Showdown with Gladstone tonight

La Salle Prep’s boys and girls basketball teams last week continued to prove themselves among the top Class 4A teams in the state, as they made quick-work of Molalla.

Ranked No. 1 in the state in the OSAA RPI rankings, La Salle boys improved their season record to 15-2, dispatching with the Indians 73-48.

Ranked No. 2 in the state in the OSAA RPI rankings, La Salle girls improved their record to 16-1 with a 59-19 trouncing of their Indian counterparts.

It was the 10th straight win for La Salle girls and the eighth straight win for La Salle boys. Both teams finished the first half of the Tri-Valley Conference league season with 5-0 records, a game in front of Gladstone (4-1) in the league standings.

Gladstone and La Salle meet for the second time this season tonight, with La Salle girls playing at home and the Falcons guys playing their cross-town rivals on the road.

La Salle boys defeated Gladstone 49-39 on Jan. 21, while La Salle girls beat their rivals 48-30.

“Now it’s all about Gladstone,” La Salle boys coach Jared Curtiss said, following the win at Molalla. “Winner of the game might have the inside track for the league title. We’ve won or tied for the title the last two years and my guys want to make it a trifecta, as we elevate to 5A.

“We didn’t make free throws and they slowed us down a lot and their pressure bothered us [the last time we played Gladstone]. But since then we’ve taken good care of the ball — averaging 10 turnovers a game. We’re excited to play at in the toughest gym in our league versus a top two or three team in the state.”

Gladstone girls coach Pat Scott said that because of a concussion, his Gladiators played without starting forward Alicia Feb for most of their last game with La Salle. Feb is back, and Scott believes it will make a difference in tonight’s rematch.

Gladstone girls may also benefit from the improved play of junior guard Molly Webster, who scored a career-high 30 points, hitting 13-of-20 shots from the floor — with three 3-pointers — in a 54-34 trouncing of North Marion last Friday.

La Salle guys took no hostages in last week’s game at Molalla. The visiting Falcons shot the lights out, hitting 30-of-47 shots (63.8 percent) from the floor, with five 3-point baskets. They had assists on 21 of their 30 baskets.

Keeston Smith, Michael Edwards and Luke Kolln had 12 assists between them.

Smith (17 points), Kolln (12 points), Reece Wible (10 points) and Ryan Cavanagh (9 points) led a balanced Falcon offensive effort that saw twelve players score.

Matt Berger was an intimidating presence close to the basket, rejecting three shots.

The Falcons raced to a 17-10 first-quarter advantage, and they had the game in hand at halftime, leading 37-20.

Feb. 4 was a big night for La Salle girls. Besides routing the Indians, Maxpreps showed up to honor the girls team with its “team of the week” award.

And the players didn’t disappoint their fans, as they put on a clinic for the visiting Indians. The Falcons led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter and they turned up the pressure in the second period, when they outscored Molalla 19-1 to build a 36-7 halftime advantage.

Andrea Novak (15 points) and Alexandra Jansen (10 points) headed up an offensive effort that saw 10 La Salle players score.

Aleah Goodman was a sparkplug on offense, dishing out eight assists.

Katie Buerk (8 rebounds) and Novak (6 rebounds) led the Falcons to a 38-22 domination of the backboards.

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