Sherwood boys go bombs away in opener
SHERWOOD — For the Sherwood High School boys basketball team, it was a somewhat simple strategy.
Shoot, and make, a bunch of three-pointers.
Play some solid, swarming defense.
Celebrate a victory.
Well, in their first game of the season, Sherwood went 3 for 3.
The Bowmen, sinking 12 three-point baskets as a team, and helping force Forest Grove in to a 15-for-47 shooting night from the field, pulled away in the second half to get a 66-50 win over the Vikings in a season-opening non-league game played Nov. 29 at Sherwood High School.
"It went great, honestly," said Sherwood sophomore guard Jamison Guerra, who scored 15 points in the victory. "We have great chemistry, and we're just having fun out there."
"That's what we do — we shoot the threes and play good defense," said Bowmen senior guard Owen Grubbe, who sank six three-point baskets on his way to scoring a team-high 18 points. "We were able to pull away in the second half. Our energy was big, for sure. We just had more energy."
Forest Grove, which will join Sherwood in the Pacific Conference during the 2018-2019 school year, got off to a 0-1 start to the season with the setback.
Meanwhile, the Bowmen are happy with their 1-0 start.
"This is huge," Grubbe said of the opening-game victory. "We've had two rough seasons in a row. We want to go 4-0 in preseason this year."
"All of the games are important," Guerra said. "Starting 1-0 is great, but we still have a long ways to go."
Sherwood showed off its three-point shooting skills early in last week's season opener. Guerra, senior Billy Hale and Grubbe all sank three-point baskets, giving the Bowmen a 9-5 lead just 2 minutes and 4 seconds into the contest.
Guerra and Grubbe each connected on another three-pointer later in the opening period, with ended with Sherwood holding a 19-17 lead.
Sherwood senior wing Nick Koronko opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, coming off an assist from Guerra. Grubbe sank two more three-point baskets in the period.
But Forest Grove, behind the play of seniors Kyle Thompson and Sam Riley, as well as some strong offensive rebounding, rallied to tie the Bowmen, at 28-28, at halftime.
With the score still tied, at 30-30, after the Vikings got a basket on a drive by senior Drake Littlefield with 6:13 left in the third quarter, the Bowmen came alive with another barrage of three-pointers.
Junior Tyler Hix started things off with a three-pointer from the left corner, off a pass by Grubbe, giving Sherwood a 33-30 lead that it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the way.
Grubbe followed with back-to-back long-range baskets, coming off assists by Hale and Hix, to quickly up the margin to 39-30.
The Bowmen lead was at 44-32 after Guerra connected on a three-pointer from the top of the circle, coming with 2:37 remaining in the third quarter.
Forest Grove, with Thompson scoring eight unanswered points to end the period, trimmed the margin to 44-40 going into the fourth quarter.
But the Vikings wouldn't get any closer.
Sherwood seniors Tyler Thiebes and Jordan Gregory sank back-to-back baskets to open the final stanza, upping the Bowmen lead to 48-40.
Then, after Forest Grove got a pair of free throws by Thompson, Sherwood got a follow-up hoop by senior post Jace Sucher, a basket on a drive by Thiebes and another follow-up hoop by Sucher, pushing the margin to 54-42 with 4:20 left in the contest.
From there, Sherwood got a pair of baskets by Guerra and free throws from junior Braden Thorn and Hale down the stretch to close out the 66-50 victory.
"In the first half, we didn't struggle, but we didn't get enough offensive rebounds," Guerra said. "In the second half, we got plenty of offensive rebounds and played good defense."
"That was very fun," Grubbe said. "That's a huge emphasis for us. We want to have fun every game."
The Bowmen sank 12 three-pointers in the win, all coming in the first three quarters of the contest.
"We practice shooting open three-pointers in transition," Guerra said. "If we have an open three-pointer, we take it."
Grubbe made six of nine shots from three-point territory on his way to scoring a team-high 18 points. He also had four steals.
Guerra made three three-point baskets in scoring his 15 points. He also had six rebounds and three assists. Sucher scored six points while also pulling down 10 rebounds. Junior Charlie Bulfinch added six points for the Bowmen and Hale had five points and six rebounds.
Sherwood, as a team, made 23 of 48 shots from the field and eight of 11 free-throw attempts.
Thompson led all scorers with 25 points. Littlefield added 11 for the Vikings.
Forest Grove made 15 of 47 shots from the field and 15 of 20 free throws.
Sherwood picked up another win on Friday, as it bested Roosevelt 64-51 in a non-league game played at Sherwood High School.
Hale led the Bowmen in that game with 15 points. Grubbe and Thorn added 10 apiece and Thiebes scored six.
Sherwood was scheduled to play at Centennial in a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that contest weren't available when the Times went to press.
The Bowmen will be back in action on Friday, when they play at Southridge in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m. On Wednesday, Sherwood will host Reynolds in a 7 p.m. non-league tilt.