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The Wildcats used an 18-2 run to take a 34-19 halftime lead and rolled from there to clinch a sixth straight outright league title

PMG PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Wilsonville's Riley Scanlan (5) puts defensive pressure on Milwaukie's Mason Plumb during the second half of Tuesday's Northwest Oregon Conference boys basketball game at Milwaukie HIgh.Wilsonville's Keegan Shivers scored six of his game-high 24 points in a pivotal second quarter, leading the Wildcats to a lopsided 78-58 Northwest Oregon Conference road win Tuesday over the Milwaukie Mustangs.

Dakota Reber added 19 points and Andrew Classed finished with 17 to help the No. 4-ranked Wildcats (18-5, 12-0 NWOC) clinch their sixth consecutive outright league title with two games remaining in the regular season.

Milwaukie had a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, and then Wilsonville went on an 18-2 run in the second quarter to take a 34-19 halftime lead.

Another 15-4 run to open the second half helped put the game out of reach before the end of the third quarter.

Wilsonville 78, Milwaukie 58"We had one great quarter in the second, but other than that, it was just OK," said Shivers, the Wildcats' senior forward. "We did a lot of good things, but early on, we got out of rhythm and Milwaukie kind of got us playing at their pace.

"When we got the game to our pace, we slowed the ball down, we got to our spots and finished, and on defense, we took away what they wanted to get."

Milwaukie's Colton Corder finished with a team-high 22 points to lead three players in double figures for the Mustangs (15-7, 8-4).

"That's a really good team," Corder said of Wilsonville. "We knew that coming in, but then we had a few lapses that we sometimes go through, and against that type of team, you can't have a lapse that goes on for that long.

"We needed to weather the storm sooner and more efficiently, and we just didn't do it in the second quarter."

Added incentive

Earlier Tuesday, La Salle Prep forfeited its 68-66 victory in double overtime against Milwaukie on Feb. 18 after a review revealed that a Falcons' player was allowed to stay in the game after committing his fifth foul.

The forfeit win reduced Wilsonville's league lead to three games over Milwaukie with three games remaining, putting the Mustangs in a position where they still had a mathematical shot at tying for the league title going into Tuesday's home game.

The No. 8 Mustangs went toe-to-toe with the reigning Class 5A state champions in the first quarter, taking a 17-16 lead when Corder beat the buzzer with a lay-up off an end-to-end rush.

Milwaukie's defense played a key role early on, forcing eight first-quarter turnovers that translated into lost opportunities for Wilsonville and some easy buckets for the Mustangs.

Then in the second quarter, it was almost as if somebody on the Wilsonville bench flipped a switch, because things changed at both ends of the court.

The Wildcats didn't commit a single turnover in the second quarter, they shot 50 percent (9 for 18) from the field, and the defense came up with 13 stops in 14 possessions.

Milwaukie's statistical line for the quarter: 1 for 10 from the field, 0 for 2 at the free-throw line, and five turnovers — all of which helped turn a one-point lead into a 15-point halftime deficit.

"Wilsonville's pressure got a little bit better," Mustangs coach Donnie Law said. "They started to get a couple looks right where they wanted to get them every time, and their movement was a heckuva lot better than ours."

Cruise control

Wilsonville opened the second half on a 15-4 run that ended with a Reber dunk, giving the Wildcats their largest lead of the game, 49-23, with two minutes left in the third quarter.

The Mustangs had a few flashes after that, but got no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

Gabe Reichle, one of four seniors in Wilsonville's starting lineup, also finished in double figures with 12 points for the Wildcats, who extended their NWOC winning streak to 65 games.

"We had one good quarter and that was enough to win the game," Wilsonville coach Chris Roche said. "Milwaukie is a good team and the last thing you want to do is let them hang around because they're capable of putting together some big runs.

"We got in a good rhythm in the second quarter. The rest of the game, we didn't have much rhythm at all and that's a credit to Milwaukie. They're disruptive, they work really hard at the different things they do, and they speed you up and we didn't handle that well."

The Wildcats swept the two-game, regular-season series with Milwaukie for the seventh season in a row while running their winning streak against the Mustangs to 15 games.

"You get two shots against Wilsonville," Law said. "They're a good team and if you want to beat 'em, you've got to play your game and play it perfectly."

Milwaukie's Alileyon Ford scored 12 points, Keshawn Myles finished with 10, and Mason Plumb chipped in nine for the Mustangs, who play Friday at St. Helens and then close out the regular season next Tuesday at home against Hillsboro.

"We don't want to dwell on this loss too much," said Corder, the Mustangs' senior forward. "It's tough, but we want to stay focused for the next two games, which will help us get prepared for the playoffs and, hopefully, make some noise."

Wilsonville, looking to go undefeated in league play for the fourth season in a row, travels to Putnam on Friday and then returns home to close out the regular season against Parkrose next Tuesday.

WILSONVILLE 16 18 17 27 — 78

MILWAUKIE 17 2 14 25 — 58

Wilsonville (78) — Keegan Shivers 24, Reber 19, Classen 19, Reichle 12, Scanlan 4, Dunn, Dougall, Theblay.

Milwaukie (58) — Colton Corder 22, Ford 12, Myles 10, Plumb 9, Law 5, Penaloza, Mey.

By Jim Beseda
Sports editor
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