of the “Valley” Offense that a lot of us run around Oregon. The keys to winning for the Bulldogs are to hit their outside shots, limit Kaylea Knox’s shot attempts, to stay out of foul trouble, to make no turnovers or bad shots that lead to Rainier layups and to keep Rainer off the offensive boards(which is no easy task with Crape and crew). Rainier is led by coach Doug Knox, a funny x and o mastermind who has won a state title and sees this years team as one that can also win it all. The “jammer fredette” of girls 3A ball, Kaylea Knox, whose range starts as soon as she walks in the gym leads this squad. Not only that she can attack the rim but is a big time scorer. Running the show is their senior point guard, Jaden Thurston who is the primary ball handler and the best perimeter defender.
Kylee Crape can dominate a game from the inside and a big reason why opponents don’t get second shot attempts vs Rainier and she has a soft touch as well and she likes to defend and bump around inside and if you focus too much on then Aubree Coffman will hurt you on 10 footers. Rainier’s keys are to get after the offensive boards, make their layups, stay patient against Nyssa’s man defense and let their experience take over if the game is tight at the end. This one will really be interesting because both teams expect to win and will be playing loose and going at it hard. Rainier is a team that has been on a mission this year to get a state crown as a lot of juniors tasted state last year and came home with a trophy but as seniors this year they just want the “Blue” trophy.
6:30 Scio vs St Mary’s Catholic Thursday at Marshfield High School
In a game that mirrors two teams of similar playing styles, Coach Justin Duke brings his Scio Loggers to the 3A State Tournament for the first time after appearing in back to back State Title games at the 2A level. Both teams feature a pair of sisters that help lead their upstart offenses. Scio is led by Riley and Paige Graham who both received First Team All PacWest nominations with Riley earning Player of the Year honors. St Mary’s boasts two fierce guards in Emily and Rose Alvarez who run Coach Richard Vasey’s high paced motion offense to near perfection.
Both teams have been deadly beyond the arc and will be firing up the long ball from all over the court. Which team will get hot from outside first between these two league champions? Can Scio use their undersized team to keep St. Mary’s off the offensive glass and defend their shooters? Can St. Mary’s keep Scio’s guards out of the paint and force them in to defending for long stretches at a time? Both teams like to press in a variety of ways and if the referees let these two teams play it could get fast and physical in a hurry.
Coach Vasey’s offense is a thing to marvel at with all the cutting and weaving and shooting from deep. Will Freshman Kaycee Dezurney step up for Scio and offset some of the scoring for the Graham sisters? Does post player Marcy Ortiz have enough to hold down the middle and anchor their defense for their gambling guards? Can Elise Vasey do the same for St Mary’s and spark the fast break for the 3rd ranked Crusaders? Can Ramsey and Martin knock down enough 3’s to force Scio to extend its defense even further and open up more attack lanes?
This should certainly be one of the more exciting Quarterfinal matchups and the game could go to the team that is able to settle their nerves and knock down enough shots from the outside. Live by the 3, die by the 3 appears to sum up both teams chances. Who makes the most should advance to the right side of the bracket and avoid the morning elimination game. A lot of knowledgeable fans are picking Scio in the paper upset on this game but how can Scio who played in the last two 2A finals be considered an underdog to anyone.
(L) St. Mary's Emily Alvarez in her Coos Bay debut as a freshman in 2011; (R) Scio's Riley Graham at 2A Pendleton in 2012
Photos by Bruce McCain
8:15 Vale vs Willamina Thursday at Marshfield High School
Defending state champ Vale is the favorite in the tourney again this year but they have a strange matchup with Willamina who is as skilled at several positions and also likes to play great defense and a controlled half court game just like Vale. Vale is coached by what many feel is the top guy in 3A, Jason Johnson. Other teams see Vale as a three headed monster with seniors Becca Hawkins [see photo at left], Megan Williams and Liah Fulk who are just so talented and determined that they intimidate you from the get go. They will all be great coaches in their future.
All three have been to state all 4 years so they are very calm cool and collected and actually get better as the games get more important. Becca controls the reigns on Vale’s offense getting the ball to the open shooter. Megan is the “freak” who has the best pullup jumper in girls basketball and who the boys teams come to watch every game to work on their form trying to mimic hers. Fulk is 6-2 and blocks shots in her sleep, no kidding…when Becca stayed over this summer, Fulk was in a deep sleep and swatted Becca in the head and went back to sleep. Becca being competitive stuck Fulk’s hand in a cup of warm water to get even and well you can guess the rest.
The really special thing about Vale is that their 4-12 players are sooooo good that they never lose anything when they sub. Their 4-12 would have won many leagues and their JV’s(which most were on JV) are so good that they probably could have taken 3rd in the EOL which is a testament to their youth program and tradition.
For Willamina, Tom Anderson leads a great squad that has had a great season. Willamin features three 2013 first team all WVL players in sr Brook Wilson and jr's Whitney Anderson & Kyra Toney that lead this team. Brook and Whitney were both recognized in the all state honors last year. These girls have a lot of experience winning the WVL 4 years straight and playing in the state playoffs each year. Their last trip to the state basketball tournament was Brook's freshman year where the Bulldogs finished 4th. These girls know how to win and have experienced success in volleyball as well with 3 WVL titles in a row, and 4 straight trips to state playoffs while finishing 2nd in volleyball state in 2011.
This year’s Bulldogs have a 7 player rotation and all 7 girls can score and defend. Their strength is their defense (they held a great Corbett team to just 25 last week) and willingness to share the ball on offense. The team is averaging 10+ assists per game and have the best defense in 3A at this time heading into Coos Bay. Devon Stackhouse is a fierce defender and a fire cracker on the floor. Jr Zoey Holsclaw and frosh Sydney France defend the middle and have good touch when shooting. 6' super frosh Kasey Anderson has the ability to shoot, attack off the drive as well as having great vision. Whitney, Brooke and Kyra all have great skills and are determined and focused to win in Coos Bay.
As for Vale, Willamina has a lot of respect for the 2 time defending state champs. Willamina is well coached and talented, but they are not just happy to be in the tournament, they are coming to win and make the most of this opportunity. The Game keys for the bulldogs are to keep their composure against a very experienced Vale squad handling their pressure and limiting Vale’s points in the paint. Keys for Vale are to not let Willamina get a lead and to try to push the tempo as Willamina matches up well size and talent wise to Vale in the half court but Vale is deeper than any team in the tourney so they need to wear teams out with that depth.
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