Clatskanie 73 Nyssa 43
Nyssa came out with a lot of energy, and was fueled by their larger fan turnout than Clatskanie. However, the initial burst was limited, and in the end the defending champs pulled away. Clatskanie was bolstered by a career night from Shelby Blodgett, as the senior notched 36 points and 18 rebounds, leading her team to their third consecutive state title game.
Sutherlin 60 Santiam Christian 43
In a game that featured a plethora of turnovers, it ultimately was the Lady Bulldogs who shot the 3-ball well enough to pull away from the Lady Eagles. Sutherlin held Audrey Miller at bay en route to a big final-4 victory. Sutherlin earned a rematch in the title game with Clatskanie, whom they lost to in last year’s final.
Philomath 55 Valley Catholic 48
It was speed vs. strength in this game, and strength won out. Valley Catholic blitzed out to an early double-digit lead over the Warriors, but they couldn’t sustain that pace. The length and strength of the Warrior roster allowed them to play blunt force basketball against the smaller but faster Valiants, and it worked. Against a much more balanced roster like Hidden Valley, this approach might not bring the same results.
Hidden Valley 48 La Grande 40
Both teams could’ve won, and it’s not an indictment on La Grande that they’re not in the final. If these teams played ten times, the series would split 5-5 or go Hidden Valley’s way 6-4; they’re really evenly matched. The Mustangs hit shots at the right time in the right places, so there’s not much else to break down.
Cascade Christian 66 Santiam Christian 62
The Eagles had every opportunity to win this game. SC raced out to an early lead, had CC on their heels for most of the first half, and were flat-out dominating. Without Austin Maurer, Santiam Christian smelt blood in the water and attacked early, but the initial burst eventually gave way to CC’s more experienced roster. Josh Baugher played a phenomenal game, showing off his ability to score and to distribute. It’s a testament to CC that through all this, they still came out on top. Despite everything going on, they still took the Eagles down. Defense and grit… it’ll take you places.
Yamhill-Carlton 84 vs De La Salle 61
This is what a championship team looks like: the POTY frontrunner, COTY frontrunner, and all the momentum in the world were on full display tonight. YC turned the entire “how to beat De La Salle” playbook on its head. They rejected the typical approach of slowing down the game, trying to force De La Salle into a halfcourt slugfest, and trying to win a low possession game. Instead, they pushed, pressed, and ran. DLS wants the pace to be fast? That’s fine; we’ll take it a notch faster. For the first time in our memory, the foul calls against the Knights on defense weren’t there, not because the game was being called loosely, but because they weren’t there to call. YC simply moved faster and more decisively than the Knights could handle. DLS is a good team. It’s just a microcosm of the Seely-Roberts family’s greatness that the final margin ended up being 24.
Cascade 63 Banks 54
The post battle was fantastic, and you can never go wrong with a Dom Ball vs. Tyler Exline matchup, but this game was won on the perimeter. Carson Molan and co. played fantastic perimeter defense for most of the game and kept themselves in striking distance so that one run could put them ahead. The moment came, the run happened, and that was it. Banks is a really, really good team, but Cascade is just too good to fully contain for an entire 32-minute game.
Marshfield 54 Woodburn 47
The most electric atmosphere since the start of the pandemic, bar none. This game more than any other, including the entirety of football season and spring sports, felt like something was returning. Maybe it’s because the last high school sporting event to happen for us at Mid-Major Media before the pandemic was covering the 3A tournament in Coos Bay in March of 2020, and seeing the crowd and feeling the energy of the fans at North Bend last night was a moment of closure, but it was impactful nonetheless. The game itself was a reflection of the two towns the teams represented: tough, blue collar, and incredibly hard fought. Tomas Veliz and Jose Lua did a lot of the heavy lifting offensively in the first half for Woodburn, with Veliz scoring the first 10 points of the game. But Marshfield, fully healthy and much more familiar with the surroundings and feel of the North Bend gym, settled in and steadily chipped away, eventually ending up in the drivers’ seat of a free throw contest to seal the deal. In another hypothetical 10 game series, Marshfield and Woodburn probably go 5-5 or 6-4 either way, but tonight was Marshfield’s night. These 48 hours feel like Marshfield’s time.