|3/13/2012 9:30:00 AM|
Jesuit, Regis claim state basketball titles - other teams look ahead
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ken Niezgoda
La Salle senior Daniel Lashbaugh drives past a Jequan Knight of Roosevelt in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.
Ken NiezgodaMarch is synonymous with playoff basketball — the “second season,” as it’s sometimes described. And only one team ever escapes the playoffs without a loss.
Fourteen Oregon Catholic high schools earned a berth in the Oregon state playoffs.
Both Jesuit’s boys and girls made it to postseason. Jesuit boys earned their fourth consecutive state 6A basketball title with a 52-42 win over Lake Oswego. Junior Khyan Rayner, an all-tournament first team selection, was named championship player of the game. Senior Collin Spickerman was named second team.
For some teams, just earning a berth is the reward for an exceptional season. La Salle Prep’s boys basketball team rebounded from a mediocre season a year ago and landed in the first round of this season’s 3A state playoffs.
“Last year we were only a little above .500. This year we only lost five games,” said junior Falcon guard Colin Meisner.
La Salle Prep lost in the first round to Roosevelt but ended this season with a lot of promise for next year.
“We’ve got a lot of people returning. We’re going to be a senior-heavy team and we’re looking to get to state,” added Meisner.
“It was a good season and we’re looking forward to next year.”
For others, particularly seniors, that playoff loss can be a bittersweet end to the season.
“Not the way anyone wants to go out, but I’m really proud of our guys,” said La Salle senior point guard Daniel Lashbaugh.
“It’s kind of a disappointment, but I’m really proud of our effort.”
La Salle’s girls and St. Mary’s, Medford, girls also played in the first round of the state playoffs.
Regis ended its basketball season in a predictable fashion. Both the Rams girls and boys teams earned a trip to the state playoffs.
The girls entered the state tournament ranked number one in the Oregon School Activities Association power rankings. The boys were ranked third.
That’s exactly how each team finished the tournament. The Ram girls won the 2A state title, beating Scio 59-49 in the championship game. The boys beat Days Creek 62-53 to win third place in the 2A tournament.
Junior Adam Moore was named to the all-tournament first team for the boys. Senior Whitney Koehnke was named to the first team and also named player of the game in the girls championship. Regis seniors Jordan Walling and Kasse Keudell were named second team all-tournament.
Both the Blanchet Catholic and Valley Catholic boys and girls teams earned berths in the state tournament.
Valley Catholic’s boys lost to Blanchet Catholic to finish in sixth place. Blanchet Catholic earned fourth, and junior Brent Counts was named to the all-tournament first team.
Valley Catholic girls took second in state. Senior Chelsea Alsdorf was named to the all-tournament first team. Senior Jasmine Bush of Valley Catholic and junior Sami Belleque of Blanchet Catholic earned spots on the second team.
Valley Catholic won the sportsmanship trophy. Blanchet earned the sixth place trophy.
Elsewhere in 6A basketball, both Central Catholic teams entered the state tournament among the favorites for a state title. The girls entered the Elite Eight tournament ranked third, playing St. Mary’s Academy in the opening game; the boys were ranked second behind top-ranked Jesuit.
Central Catholic girls beat West Linn 57-34 for the third place trophy behind strong play from junior Jordan Reynolds, who was a unanimous all-tournament first team selection. Ram junior Kailee Johnson was named second team.
St. Mary’s Academy earned a berth in the Elite Eight with a second round playoff win over Jesuit in the girls’ 6A playoffs.
The Blues entered the playoffs ranked sixth in state and finished sixth in the tournament.
Senior Zoie Sheng was named to the all-tournament second team.