Turnovers hurt Bowmen in 56-47 loss to Madison

by: DAN BROOD - UP CLOSE -- Sherwood senior Keegan Lawrence (right) plays tight defense against Madison's Aubrey Stephens in a Class 5A state tournament quarterfinal game.EUGENE — The Sherwood High School boys basketball team had waited a long time to get back to the Class 5A state tournament.

But the Bowmen’s first game at the event since 2008 didn’t go as well as they hoped it would.

Sherwood, in its return to the tournament, fell 55-46 to an opportunistic Madison squad in a tourney quarterfinal game played last Thursday at the Matthew Knight DAN BROOD - OVER THE TOP -- Sherwood senior Jordan Kurahara goes up high to shoot over Madison's Myles Fitztgerald-Warren.

“I feel like we possibly let the atmosphere get to us,” Sherwood senior guard Keegan Lawrence said after the game. “But that’s no excuse. It just happens sometimes. They’re a good team. They’re very athletic and they did a good job getting into the passing lanes.”

“We turned the ball over a lot,” Sherwood senior guard Cortland Hutchison said. “That was one of the biggest things. They played a good pressure zone — props to them. But we played our hardest.”

Madison, playing in its first state tournament since 1969, improved to 18-9 on the season to that point with the victory.

Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference champion, moved to 20-5 on the season with the setback.

“We knew they were good,” Sherwood coach Tony Merrill said of Madison. “Our effort was fine, but we just have to execute better. We had more than 20 turnovers. It’s hard to beat a team here when you have more than 20 turnovers.”

The Bowmen had 24 turnovers, to be exact, with 21 of those turnovers coming on steals by the ultra-quick Madison team.

“So many of those turnovers were turned into points,” Merrill said. “We usually don’t have turnovers like that, but the kids did play really hard.”

by: DAN BROOD - UNDER THE ARMS -- Sherwood senior Lucas Johnson (left) drives past Madison's Adam Wright.The Bowmen did get off to a quick start to the contest. Sherwood senior post Jordan Kurahara scored the game’s first three points to give Sherwood an early advantage. Later in the opening period, Bowmen junior Ben Milligan scored on a drive to the bucket and Hutchison had both a three-point basket and a hoop on a follow-up shot, helping Sherwood take a 10-6 lead with 1 minute and 56 seconds left in the first quarter.

But Madison senior standout Aubrey Stephens scored the final five points of the period to give the Senators an 11-10 lead.

Sherwood came out strong to start the second quarter. Junior Tommy Paul drilled a three-pointer from the right corner off an an assist from junior guard Evan Kitto to open the quarter. Later in the period, Bowmen junior forward Lucas Johnson tallied five straight points to give Sherwood an 18-15 lead with 4:49 remaining before halftime.

But the Bowmen were plagued by turnovers in the period, giving the ball away six times. That helped Madison end the quarter on an 8-3 run, giving the Senators a 25-23 lead at the intermission.

Madison senior guard Mak Hutson sank a three-point basket to start the third quarter, pushing the lead to 28-23. Sherwood, getting a follow-up basket by Lawrence, three free throws by Kitto and a short-range jumper by Kurahara, came back to tie the game at 30-30 with 4:40 left in the period.

by: DAN BROOD - BOWMEN LEADER -- Sherwood High School head coach Tony Merrill watches the action during the Bowmen's state tournament opening game against Madison. But the Bowmen couldn’t totally get over the hump.

Stephens scored six points in the final 4:26 of the period to help give Madison a 40-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Sherwood got a free throw from Kitto and an 8-foot jumper by junior Ben Milligan to open the final stanza, trimming the margin to 40-39, but, again, the Senators quickly answered back.

Madison, with Hutson scoring six quick points, went on a 14-2 run to push the lead to 54-41 with 56 seconds left to DAN BROOD - TAKING OFF -- Sherwood junior guard Evan Kitto (1) gets past Madison's Mak Hutson as he goes to the basket.

Sherwood got a late three-pointer from Johnson, but ended up falling 55-46.

“They played their game and had some big runs,” Lawrence said. “But we’re keeping our heads up.”

“The ball didn’t bounce our way tonight,” Hutchison said. “But we always play hard until the end.”

Johnson led the Bowmen with 13 points in the contest. He also had six rebounds and three assists. Kurahara added 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Kitto added six points, three assists and two steals. Milligan also had six points and Hutchison had five points.

Sherwood made 16 of 38 shots from the field and outrebounded Madison by a 31-13 margin.

Stephens led all scorers with 21 points and Hutson added 18 for the Senators, who shot at a 20-for-38 clip from the field.

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