#1 Junction City 43 #4 Seaside 35
This was quintessential Junction City basketball. Seaside did what they could to speed up the SkyEm champions, but without a significant turnover differential in their favor, and losing the rebound battle straight up, this effort was not going to be fruitful. Trying to beat Junction City at their own game–playing physical and leaning on their size–proved more fruitful, but with the Tigers playing in the lead from start to finish, an offensive explosion that would put the Seagulls in position to win–as had come in the Philomath game–was not coming. Junction City had to lose the game before Seaside could win it, and it did not happen. Junction City’s defense, namely their ability to challenge shots without fouling, is something that cannot be replicated at the 4A level. It was another great defensive performance by the Tigers, another good offensive performance by Burnett and Evans, and a masterclass on how to rebound while outsized, and Junction City is in the final.
Junction City will play in the state championship game tomorrow–their first appearance since 2004–at 5:45 p.m. against Cascade, Seaside will play league rival Banks in the 3rd/5th-place game at 12:30 p.m.–both games at Marshfield.
#2 Cascade 57 #11 Banks 46
All-in-all, this could have been much worse for Banks. Outside of circus 3 pointers from Cooper Gobel and the occasional fast break, the Braves had very little going for them offensively. Their defense kept them in this, despite Cascade having success on the interior with Ty Best. Banks had their chances to put Cascade on the defensive, but too many rattled out three-pointers and missed defensive assignments leading to layups killed their momentum whenever they started to build it. Cascade tried to keep it interesting, leaving 11 points on the floor in missed free throws. The talent and size of Cascade, though, was too much to overcome for Banks. It was a fantastic win by the Braves last night over Marshfield, but this was just a very, very different matchup–and it did not favor them. Cascade will play in the state championship game tomorrow–their first official appearance since 2013–at 5:45 p.m. against Junction City, Banks will play league rival Seaside in the 3rd/5th place-game at 12:30 p.m.–both games at Marshfield.
#1 Philomath 44 #13 Hidden Valley 28
This was a complete game for Philomath; start to finish domination. The final score really doesn’t show how differently these two teams played. Philomath dominated the boards, won the turnover margin, shot more efficiently from the floor, dominated the paint defensively, and never gave Hidden Valley a real shot. Philomath–as we say constantly–had to lose before Hidden Valley could win, and they did nothing tonight that would indicate a losing performance. This felt like a 20-point margin throughout, even if it was only a three- or four-possession game most of the time. Sage Kramer dropped 17 points and nabbed 8 rebounds, and he looked like a runaway candidate for player of the year should look. Philomath will play Corbett in the state championship game tomorrow night–their first official appearance since 2006–at 8:30 p.m., Hidden Valley will play Madras at 2:15 p.m. in the 3rd/5th-place game–both games are at Marshfield.
#11 Corbett 60 #7 Madras 36
Corbett pushed the pace faster than Madras was comfortable with, and that is really all that needs to be said. The White Buffalos could not hold onto the ball versus the Cardinal pressure, especially down the stretch. 27 total turnovers for Madras was their undoing, and the poor shooting and small loss in the rebound column alone were not going to do it. Corbett took 9 more shots than Madras and 6 more free throws, and the turnovers played a huge part in that. Madras beat this Corbett team twice in the regular season, but getting routed in the semifinals is in all likelihood due to the Corbett underclassmen needing the full season to mature and get comfortable competing against the more experienced White Buffaloes. Corbett will play Philomath in the state championship game tomorrow night–their first appearance since 1987–at 8:30 p.m., Madras will play Hidden Valley at 2:15 p.m. in the 3rd/5th-place game–both games are at Marshfield.