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- Written by Bruce McCain
- Published on December 27, 2006
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Tournament Co-MVP Shea Kuemper leads 3A Valley Catholic to 46-37 win over 2A St. Mary's in Crusader Christmas Classic Championship Game.
In other action, host Salem Academy wins the Consolation title and Portland Christian takes the 3rd place game.
Congratulations and thanks to Salem Academy and AD/Coach Pete Potloff for assembling and hosting what has quickly become the premier eight-school 3A/2A holiday tournament.
CHAMPIONSHIP - Valley Catholic 46 St. Mary's 37
Valley Catholic finally got back to the .500 mark on the season as the Valiants capped a three-game sweep to win the Crusader Christmas Classic championship. Most fans and all the coaches knew that Valley Catholic's 2-5 record entering the tournament was no reflection of how good this 3A team is or could be. After beating Portland Adventist Academy, Portland Christian, and St. Mary's, the Valiants are showing signs of why the 3A coaches picked this team #2 in the early preseason poll. And a big reason for that is 6'6" senior forward Shea Kuemper, whose 13 points in the title game led all scorers and represented the only scorer in double figures.
To the surprise of some, St. Mary's opted to play Valley Catholic man-to-man, with Robby Boggess guarding Kuemper and 6'3" sophomore Jacob Midtylng guarding VC's 6'7" post Andy Haugen. In St. Mary's Thursday semifinal win over Toledo, Boggess did a great job shutting down the Boomer's Jeremy Breon, a 6'2" forward later named to the All-Tournament team. But as good as Breon may be, Kuemper is a different challenge, especially when complemented by the taller Haugen, who scored 8 points in the game.
The Crusaders' man defense didn't seem to faze Valley Catholic, which led 13-8 after one period, 24-12 at the half, and 33-23 after three periods. Both teams struggled to score in the fourth period, but eventually St. Mary's Max O'Sullivan scored at 3:03 to cut VC's lead to 37-30. From that point on, the Crusaders were forced to foul the Valiants in a vain attempt to score off free throw misses down the stretch. But as Portland Christian discovered too late on Thursday, Valley Catholic is a very good free throw shooting team late in the game. Friday was no different as the Valiants made 9 of 12 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.
With the loss, St. Mary's drops to 9-2 on the season. But the Crusaders sent a message back to Southern Oregon that the SCL will have more than Cascade Christian and Bonanza battling for the league title and OSAA playoff berths. O'Sullivan led the Crusaders with 10 points, followed by Chris Sutton (8) and Nick Terry (7).
3rd Place - Portland Christian 65 Toledo 46
Elijah Monnes' 18 points led a balanced Portland Christian attack that saw ten different Royals score as PC defeated Toledo, 65-46, in the 5:00 pm game for 3rd place. 2A Portland Christian (8-2) led 27-21 at half time, but broke the game open in the second half, outscoring the 3A Boomers (4-5), 38-25, in the final two periods.
The Royals' deep bench contributed much to the win, led by Kevin Johnson and Aaron Williams, who scored nine points each, while Shawn Evans added eight. Toledo was led by Jeremy Breon's 12 points, with no other Boomer in double figures.
CONSOLATION CHAMPIONSHIP - Salem Acdemy 53 Bandon 42
After dropping its tournament opener to Toledo the host Crusaders (8-3) knock off 3A Bandon (6-4) to win the consolation title. Now the Crusaders turn their attention to next Wednesday key TRC showdown at 2A #2 Western Mennonite.
7th Place - PAA 77 Willamina 55
The Cougars (6-4) win the battle of the 0-2 teams with a win over the Bulldogs (3-6) in the 10:30 am game.
All-Tournament Team (as voted by the coaches)
Shea Kuemper - Valley Catholic (Tournament Co-MVP)
Elijah Monnes - Portland Christian (Tournament Co-MVP)
Andy Haugen - Valley Catholic
Jesse Severson - Portland Christian
Chris Sutton - St. Mary's
Jeremy Breon - Toledo
Brett Patterson - Salem Academy
Bryan Beaty - Salem Academy
Valley Catholic 51 - Portland Christian 47
Valley Catholic showed again why the Valiants are the best 3A team with a sub-.500 record following a 51-47 win over Portland Christian (2A NWL) in the first of two semifinal games at the Crusader Christmas Classic. Valley Catholic, now 4-5 overall, presents 3A and 2A teams with a difficult line-up featuring 6'6" Shea Kuemper and 6'7" Andy Haugen. Few if any teams in the smaller classifications can match up with VC's height, so Portland Christian abandoned its traditional man defense and opted for a 2-3 zone the entire game. That strategy worked for three periods as the Royals led 12-11 after one period, 24-23 at the half, and 39-38 after three periods.
Against Bandon on Wednesday, PC owned the final period, outscoring the Tigers 20-4. But Valley Catholic turned the tide Thursday, riding clutch free throw shooting down the stretch as VC outscored PC, 13-8, in the final stanza to seal the win. The final minute of the game took almost ten minutes to play as PC was forced to foul in an effort to erase a slim 45-41 Valiant lead. But Valley Catholic converted on six of eight free throws in the final 60 seconds, while PC missed several 3-point attempts. With Haugen sweeping the defensive boards, each PC missed attempt turned into a Valley Catholic possession.
Each team had nine players score in the game, indicating the strong balance and depth each team possesses. Haugen and Stephen Duorchak scored 8 points each, with Michael Lyon and Trevor Gates adding seven apiece. Jesse Severson led PC and all scorers with 18 points, converting six of nine 3-point shots. Daniel Crofoot scored nine off the bench for the Royals. But Severson's hot long-distance shooting was not enough to save PC, especially with Elijah Monnes struggling to score four points in the game.
With the win, Valley Catholic advances to Friday's title game against St. Mary's (2A SCL). Portland Christian (7-2) will play Toledo (3A PacWest) for 3rd place at 5:00 pm.
St. Mary's 48 - Toledo 36
St. Mary's (2A SCL) continues its hot play with a 48-36 win over 3A Toledo in a game that was not as close as the final margin indicates. The Crusaders (9-1) led 27-9 at the half, thanks in large part to a stifling man-to-man defense that all but shut down the Boomers. St. Mary's built a 20-point lead after three periods, 36-16. Toledo's 1-2-2 trap zone defense produced a 20-point 4th period for the Boomers, but it was too little too late as St. Mary's advances to the tournament final against 3A Valley Catholic.
Max O'Sullivan came off the bench to lead St. Mary's with 14 points, followed by Chris Sutton and Nick Terry with 9 points each. But if there was a Most Valuable Crusader in this game, it was senior post Robby Boggess, who scored only two points, but held Toledo's Jeremy Breon to just three points. Against Salem Academy, the Boomer bruiser scored 22 points. But Boggess, with help from sophomore Jacob Midtlyng in the third period, effectively shut down Breon the entire game. Toledo sophomore guard Tyson Oleman led the Boomers (4-4) with 15 points.
The Crusaders will be hard pressed to play man-to-man defense against Valley Catholic's big posts. But St. Mary's has shown no fear in wins over 3A Willamina and Toledo.
Salem Academy 82 - Willamina 80 (OT)
The host Crusaders (2A TRC) edged the Bulldogs (3A WVL) in a wild and ugly game that saw six Willamina players foul out. The Bulldogs also picked up three technical fouls in the only tournament game thus far that the Salem officiating crews allowed to get out of hand.
Bandon 67 - Portland Adventist Academy 55
The Tigers bounce back form their loss to PC with a solid win over PAA, which has dropped its first two tournament games.
10:30 am - Portland Adventist Academy vs. Willamina (7th Place)
1:30 pm - Bandon vs. Salem Academy (Consolation Championship)
5:00 pm - Portland Christian vs. Toledo (3rd Place)
8:00 pm - Valley Catholic vs. St. Mary's (Championship Game)
Valley Catholic 66 - Portland Adventist Academy 54
Valley Catholic (3A West Valley) improved to a deceptive 3-5 record with a 66-54 win over PAA (3A Lewis & Clark), which falls to 5-3. The taller Valiants led the quicker Cougars 25-24 at halftime before opening up a 49-43 lead after three periods. Valley Catholic wore down the Cougars in the final period, stretching its lead to a final 12-point margin.
The Valiants were led by 6'6" Shea Kuemper's 14 points, followed by 6'7" Andy Haugen with 13 points. Point guard Trevor Gates added 10 points and led the Valiants' press break. PAA also had three players in double figures: Miller Stepf (15), Kosone Pholsema (11) and Andrew Bailey (10).
Portland Christian 69 - Bandon 47
Portland Christian (2A NWL) followed one of the school's all-time bad performances with a stellar 69-47 win over 3A #8 Bandon (3A Sunset Six). Last week, the Royals (7-1) lost to formerly winless Gladstone, 44-29 and did not score a 2-point bucket until late in the final period. In Wednesday's rematch with Bandon, which beat PC 63-60 last March in Pendleton, the Royals led 29-28 at halftime and 49-43 after three periods. But PC dominated the final period, outscoring the Tigers 20-4 to earn a semi-final berth against Valley Catholic.
Ten different Royals scored in a balanced attack. Elijah Monnes led PC with 14 points, followed by Neil Mayfield and John Pflaum with 11 points apiece. Archie Garrett led all scorers with 17, followed by Ricky Pruitt who scored 11 for the Tigers (5-3).
St. Mary's 58 - Willamina 49
Don't look now, but with Cascade Christian and Bonanza drawing the attention in the 2A SCL, St. Mary's is now 8-1 overall after beating Willamina (3A West Valley), 58-49, in a game the Crusaders led from start to finish. After taking a 28-25 lead at halftime, St. Mary's maintained the 3-point spread, leading 41-38 after three periods. But each time the Bulldogs made a run at that lead, St. Mary's answered and then some, pulling away for the final 9-point margin of victory and a spot in a Thursday semifinal game.
Chris Sutton led the Crusaders with 16 points and fellow starter Jacob Midtling added ten more. But St. Mary's got a huge boost off the bench with Nash Gambee scoring 13 points and sparking the Crusader's pressure defense down the stretch. Willamina (3-4) was led by senior guard Kellen Chewning, who had 16 points, but little help from fellow Dawgs.
Toledo 62 - Salem Academy 52
Hosts should be treated nicer. But Toledo (3A PacWest) accepted Salem Academy's invitation to play the host Crusaders (2A TRC) in the evening night cap and made the most of it, thumping SAC 62-52 to advance to Thursday's semifinal against St. Mary's. The Boomers (4-4) led 28-24 at halftime, but used a 22-10 third period to put away the Crusaders (6-3), who could not close the gap down the stretch.
Jeremy Breon, Toledo's burly 6'2" forward wrecked SAC all game, scoring 21 points and generally created chaos in the paint for the Crusaders. Toledo also received a huge boost off the bench from sophomore Kamron Sjostrom, who scored 15 points, with 13 of those coming in the second half. Salem Academy was led by Michael May's 15 points, followed by Phil Bonar with 13.
10:30 am - PAA vs. Bandon
1:30 pm - Willamina vs. Salem Academy
5:00 pm - Valley Catholic vs. Portland Christian (semifinal)
8:00 pm - St. Mary's vs. Toledo (semifinal)