Banks boys lose heartbreaker to Tillamook in state quarterfinal
They say the third time's a charm. Well, it appears it was the fourth time for Tillamook.
The Cheesemakers, in a game both teams should be proud of, bested the Braves for the first time in four tries this season, 72-70, in a quarterfinal matchup in the OSAA 4A State Basketball Tournament at Pacific University.
In a game defined by effort and momentum swings, Tillamook used their last possession and their last bit of effort to get a lay-in with just five seconds on the clock, to take the lead and ultimately win a game neither team really deserved to lose.
"I'm just really proud of our guys," said Tillamook head coach Greg Werner. "That was just a really good team win."
Tillamook's possession came after Banks' Dalton Renne capped a furious Brave comeback to tie the game with 19-seconds remaining. The Cheesemakers' junior point guard Ian Collett, who scored a game high 24 points, then dribbled the clock down before slashing into the lane and dumping a pass off to a cutting Ramon Flores for the game-winning lay-in. The play was the last of a series of clutch possessions for the "Mooks," who simply seemed to make all the plays when it mattered most.
"I have to tip my hat to them," said Banks head coach Marcus Roche. "They just made plays down the stretch."
They also made them early.
The Cheesemakers opened the game on a tear, with Collett and Flores turning Banks turnovers into easy transition buckets. Banks responded with a series of baskets of their own, but by the end of the quarter a seemingly shell-shocked Braves squad found themselves trailing 18-11.
"I knew they were going to come out that way," said Roche. "They got two big road wins prior to this and I knew they'd play with a lot of confidence."
Tillamook made that 22-11 and later 27-16 before Banks started to work their way back into the game, not with their stars, but with a group of "glue guys" that stepped up. Trevor Geraci hit a three, point guard Kylan Taylor scored five consecutive points, Bret Cameron got a bucket, then when senior Trent Ward swished one from behind the arc, the Braves had their first lead and the world seemed back on its axis for a Banks squad trailing all night.
"I was glad our guys responded and battled back," Roche said. "It says a lot that they didn't panic and got a lead before half."
Blake Gobel, who'd been silent for much of the first half, came out on fire to start the third, scoring eight straight points and giving the Braves a 39-30 lead. But before the Banks faithful could get too comfortable, the "Mooks" scratched their way back with Collett's continued slashes to the rim, Chase Wagner's scrappy boards and put-backs, and a pair of big Jacob Berge three-pointers to close the gap to 48-46 heading to the final quarter.
Tillamook immediately tied the game to start the fourth, then took the lead when Collet scored four straight to make it 50-48. Then the two teams traded the lead on four straight possessions before Renne missed the front-end of a one-and-one which would've given the Braves the lead, then Berge hit a three on the ensuing Cheesemaker possession to give Tillamook a four point lead. It was one of a series of Banks mistakes in the fourth quarter that one couldn't help but think would come back to haunt them later.
"We hurt ourselves a ton tonight," said Roche. "We made some bad decisions in transition, missed on some inbound plays that resulted in easy baskets, we weren't ourselves often tonight."
The Cheesemakers stretched their lead to seven, then nine when Tilor Hurliman grabbed an offensive rebound and finished it in the lane. Things looked bleak for Banks, but they weren't done yet.
Taylor hit a three to get them within six, then picked Collett's pocket which resulted in a couple Renne free throws to get the Braves back within four. Then Gobel and Renne hit back-to-back buckets to tie the game before Tillamook's game-winning possession.
"Banks is a really tough matchup for us," said Werner. "But you know, we drove 1600 miles in a week for playoff games, had two of our better guys foul-out, and I really think that solidified our group."
Roche was proud of his team. He thought they played hard and made some really nice plays down the stretch to give them a chance, but also knew the game probably came down to a "play here or there," which they just didn't make tonight.
"We didn't do enough defensively and on the boards, and they're a scrappy team and they took advantage of it," he said. "Basketball is a funny thing. Sometimes there are just nights where things just don't go your way."
Renne led Banks with 23 points and nine rebounds. Gobel had 13 points while grabbing 10 boards, while Taylor added 15 points.
Aside from Collett, Berge finished with 13 points, while Wagner and Hurliman combined for 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Banks plays Henley at 1045am tomorrow morning in the consolation bracket at Forest Grove High School. Tillamook will play at 815pm versus Valley Catholic in the second of two semi-final games.