Wilsonville's boys basketball team wins Wilsonville Invitational
The Wildcats defended their home court this past weekend against three non-league teams in the Wilsonville Invitational Tournament. The Wildcats defeated Dallas, Pendleton, and Mountain View in consecutive games to win the tournament title.
On Dec. 1, the home team trounced an overmatched Dallas Dragons team 72-25. The Wildcats began their first game by jumping out to a 19-6 lead in the first quarter. Senior Caleb Larsen got seven points in the first stanza, and 6'5 sophomore Dakota Reber had four points. Reber's second field goal was an emphatic alley oop midway midway through the quarter. Senior Jack Roche hit Wilsonville's lone three in the first stanza.
"(We) just take whatever the other team gives us," Roche said. "I think everybody moved the ball well tonight. Everyone moved it well, and we got a lot of great shots. That's one of our keys every game is to try and get great shots, and I think we did that."
In the second quarter, the Wildcats put on a defensive clinic. The home team held the Dragons to just three points in the second frame, while putting up 22 points of its own. Wilsonville also had a very diverse set of scorers. Seven different players put points on the board, including sophomore Gabe Reichle who recorded three different field goals for six points in the second quarter. Heading into halftime the tally stood at 41-9 in favor of the Wildcats.
Coming into the second half, Wilsonville continued to extend their lead. The team did not take off on a scoring streak like they had in the first half, but still put points on the scoreboard. Larsen hit two free throws, and recorded two baskets otherwise. The other person to score multiple field goals in the third quarter was Reichle, who put up four points. Wilsonville finished the third with a score of 58-19.
The final frame was once again a Wilsonville defensive showcase. Dallas was held to six points, and Wilsonville got to put more people on the court. Football standout and Wildcat senior Draco Bynum got four points, and junior Sam Westing recorded the final basket of the game. The final score read 72-25 for the defending state champions.
Roche had 13 points in the game, and Larsen had 15 points.
"I think we came out with a lot of enthusiasm, it was the first game, I think we all wanted to play hard and do our best," Roche said. "Dallas, they'll be a good team this year I think. They have a lot of good players, and nice people off the court too. I'm glad we could win, and I guess just take it one game at a time."
The next night, Dec. 2, Wilsonville faced the Pendleton Buckaroos and got the W, but with more difficulty than in their quarterfinal matchup. The Wildcats got the job done 49-36 after digging themselves out of an early hole.
The first quarter saw the home team stymied to just five points. Larsen hit a three point shot towards the end of the first quarter to bring a glimmer of momentum back to Wilsonville.
"We had to block out and rebound better, and get back on defense because I think they had six points out of their first 11 that were transition, and so we had to get back quicker," Wilsonville senior Zac Rosetti said. "After we did that, we were fine."
In the second quarter, the Wildcats went tit for tat early on with Pendleton, before going on an eight point streak that gave them the lead. Larsen and Rosetti each had five points in the second. When the horn sounded for halftime, the home team walked off the court with a 22-19 lead.
The third frame saw more of the same from Larsen, who hit two threes and had eight points. Rosetti, senior Ryan Napoli, Reber, and Roche all contributed to the scoring in the third quarter, extending the teams lead to 10 points.
Those scores were simply what the other team was willing to give them, according to Rosetti.
"Those were shots where we had the best shots at that moment," Rosetti said. "We have shooters on this team, almost everyone on this team can shoot, so we're just getting that great shot and they fell tonight."
When the fourth quarter started, the Wildcats were ahead 37-27 and continued to extend their advantage. Rosetti, Napoli, and sophomore Keegan Shivers all got basket in the opening minutes of the quarter. Pendleton answered with three straight baskets of their own, but was unable to get enough steam behind them to seal the deal. Wilsonville wound up winning the semi-final matchup 49-36.
Versus Mountain View
Against Mountain View, Wilsonville faced their sternest test of the weekend.
The Wildcats again started off a bit slow, falling behind slightly in the opening quarter but bouncing back to secure a slight lead of seven points by the quarters end. Napoli had four points, and Roche scored to three point field goals to extend the Wildcat lead. Reber would also connect on his first thunderous alley oop of the game in the opening quarter. It was 19-12 going into the second quarter.
Roche hit a three pointer to start off the second stanza, and helped to propel Wilsonville forward. Larsen, Rosetti, Bynum, and Shivers all contributed to the second quarter scoring, but were unable to extend the lead significantly. Wilsonville led by a tally of 33-24 as the players left the court at half time.
In the third quarter, Mountain View scored the four out of the first five field goals, and looked to be making headway on the Wildcat lead, but Rosetti brought an end to their run. The Wilsonville senior hit a two point shot and a three pointer to bring the Wildcat score to 40 at 2:52 of the third. Reber would get yet another alley oop not much longer, bringing the home crowd to life. Still, the Mountain View Cougars were not deterred, and heading into the fourth quarter they were finding their way to the basket.
Mountain View started the fourth quarter strong, scoring three of the first four field goals, but Wilsonville found their stride thanks to three key players: Reber, Larsen, and Roche.
Reber hit a massive dunk with 3:51 of the final quarter, and once again brought a roar from the crowd.
"They pressured us in the beginning, and we had to break it, and (Reber) ended up dunking it every single play," Napoli said.
Reber was pretty nonchalant about the scintillating plays.
"It's like a regular thing, I just do it," Reber said.
Larsen scored seven points, and Roche would collect three points. Mountain View continued to push the attack, and came within three points, but when the horn sounded that was as far as they had gotten. The final score was 60-57, and Wilsonville had won the tournament.
"(This weekend we played) really good in a lot of stretches," head coach Chris Roche said. "We competed, we played some pretty good teams. Against Pendleton we were behind and we kept our composure and found a way to win. Mountain View is a really good team, and before the end where we were a little shaky we played pretty well a lot of the game. That's a big physical team. We played different kinds of teams, and our group is young and changing roles, so really evolving. This was a great tournament for us."
Wilsonville next game is a road game against West Linn on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.