Vikings to take on no. 1-ranked De La Salle North Catholic Saturday night in first round

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Colton junior James Parker (30) drives to the basket during the Vikings' senior night game against Salem Academy on Feb. 8. Colton's boys' basketball team have earned their way into the Class 3A playoffs once again with a big win over Jefferson in the PacWest Conference playoffs last Saturday.

The it was a tight matchup for most of the game as Colton led 36-32 at the half, but as the Viks began to get into some foul trouble in the third quarter, senior Seth Bruesch and sophomore Wyatt Earls came in off the bench and contributed valuable minutes while senior Kreygan Raasch and junior Javontae Maes sat out due to fouls.

Senior Dawson Hall made all three of his free throws down the stretch to ultimately secure the victory.

"It was a great team effort by all seven guys who got into the game," head coach Brandon Kishpaugh said. "Evan [Rasor] did what he does best: force turnovers and get out in transition; [Hall] controlled our tempo and got guys great looks; James Parker played, in my opinion, his most complete game all season as he hit a number of big shots and was in control much more than at other points the season, and he made a couple huge defensive plays by shutting down Jefferson's Diego Rodriguez who had a great game against us at their place."

Kishpaugh commended Raasch for also having what he said was probably his most complete game of the season thus far despite getting into some foul trouble in the second half.

"He made a couple of plays on offense that we've been trying to get out of him all year," he said.

Maes, despite being in foul trouble most of the game, made a big play late in the fourth quarter by running the floor and finishing a big bucket.

"Jefferson is similar to use; [they're] a small town that has to build from the ground up, and it's been really cool to see the parallels between the two programs," Kishpaugh said. "When I took over at Colton, we had a couple really rough years before we finally got things turned around, which has led to these four straight [state tournament] appearances, and their coach has gone through the same thing and has them right on the brink, and I commend him and his players for [turning] that program around."

Colton will have some time off before facing no. 1-seeded De La Salle North Catholic in an away matchup on Saturday, Feb. 24. The knights are 23-1 on the season and are a formidable opponent for the Viks to take on right out of the gate.

"As we move on to De La Salle next week, it's obvious that they are a tremendous program; they are in contention for state nearly every year as long as I can remember," Kishpaugh said. "They play a very aggressive, fast-paced style and it will be crucial for us to be able to rise to the occasion to handle their defensive and offensive speed and aggressiveness if we want to have a chance to compete with them on their own floor."

Kishpaugh then took some time to reflect on this season as a whole and commended his players for buying in to the program and giving it everything they've got.

"I can't say enough how proud of this team I am; it's been an emotional season … their resolve and willingness to buy in and continue to work hard during some rough stretches says a ton about their character, and I'm so happy that it paid off for them in the end," Kishpaugh said.

"Regardless of what happens on Saturday, I'm proud of them, and they should be proud of what they've done this year and over the last four years."

The matchup this Saturday will be at 6 p.m. at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow us on Twitter
Like Us on Facebook
Visit Us on Instagram

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine