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PREP WATCH: No. 1 Jefferson pulls away from Madison

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jefferson High's Grayson Smallwood (right) blocks a shot by Mak Hutson of Madison in the second half at Jefferson on Friday.With less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter Friday night, Madison High was within striking distance of Jefferson, trailing by three points in their PIL 5A showdown at Jeff.

Jefferson caught fire in the second half, though, and pulled away for a 94-61 win in a game attended by Trail Blazers guard Will Barton.

“We came out flat in the first half,” Jefferson coach Pat Strickland said. “We weren’t running the offense, took a lot of 3s. In the second half, we had the same game plan. But things started falling into place.”

A big reason that the No. 1-ranked Demos (13-1 overall, 4-1 Portland Interscholastic League 5A) pulled away was 6-11 junior center Greyson Smallwood, who sat out the first half for disciplinary reasons.

Smallwood scored only six points, but he was a monster on defense, rejecting numerous Senator shots and eliminating the opportunity for Madison players to drive to the hoop.

“I was going hard and trying to block all the shots I could, and getting rebounds,” Smallwood said.

Senior guard Silas Melson led the Democrats with 32 points, including 18 in the first half.

Strickland said he was surprised that the Demos' top offensive player had so many points.

“He did?” Strickland asked. “I didn’t even know that. It was an ugly, nasty 32.”

Madison point guard Aubrey Stephens also had 32 points, 18 in the second half.

“I really tried to work within the offense and tried to move the ball around,” Stephens said. “They tried to put three different defenders on me, so I just tried to play my game and do what I do offensively.”

Eighth-ranked Madison (10-5, 4-1) battled with Jefferson throughout the first half, getting as close as 33-30 before Jefferson went into halftime with a 38-30 lead.

With Smallwood providing a defensive spark in the second half, Jefferson put up 26 points in the third quarter to take a 64-46 lead heading into the final period.

The Demos led 22-10 at the end of the first quarter, after closing the period with an 11-2 run.