by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Central Catholic High fans enjoy their team's big win over Tigard in the state semifinals Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.Knocking it around as we begin a very busy sports week. …

• Maybe Central Catholic coach Steve Pyne was trying for a piece of sports history, but was it necessary to have starters still on the field -- and stars Cameron Scarlett and Ryan Nall score touchdowns -- in the fourth quarter of the Rams' 83-49 Class 6A semifinal rout of Tigard on Saturday?

Central led 63-42 going into the fourth quarter, so perhaps you can forgive its first score of the period, a 51-yard run by Scarlett. After that, unload the bench, show some mercy and save your starters for the state final showdown with Jesuit.

There's the sportsmanship angle, and the chance for Scarlett or Nall to sprain an ankle in garbage time. Seems a no-brainer to me.

Was less surprised at the score of Imbler's 88-76 victory over Lowell in the 1A championship game. Neither team suited a punter. I simply have to cover an eight-man game next season.

I've noticed prep football scores creeping up into the 50s, 60s and 70s -- I'm speaking of one team here -- the past two seasons. Is it because of the proliferation of spread offense attacks, leaving defenses unprepared? You'd think at some point, the defenses would begin to catch up. That many points in 48 minutes of football is almost unthinkable to anyone who appreciates defensive football.

If you've wondered why Oregon State receiver Jordan Villamin hasn't practiced through the season, it's because the 6-4, 240-pound man-child ran into academic issues during training camp. The Fontana, Calif., native has attended classes as a partial qualifier fall term and has been allowed to stay on scholarship, but he is ineligible to play or practice.

The hope is Villamin will be eligible winter term, which would make him a redshirt freshman next season. Insiders say the kid is a physical freak of nature and a blue-chip prospect.

If you haven't seen the Foot Locker television commercial with Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Craig Sager, Dennis Rodman and Kyrie Irving, check it out on YouTube. It's a classic.

Congrats to friend Herb Brown, back in town after coaching Japan to the FIBA Asia Women's Championship last month. It was the first title for the Japanese national squad since 1970, who had to finish first or second to qualifying for the 2014 World Championships.

"It was different, and it was fun," said Brown, 77, a former Trail Blazers assistant who lives in Beaverton and was on his first real assignment coaching women in a five-decade career. "The girls were really focused. There was a lot of pressure on them because of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. They have to be successful in basketball."

Brown, who got the job on the recommendation of University of Portland coach Eric Reveno, was in Japan from April 15 to July 2 and again from late August until early November. Brown said he'll return to coach the team again next year if provisions are made for his wife, Sherri, a Portland native.

For now, the ever-active Reveno is doing consulting work with Reveno and a couple of local prep coaches and "looking for another project."

A guy with all sorts of Northwest ties -- Matt Dorey -- has been named director of amateur scouting for the Chicago Cubs.

Dorey is a Vancouver, Wash., native who played at Portland State, where he was team captain, most valuable player and first-team all-Pac-10 North as a senior in 1996. He was an assistant coach at Mt. Hood CC, a volunteer assistant at Washington State and the inaugural manager for the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast Summer League in 2007. Dorey had been a scout for the Boston Red Sox before coming to the Cubs in 2011.

Three Oregon athletes are among finalists for the USA Track & Field's "Fans' Choice" awards, presented at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Dec. 7 at Indianapolis.

Former UO standout Ashton Eaton, who set a javelin personal record while winning the decathlon at the world championships, is in line for the field performance of the year. Eugene's Nick Symmonds, who won the silver medal in the 800 (1:43.55) at the world championships, is up for track performance of the year. And Portland's Galen Rupp, who set the American indoor record in the 3,000 (7:30.18), is a candidate for the best record-breaking performance.

Former Oregon State third baseman Stefan Romero has been added to the Seattle Mariners' 40-man roster for spring training. Romero, now an outfielder, hit .277 with 11 home runs and 74 RBIs in 93 games for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma last season.

The University of Washington school of business has established an annual scholarship in the name of Don Whitney, a safety during the Giant-Killers era at OSU who later worked as an academic supervisor in the OSU athletic department. Whitney was long-time manager of the UW School of Business graduate services. First winner of the Whitney Memorial Scholarship was Jen Landry.

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