Boys basketball: Wilsonville routs Milwaukie in NWOC opener, 78-36
The Milwaukie Mustangs were no match for the Wilsonville Wildcats on Friday night.
Wilsonville's Caleb Larsen scored 17 of his game-high 25 points in the first half as the Wildcats rolled to a 78-36 rout over the Mustangs in the Northwest Oregon Conference opener for both teams at Milwaukie High School.
Jack Roche added 22 points, and Dakota Reber and Zac Rosetti had nine points each for the Wildcats (5-6, 1-0 NWOC), who closed the half on a 28-4 run that turned a one-point deficit with 1:50 to play in the first quarter into a 41-18 lead at the break.
"We played pretty well tonight," said Larsen, the senior guard who shot 9 for 12 from the field with three three-pointers. "We came out in the second half and made a few defensive mistakes, but I think we played pretty solid throughout the game.
"We just moved the ball really well on offense and created a lot of shots for one another, and a lot of guys made a lot of shots."
Milwaukie's James Lumanglas finished with a team-high 10 points off the bench and was the only player to score in double figures for the Mustangs (5-6, 0-1), who never got the deficit below 19 points in the second half.
"I thought we were ready," Mustangs coach Donny Law said. "We practiced really well, but what we practiced and what we put on the floor tonight were two different things."
Milwaukie had a tough time matching up with a Wilsonville starting five that featured the 6-foot-5 Reber alongside Rossetti (6-3), Ryan Naoli (6-1), Roche (6-0), and Larsen (5-10), but the Mustangs' biggest issue was turnovers -- 20 in the game, including nine in the second quarter when the game was being decided.
Wilsonville's defensive pressure forced a number of Milwaukie miscues, but the ones that hurt the Mustangs most were the unusually high number of unforced errors that the Wildcats routinely turned into easy transition baskets.
Six of Milwaukie's first seven possessions of the game ended with turnovers, while Wilsonville knocked four of its first seven shots, taking an 11-2 lead on a Larsen three-pointer from the left corner with 4:46 to play in the first quarter.
The Mustangs bounced back with a 12-2 run that saw four different players score baskets in a span of just under three minutes, capped by a Lumanglas trey from the left corner that gave Milwaukie a 14-13 lead with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Wilsonville answered with a 6-0 run to close the first quarter to take a 19-14 lead, and then the defending 5A state champions outscored Milwaukie 22-4 in the second quarter to turn the game into a rout.
"We had a pretty good first quarter, and then after that, Wilsonville just got in our heads," said Milwaukie junior Dustin Stradley, who finished with seven points.
Wilsonville returns to action Tuesday at home against Hillsboro (5-6, 1-0), while Milwaukie plays host to La Salle Prep (4-7, 1-0).
"They're getting better every day, and it's a heckuva lot better than last year," said Law, whose Mustangs have already won four more games than they won last season. "They're one step away. We're just trying to get ourselves in position to get int the playoffs. That's our goal.
"This is one game. Like I told the kids, 'Today, doesn't determine where you go in the playoffs or if you go to the playoffs.' So, we'll chalk this up as a learning experience and go from there."
WILSONVILLE....19 22 14 23 -- 78
MILWAUKIE........14 4 9 9 -- 36
Wilsonville (78) -- Caleb Larsen 25, Roche 22, Rossetti 9, Reber 9, Napoli 7, Reichle 2, Westing 2, Shivers 2, Irby, Rivers, Thebiay.
Milwaukie (36) -- James Lumanglas 10, Du. Stradley 7, Dy. Stradley 6, Talley 4, Vickers 3, Nemarundwe 2, Gama 2, Myles 2, Mendoza, McCord, Katahdin.