PREPS: Notes from the PIL and more
Portand Interscholastic League
The school is looking for a new softball coach to replace Don Hopkins. He was let go on Friday after a season that he says "was my worst experience in 30 years of coaching and umpiring."
The Techsters showed some early, youthful promise. They won two nonleague games. Then they went 0-17 in the PIL. They forfeited their last four games.
Hopkins doesn't mince words talking about what he feels was lacking and needs correcting.
"As soon as we lost a few league games, a lot of the players got lazy and didn't feel like showing up," he says. "A lot of the kids didn't like being told what to do, and the excuses started rolling in."
Benson almost won its fourth league game, losing 5-4 to Madison. But in the nine games that followed, the Techsters were outscored 106-11.
"For a lot of (the players), there was no dedication to the rest of the team," Hopkins says.
Hopkins praises the work of his mainstays, including shortstop Taylor LyDay, catcher Makenzy Porter, third baseman Zoey Bredleau and center field Demoriauna Jacobs, "but we had too many prima donnas and too much back talk."
Support from above was absent, too, says Hopkins, who wrote a letter to parents during the season expressing concerns and needs.
This was Hopkins' third year at the helm. Benson was 2-19 in 2016, after being able to field only a junior varsity team in 2015. The turnout had grown to 23 players at the start of this season, and Hopkins said in preseason he thought Tech might surprise people in PIL play.
"I really did think we were going to be good," he says, "and I never said they couldn't win."
Hopkins says certain players would ask what they needed to work on or what they were doing wrong, "and I told them the truth, and then they complained that I was too hard on them, or they just told me I was wrong," he says. "Well, I don't believe in lying to them or babysitting them."
Down to their last out of the season and trailing by four runs, the Warriors baseball team rallied to beat Roosevelt 8-7 last Wednesday and secure a spot in the Oregon School Activities Association Class 6A playoffs.
The stunning finish — which Cleveland coach Steve Geiszler calls "traumatic and dramatic" — came at 9:56 p.m. at Walker Stadium at the end of a four-hour doubleheader.
The Warriors had won the first game, 9-0, after nipping the Roughriders 2-1 the day before on freshman Nick Brink's one-hitter — but Cleveland still needed a final victory to edge out Madison for fourth place in the PIL and go to the state playoffs.
The Riders charged back from a 3-0 deficit in the nightcap and took a 7-3 lead.
First, though, the teams had to endure a 30-minute darkness delay in the sixth inning while the computerized lights were turned back on. And then a benches-clearing brouhaha followed an interference call at home plate on a put-out throw from Cleveland center fielder Ethan Barfield.
After pitch-count rules forced the Riders to go to their bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, Cleveland somehow pieced together its comeback.
Sophomore Jacob Healy got a one-out single, and then senior Dawson Currie, who had seen very limited action all season, got aboard on a walk.
A ground out put Roosevelt, which finished 4-13 in the PIL, on the verge of the upset. But sophomore Barfield hit a two-run double. Senior Riley Oh singled to put runners on first and third. Then, sophomore Jacob Cobb singled home Barfield to make the score 7-6.
The Riders walked University of Portland-bound senior Morse, loading the bases.
Senior Ethan Gilhuly, after getting down 0-2, hit a fly ball that was just out of reach of the second baseman, first baseman and diving right fielder — and the hit scored the tying and winning runs.
The Warriors exploded out of their dugout.
"You'd have thought we'd just won the World Series," Geiszler says.
It was an incredible ending for the CHS seniors on Senior Night, and especially for Gilhuly. A year ago, Cleveland went into its last two games of the league season needing just one win over Roosevelt to make the state playoffs. The Riders won both games, one in nine innings and the other with a two-run seventh — and Cleveland's year ended when Gilhuly struck out with the tying run on second.
"The kids all remembered what happened last year," Geiszler says. "So Wednesday's game was huge for both teams."
The 2-1 win in last week's series opener came thanks in large part to Oh, who held Roosevelt to three hits. "I was going to go with Brink in that game, but Riley came to me and said he wanted the ball," Geiszler says.
The Roughriders took a 1-0 lead, but Cleveland tied the score in the bottom of the first and got the winning run in the third. Oh moved a runner to second with a sacrifice, and Morse followed with an RBI single.
• Cleveland and Madison both finished 9-8 in PIL games, and they split their two meetings. The Warriors (14-10 overall) got the playoff spot because their No. 30 OSAA ranking trumped the No. 36 ranking of Madison (10-13 overall).
A big key to the rankings was Cleveland's 2-0 upset of first-place Lincoln on April 28. But the Warriors also faced a tougher league schedule than Madison. The Senators played a total of six games against the bottom two teams in league standings (Franklin and Benson), while Cleveland played those teams only twice each.
• The Cleveland softball team also is going to the state playoffs, after earning the No. 3 seed from the PIL and tying Lincoln for third at 10-7.
• The Warriors will have a changing of the guard in girls basketball. Suzanne Washington is not returning as coach next season.
Cleveland made it to the state playoffs last season, placing fourth in the league at 9-7, despite the late-season loss of standout guard Tynesha Parnell to a knee injury.
The Quakers won the PIL softball title outright for the second year in a row, making it official when they beat Cleveland 11-2 last week.
Franklin (19-5 overall) will play host to Liberty in the first round on Monday. The Quakers were 16-1 in the PIL for the second consecutive year. They swept second-place Roosevelt (13-4), which was second last year, too.
PIL singles champion Andrew Finkelman is seeded first in the state championships, which are Thursday through Saturday at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.
Finkelman won state in 2015 and placed second in 2016, meeting former Grant teammate Dylan King, now at Yale, in both 6A finals.
His main competition this year figures to come from the Nos. 2 and 4 seeds, senior Matt Perkins of West Linn and freshman Peter Murphy of Jesuit.
• Grant finished tied for first with Lincoln in PIL baseball at 15-2, and will play host to a first-round game on Monday.
The Generals made it to state in softball, too, via their No. 24 ranking, after placing fifth in the league at 9-8. They'll open the 6A playoffs at McNary on Monday.
Football coach Anthony Jordan has a new assistant in former Democrats head coach Tim Price, who will work with the defensive line. His son, Timothy "TJ" Price Jr., is among a large crop of linemen returning for the Demos.
The Cardinals got the PIL's top seed in baseball after taking the final two games of a three-game series with Wilson.
A 5-1 win on Friday enabled Lincoln to match Grant atop the league standings at 15-2, and the Cards were 2-0 against the Generals this season.
Lincoln will open Monday at home against West Salem, which knocked off the Cards 3-0 in a second-round game at Hillsboro last year.
• In softball, Lincoln won its last five games (two by forfeit vs. Benson) to charge into the state playoffs.
The Cardinals clinched a berth with an 11-1 victory over Lincoln on Friday in Hillsboro.
Another key win in the surge came 10-5 over second-place Roosevelt.
"The past three games, a different Cardinal team showed up," coach Christina Archambault says. "The girls were focused, energetic and driven toward one goal. Our bats came alive against Roosevelt."
Senior Phoenix Muller led the way with four hits in that game, and sophomore Chloe Sutherland went the distance on the mound.
Lincoln stayed hot, collecting 12 hits in a 10-6 win over Grant five days later. Senior Brianna Hill and freshman Rachel Haughton each drove in two runs. Reliever Grace Alleman, a freshman, got the win on 5 2/3 innings of work.
Sutherland was named MVP of the finale with Wilson — which was the 10th Alpenrose Cup game between the rival schools but had to be moved from Alpenrose Stadium.
The Cardinals will open the 6A postseason at Tualatin on Monday.
• PIL doubles champions Elliot Nuss and Riley Wilson, both seniors, are the No. 2 seed in the 6A tennis tournament this week. Also seeded second is the Lincoln girls team, and PIL champs, senior Emily Rees and freshman Julia Rees. PIL girls singles champion Maggie Satchwell, a sophomore, is the No. 4 seed
The Senators baseball team, which missed the 6A playoffs, bounced back from an eight-game losing streak in April to go 6-0 in May, sweeping Franklin and Benson.
In softball, Madison's young team showed some growth in a 4-21 season, knocking off Wilson 5-1 in its next-to-last game and losing five games in 2017 by three runs or less.
The Roughriders claimed second place in PIL softball for the second year in a row (they also won the title in 2015). The Riders (14-8 overall) ended the week ranked 20th in 6A. Roosevelt's first 6A playoff game is Monday at Beaverton.
Top hitters this season have been junior second baseman Anna Mills (.472), junior pitcher/first baseman Grace Ferres (.510) and senior outfielder Jenesis Spires (.476).
Junior Amiah Porter has led the team in stolen bases with 10.
Ferres has an ERA of 2.49 as the main hurler, with Porter at 1.73 for three games.
Baseball finished third in the PIL, four games ahead of fourth-place Cleveland and Madison. The Trojans were 13-4 in league and 16-9 overall.
n In softball, Wilson went 1-6 down the stretch to place sixth with a PIL record of 7-10.
• Changes in the Trojans' athletic department are continuing, with Mike Nolan expected to step down as girls basketball coach and become the new athletic director, replacing Mike Easton.
OTHER CLASS 6A
Joey Schwartz clinched a fourth consecutive Mt. Hood Conference boys tennis singles title last week. He beat Clackamas' Seth Lee 6-3, 6-1 in the finals at David Douglas. It was the third year in a row they'd met for the championship.
Schwartz says he wasn't overconfident, despite going up against a familiar foe.
"You never know if you're going to play your best, or not have a good day, so that unknown made me a little nervous," Schwartz says. And, it was a hot day, "so that was tricky. I got a little more comfortable as the match went on, but Seth is a good player, and we were having some long rallies, so it was tough to win points. But I tried to hang in there and wear him down, and I think I did that eventually."
Schwartz hadn't lost a game in the tournament until Lee rallied from 3-0 to 3-3.
"I think I was starting to relax a little," Schwartz says. "Then I just had to refocus and dial it in. I wasn't moving my feet very much, and then I got my body moving a little bit more."
Schwartz is seeded third for state, which is Thursday-Saturday at Tualatin Hills.
"I'm excited," he says. "I'm going to practice a lot and get my strokes working again. My shots were getting a little bit spinny, so I'll work on flattening (them) out."
The Scots are in the 6A softball postseason, thanks to their No. 29 ranking. David Douglas finished seventh out of eight teams in the Mt. Hood Conference but earned a play-in game at home Tuesday with Sunset.
The Crusaders softball team wound up third (13-3) in the Metro League, losing its finale 1-0 to rival Glencoe, but Jesuit is ranked second in the state by the OSAA. That's ahead of No. 6 Glencoe and No. 5 Westview, who were 14-2 in league.
• This could be a big week for Crusaders, with their tennis teams going for state titles Thursday-Saturday and both golf teams wrapping up state competition on Tuesday — and then with the boys and girls track teams likely to contend or win at state Saturday at Hayward Field.
Jesuit's lacrosse teams also are among the state's elite. The girls won the Metro League and, after a first-round bye, will play Beaverton or Tualatin in Friday's quarterfinals.
Junior midfielder Margaux Rajotte (committed to Vermont), senior Emily Steele (Hartford) and sophomore attackers Isabella Sobol and Grace Lee are among those leading the way for Jesuit.
Rajotte "is a key for our transition on offense," coach McKenzie Coulson says. "She's a great defender, as well, and underrated on that side of the ball. We're a different team when she's on."
Steele has been shooting 66 percent with more than 100 draw controls.
Sobol "is always getting open in the midfield," Coulson says, "and has really proven her scoring abilities," shooting close to 70 percent this year (and going 6 for 6 in the 19-7 win over Southridge that clinched the Metro title). "Her confidence is growing, and she has become a great third scoring option for us."
Lee "is our best off-ball attacker by far," Coulson says, "and is a great teammate. She lifts up the other girls when they're struggling, and is constantly putting the team first."
• In tennis, Jesuit has the Nos. 1 and 3 seeds in boys doubles: seniors Edward Murphy and Michael Quinn have the top spot, while senior Thomas Remington and soph Thomas Kallgren are third. The No. 6 seed also is a team from Jesuit: sophomore Charlie Law and freshman Jaden D'Abreo.
Freshman Farida Abdelmoneum is the No. 3 girls singles seed. She was second at district to No. 1 seed Serim Jin, a Sunset sophomore.
Freshman Peter Murphy, the district champ, is seeded fourth in boys singles.
St. Mary's Academy
The Blues will have a representative in the 6A tennis championships this week: the doubles team of senior Sophie Quisling and freshman Maria Quisling, who placed fourth in the Three Rivers League district tournament.
La Salle Prep
The baseball team won the Northwest Oregon Conference with a 15-2 league record and is ranked fourth in 5A.
In softball, La Salle took second in the NWOC (13-4) and is No. 12 in the OSAA rankings.
The baseball team clinched the outright NWOC title with a come-from-behind, 5-3 win over Parkrose on Friday, the final day of the regular season. A bunt single by senior Miles Norman scored senior Matt Duarte, who had doubled, with the go-ahead run in the fifth inning. Junior Matt Niebergall was 2 for 4 with a triple and scored an insurance run in the sixth. Duarte blanked the Broncos in the seventh for the save.
• Falcons in the 5A tennis tourney at Tualatin Hills this week: sophomore Nicholas Hey, boys singles; junior Ryan Dooris and soph Kyle Schraner, boys doubles; and senior Rachel Primack and freshman Ashley Smith, girls singles.
The Broncos finished 2-20 (1-16 in league) in baseball and 6-18 (5-12 NWOC) in softball.
Catlin Gabel's baseball team will play host Friday to Clatskanie or Portland Christian (who are slated to play on Wednesday), with a trip to the 3A playoffs on the line.
Catlin won eight of its last 10 games in the Lewis & Clark League after an 0-2 start, earning second place behind 12-0 Rainier.
Top performers for Catlin included senior shortstop/pitcher Matt Maynard (.404 batting average, 14 RBIs in 17 games, 1.70 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings), senior second baseman/pitcher Nate Post (team-high .408 average and .540 on-base percentage) and senior catcher Ari Bluffstone (.391, team-high .543 slugging percentage, 12 RBIs).
• In tennis, Oregon Episcopal School senior Vineet Edupaganti is the No. 1 boys singles seed for the 4A/3A/2A/1A championships this week at Oregon State. Catlin Gabel senior Coleman Sherry is seeded third.
OES has the top two boys doubles seeds, with seniors Alex Olander and Daniel Leef at No. 1 and seniors Nat Serrier and Sam Berger at No. 2. Catlin Gabel seniors Charley Ward and Cal Fenner are seeded third, and the Eagles duo of senior Mark Nicholson and junior Louis Ye is No. 4.
OES junior Kate Keeney has the No. 2 girls singles seed.
Catlin's Hannah Yoken, a junior, and Allie Rosenfeld, a senior, are seeded first in girls doubles.