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Boys' basketball: Long scores 28 in season finale
St. Helens finishes 4-19, missing the state playoffs, and will return only four players next season
The Lions came up just short in their final contest of the year, falling 73-69 to Parkrose to close out the season. Though the Lions finished the year just 4-19 over all, Senior guard Tanner Long wasn't about to go out without a bang.
Long finished with a team-high 28 points and eight assists in the game, and added three rebounds and a trio of steals to the mix. And through three quarters, it was working. St. Helens led 58-53 heading to the final period, but allowed the Broncos (6-17, 6-8 NWOC) to go on a big run in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lions by nine to snatch away another victory in heartbreaking fashion.
It adds to a string of come-from-behind losses for St. Helens, who have watched numerous halftime and third-quarter leads slip away in the last few weeks. The Lions' pair of league wins both came against Putnam. St. Helens beat the Kingsman 77-57 on Jan. 28, and in a nail-biter on Feb. 28 when the Lions survived a big run to top Putnam 60-58 behind 13 points each from Long and senior post Corey West.
Against Parkrose in the season finale, the Lions weren't quite as lucky. They held a nine-point edge after the first eight minutes, but watched as the Broncos slowly chipped away, outscoring St. Helens in the final three quarters, in spite of a 25-point burst in the second period by the home team.
Long did his best to hold back the storm, nailing four of five three pointers and making all of his free throws, part of an outstanding, 90 percent performance from the charity stripe from the Lions.
West contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Devon Jewett finally rediscovered his shooting stroke to hit three of five attempts from downtown for nine points.
St. Helens will return just four players from this years' squad: juniors Ryne Poorman, Justin Helgerson and Ivan Alcazar, and sophomore Quintin Galvin. Seniors moving on, in addition to Long, West and Jewett, include guards Adam Spencer and Cody Teyema, point guard Michael Enyart and forward Gage Bumgardner.
Parkrose 73, St. Helens 69
PARK 11 26 16 20 – 73
STHE 20 25 13 11 – 69
St. Helens (69): Long 28, Spencer, Poorman 9, Helgerson 3, Jewett 9, Bumgardner 5, Enyart, Galvin, Teyema 3, West 12