Lions close season with loss to Falcons
The St. Helens boys basketball team finished its first season under coach Zach Waldher with a 100-51 loss at home Tuesday night to state playoff-bound La Salle Prep.
The Lions got balanced scoring from their mainstays and starters. Senior forward Chris Beatty led the way, scoring from the field in every quarter and finishing with a team-high 15 points. Junior wing Gavin Knoke got all 12 of his points in the third quarter, making three 3-pointers. Senior forward Hunter Wetherbee had 10 points, senior post Patrick Miller scored eight, and junior point guard Canon Beisley and senior forward Ryan Hastings each had three.
The Lions wound up 3-10 in league and 5-17 overall, dropping their final four games.
La Salle Prep led 16-9 after one quarter and 43-16 at the half.
Senior guard Jace Norton had a big night for the Falcons, tossing in 40 points, with eight of LSP's 14 3-point baskets.
The Falcons finished second in the Northwest Oregon Conference at 10-4, a half-game ahead of Parkrose (9-4), which did not make up a game with St. Helens called off on Feb. 13.
La Salle Prep is ranked ninth in Class 5A by the Oregon School Activities Association.
The Lions' other game this week took them to motivated Milwaukie, where the Mustangs had their way most of the game on their Senior Night.
With consistent defense and scoring (17, 16, 16 and 15 points by quarter), the Mustangs completed a two-game season sweep of the Lions, winning 64-45.
Milwaukie overcame the early loss of its top scorer this season, as senior Dustin Stradley came down after scoring on a layup with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter. The basket put Milwaukie in front 15-8, but Stradley was unable to return because of what coach Don Law said was either a hyperextended or bruised MCL.
"He's averaging 18 points per game, so he's been big for us," Law said.
Stradley's teammates stepped up on a night when the Lions were not able to do the same. Senior wings Adrian Gama and Manuel Mendoza tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively, to lead the Mustangs' attack.
St. Helens, which had lost 68-56 at home to Milwaukie, tried over and over to fight back on Friday and hung reasonably close in the first half. At intermission, the Lions trailed 33-22.
The start of the third quarter all but sealed the Mustangs' triumph, though. Milwaukie scored the first 10 points over the opening three minutes to go on top 43-22. The Lions were behind by double-digits the rest of the way.
"We talked about energy — got to bring it on Senior Night," Law said.
Knoke made three 3-pointers in scoring a team-high 13 points for St. Helens. Wetherbee added 10 points.
Waldher continued to push buttons, inserting junior guard Jacob Robbins and freshman post Neil Wolfe into the starting lineup.