Hepa boosts Jefferson's post presence for 6A boys quarterfinal matchup vs. Grant

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Senior Geno West, the PIL player of the year, has helped Jefferson go 24-1 and reach the 6A quarterfinals, with no losses to anyone in Oregon.A season ago, the Jefferson Democrats were a bit of a surprise at the Class 6A boys basketball tournament.

A young team with plenty of perimeter pop, Jefferson entered the 2016 postseason seeded 13th, then gave West Linn its toughest challenge, falling by six points in the semifinals to the Lions, who went on to win their fourth consecutive title.

This year the Democrats are the team to beat in the Oregon School Activities Association showcase at Chiles Center. The first quarterfinal will have the top-seeded Demos facing Portland Interscholastic League rival Grant at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

It will be the their fourth meeting this season. The Democrats won the first three — one in the Les Schwab Invitational and two league contests. The teams feature five of the eight players voted to the all-PIL team: Jefferson's Geno West (PIL player of the year), Kamaka Hepa, Thomas Miles and Marcus Tsohonis and Grant's Kelton Samore.

Jefferson's 66-45 win in the most recent meeting was the largest margin.

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