No. 8 St. Helens boys' basketball whips Class 6A North Salem
The Lions are off to their best start in four years.
St. Helens beat visiting Class 6A North Salem for the second time in three years Tuesday, 81-60, its most points since it won 84-81 Dec. 15, 2015, in Sandy, and is 2-0 overall for the first time since 2013-14.
Drake Dow and Owen Wolfe pick-and-rolled the Vikings (0-3) for 20 and 19 respective points, and Devin McCall (who hit four 3-pointers) and Jacob Falk followed with 12 points.
"I love running the pick-and-roll with my big guys this year," said Dow, a senior guard. "They are playing at a very high level, and I believe that every time we run it we will get a good look. Also, our shooters allow us to spread the floor and keep the defense honest. [We have a] really solid lineup this year, and I'm excited to see where it takes us."
North Salem led 36-34 at intermission, but Wolfe's lay-in gave the Lions their biggest lead of the night at 58-42 as St. Helens outscored the Vikings 24-6 in the third quarter.
"I love that Drake knows when to make the right call and keep our ship afloat when we need it," Lions coach Jordan Massinger said. "I love that Owen rolls hard and really tries to get that ball in a spot where he can make a play out there for his team."
North Salem could not stop 6-foot-7 Wolfe's drop step as 6-foot-4 junior Rene Romero was their tallest defender, but Romero led his side with 13 points.
"We do [have sharpshooters for when the defense helps against Owen and Jacob]," Massinger said. "North Salem came to play today: They sure played hard and with confidence. Our guys were definitely put to the test."
St. Helens has a chance to start 3-0 for the first time since its 2012-13 Class 5A play-in round campaign as it visits No. 3 Bend (2-0) and 6-foot-6 all-Intermountain Conference junior forward Brian Warriner at 7 p.m. Friday.
"We have a lot more players this year with varsity experience," said McCall, a senior guard. "We also bought into everything Coach Massinger has taught us, and our core five has played together our whole lives and have worked well together. We have people coming off the bench who fill there roles and we have a whole lot of confidence."
Tuesday in St. Helens
NS 17 19 6 18 -- 60
SH 15 19 24 23 -- 81
NORTH SALEM (0-3) -- Rene Romero 13, Jayden Meade 12, Braden Vasquez 12, JD Drioji 9, Tameron Hampton 6, Christopher Davis 4, Phavor Swank 4. 3-point goals -- 5 (Vasquez 2, Romero 2, Drioji). Total fouls -- 27. Totals 20 15-24 60.
ST. HELENS (2-0) -- Drake Dow 20, Owen Wolfe 19, Devin McCall 12, Jacob Falk 12, Joe Rea 9, Chris Beatty 8, Trenton Minich 1. 3-point goals -- 6 (McCall 4, Dow, Rea). Total fouls -- 21. Totals 31 13-26 81.