The Westview Wildcats have only lost five games this season: four have come to Beaverton and their only other loss came to their Thursday opponent at the OSAA 6A boys basketball tournament.
Beaverton got another strong performance from First-Team All-Metro junior wing Jake Estep, while the Wildcats struggled to make shots, from outside the arc or at the foul line. Estep led all scorers with 22 and the Beavers used a 16-7 second quarter to build a lead that would not be threatened on the way to a 56-42 victory over Westview at the Chiles Center Wednesday.
The win sets up a rematch with Jefferson in the quarterfinals. Beaverton led the Democrats with less than four minutes to go in an early December game in N.E. Portland, but eventually fell to the state’s top-ranked team 71-63. A win over the Demos would put the Beavers into the state title game for the first time since 1998, where they could see Clackamas, which handed Beaverton a 58-47 defeat in the opening game of the Les Schwab Inviational on Dec. 27. The Beavers have gone 19-1 since, their only loss coming at Southridge on Jan. 21.
Meanwhile, Westview will get a rematch with Grant, which defeated the Wildcats 53-49 on the same day that Beaverton lost to Clackamas. The Wildcats and Beavers would meet for the first time this season three days later on the final day of the LSI, with Beaverton winning 38-37. Westview hasn’t lost to a team besides the Beavers since the turn of the calendar.
Beaverton turned the game with an 8-0 run in the second period, stretching a two-point lead to a 22-12 advantage on back-to-back three-pointers by Carson Crawford and Estep. Estep would connect on each of his first three attempts from downtown, one game after lighting up Southridge with a 5-for-7 performance from the palabara and a 26-point explosion in the second round of the playoffs. The 6-4 junior also showed that he is far from a one-dimensional scorer, as the Beavers went to him frequently on post-ups against the smaller defender Said Ali.
Beaverton led 27-15 at the half and Westview never mounted any serious threat in the final two quarters as the Wildcats struggled to knock down open shots and battled foul trouble that rattled their rotation. Starting wing Zach Sly, who averaged nine points per game on the season but stepped up with several big performances against upper-division teams, was saddled with three fouls before the first quarter was up and finished with just five points. Isaac Overson, a key bench contributor for the Wildcats, also battled foul trouble and fouled out with Sly on back-to-back possessions in the fourth period.
The Wildcats shot a spindly 33-percent from the field (14-42) and connected on just 2-of-15 from deep and 12-of-22 at the foul line. Beaverton didn’t shoot any better at the charity stripe (12-23), but put in a solid performance otherwise, hitting 19-of-44 (43%) and 6-for-18 (33%) from three-point range. They looked like the more comfortable team, despite Westview’s seniors having the experience of playing at Chiles Center last year.
Mason Elliott led the Wildcats with 16 points and six rebounds, but was just 5-for-15 from the field and 1-for-4 from three and turned the ball over seven times.
Cole Johanson added 11 points for Beaverton, Hunter Sweet had 11 rebounds to go with nine points.
Thursday’s consolation game between Westview and Grant will be broadcast live on KUIK 1360 witht pregame coverage beginning at 8:45 a.m. Friday’s semifinal game between Beaverton and Jefferson will tip off at 3:15 and be broadcast live on KUIK 1360 with pregame airtime at 3:05 p.m.
Jefferson and Grant, who were also playing for the fourth time this season, were separated by just two points until two-time Portland Interscholastic League Player Of The Year Geno West buried a three-pointer with four seconds left and Robert Ford swiped the Grant inbounds pass right underneath the basket and laid it in at the buzzer for a 35-28 halftime lead. The Generals never recovered as Jefferson came out and scored on six straight possessions to open the third quarter to pull out to a 47-34 lead, eventually winning 77-61.
All five Demos starters scored in double-figures, led by West’s 17 points. Six-foot-nine junior center Kamaka Hepa, who transferred to Jefferson from Alaska, scored 12 points with nine rebounds and was credited with three blocks but altered double as many shots with his presence. The Demos hit eight threes and outscored Grant (2-11) by 24 points from the arc.
Sophomore point guard Aaron Deloney paced the Generals with 16 points and Damon Hickok added 14 points and eight rebounds.
The evening quarterfinals were not competitive. Clackamas held a double-digit lead throughout the second half and raced past West Salem 68-52, led by Elijah Gonazales’ 31 points. Gonzales hit six threes and also had eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals in the top individual performance of the night. West Linn steamrolled North Medford 89-59 getting 20 points each from Braden Olson and Rodney Hounshell. North Medford’s Brad Allen finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, but the Black Tornado could not keep pace with the skilled and athletic Lions, who forced 19 turnovers and hit ten three-pointers.
At the 5A girls tournament in Corvallis, Hillsboro ran up against defending state champion Silverton in the quarterfinals and fell way behind early, falling 57-21. Maggie Roth led all scorers with 19 points, while Katherine Salas paced the Spartans with 11. Hillsboro will take on Crater in the consolation semifinals at 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The Comets lost to Corvallis 45-25 after shooting just 18-percent from the field (8-44) with no player scoring more than five points.
The first of five tournament broadcasts Thursday on KUIK begins at 8:45 a.m. with the Westview Wildcats playing Grant in the 6A boys consolation semfinals, followed by Hillsboro girls against Crater at 10:45. At 1:05 p.m., tune in for live extended pregame coverage of the 5A boys basketball semifinals as defending state champion Wilsonville takes on Northwest Oregon Conference rival La Salle. Then at 6:05 p.m. it’s a doubleheader from the 4A boys tournament at Pacific University’s Stoller Center with Cowapa League runner-up Valley Catholic taking on Skyline Conference champion Henley followed by Banks against Tillamook in yet another matchup of teams that have faced each other three times this year.