It was a record-setting season for the Sherwood High School boys basketball team.
The Bowmen set new offensive standards, some at the state level, some at the school level, while playing an exciting brand of ball all season long.
But, try as they may, they weren't quite able to extend their record-breaking season to the Class 6A state tournament.
Sherwood saw its season come to an end with an 86-69 loss to Jefferson in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game played Saturday at Jefferson High School.
"We competed at a high level and got up and down with them, but what really hurt us was their offensive rebounding," Sherwood coach Rahim Tufts said. "They had 20 points from offensive rebounds. We competed and played our game, just didn't hit enough shots, which would have helped stop their transition game. Our guys have heart and we came out with a purpose and went toe-to-toe with the most talented team in the state."
With the win, its 18th in a row, Jefferson, the Portland Interscholastic League champion, and the No. 3 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 23-4 on the season. The Democrats also advance to the Class 6A state tournament, and will face Barlow in a tourney quarterfinal game Thursday, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the University of Portland's Chiles Center.
Sherwood, the Pacific Conference champion, and the No. 14 team in the power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 19-7.
"We were a team that grew and grew, and got better and got better," Tufts said. "The fact that everyone in the locker room after the game was crying says a lot about the family that we created as a group."
The Bowmen battled Jefferson strong right from the start of Saturday's state playoff game, trailing the Democrats by just a 22-21 margin at the end of the first quarter. Sherwood trailed just 43-35 at halftime, and 65-53 at the end of three quarters.
"We only lost the first quarter by one, second quarter by seven, third quarter by four and the fourth quarter by five," Tufts said. "That all adds up to a larger margin of victory than how the game felt and how it was played. It was a great atmosphere and a really fun game to be a part of."
Senior post Blake Jensen turned in a strong performance for Sherwood, scoring a team-high 17 points, while also pulling down 13 rebounds. Senior guard Jamison Guerra also had a solid all-around game, with 10 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Junior guard Caden Davis added 14 points for the Bowmen. Sophomore wing Baydon Kullowatz had eight points and five rebounds, and junior guard Asher Krauel scored eight points.
For Jefferson, junior Nate Rawlins-Kibonge had 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Freshman Marquis Cook had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Junior Keshawn Hall added 16 points and junior Jalen Adams scored 12.
For the season, Sherwood won the Pacific Conference title for a second straight year, marking the first time a Bowmen squad has won back-to-back league titles, while the team also advanced to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs for the second straight year.
Sherwood also set an all-time state record for 3-point attempts for a season, while also placing in the state's all-time top 10 for 3-pointers made in a season.
Krauel set a new state record for points scored in a quarter, pouring in 30 in the first period of a game against McMinnville back on Feb. 10. In that same game, Sherwood set a new state record with 23 3-pointers made as a team.
Guerra, a four-year starter at point guard for the Bowmen, finished his career ranked No. 8 all time for the state in assists.
"On the offensive front, we broke just about every record in Sherwood's history," Tufts said. "Talk about a fun season and a fun group of young men to coach."
The Bowmen also finished first among all Class 6A boys basketball teams with a 3.8 grade-point average.
The loss at Jefferson marked the final high school game for Sherwood seniors Dallin Marker, Guerra, Nate Merrill, Jensen and Joe Conrow.
"We have an amazing coaching staff and we are all going to thoroughly miss the seniors," Tufts said. "This was a special group."
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