Wilsonville establishes itself as No. 1 in league
Wilsonville has completed its first sweep of the Northwest Oregon Conference (NWOC). The last league foe to fall was the similarly sterling Parkrose Broncos on Tuesday, Jan. 29. The Portland based high school entered into Wilsonville High School carrying a 6-0 league record, but was unable to make it seven.
Wilsonville battled the Broncos until the last minute of the game, and walked away with the 70-60 victory after 32 minutes of play. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 7-0 in the NWOC, and 16-2 overall. Parkrose saw its 13 game win streak snapped, and falls to 6-1 in league.
"I think they're pretty good," Wilsonville coach Chris Roche said. "We looked like we took our foot off the pedal a little bit and they're too good to do that against. Hopefully we learned something. If you don't play them the right way they can really do some things, so you have to give them the credit."
Right from the get go the two teams established a fast paced style of play, finding open shooters from beyond the arc and driving into the paint.
Parkrose got the first basket of the game, with senior Travion Weiss draining a shot from 3-point range. That lead wouldn't last long though as Wilsonville went on an 8-point run. Wildcat junior Dakota Reber went 3-of-4 from the free throw line, and fellow junior Keegan Shivers hit a basket on the drive in with an assist coming from senior Jack Roche.
Wilsonville's baskets seemingly all came off of timely passes, with the next three hoops coming with an assist. Wilsonville had 16 points at the end of the first period.
Parkrose was never too far behind though, finding layins and getting steals. Senior Shawn Briggs and senior Solomon Campbell each had a pair of baskets in the quarter, with Briggs nailing a deep 3-pointer to close the quarter. Wilsonville led 16-14 at the end of the first.
"Shawn Briggs is our engine," Parkrose coach Donnell Morgan said. "He makes us go. The first half, I loved where we were after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Wilsonville kind of took it to us a little bit. But Shawn Briggs is our toughness and our heart, and for him to continue to give us what he's given us moving along."
In the second quarter, Wilsonville picked up right where it left off. Roche drove into the paint and hit the easy layup, stretching the lead to 4 points. Parkrose briefly tied things up thanks to a basket from junior Christian Allen and a pair of free throws from Campbell.
From there Wilsonville jumped out to a six point lead with baskets from senior Sam Westing, Reber, and junior Gabe Reichle. Parkrose responded with a crossover 3-pointer from sophomore Damontae Burns, and Weiss and Briggs hitting inside shots, briefly giving the Broncos a 25-24 lead.
As had become the norm in the near 16 minutes of play, the momentum swung yet again. Wilsonville went on a 12-4 run to end the quarter. Roche continued to stretch his range in that time, sinking his third "3" of the half, and Reber chipping in one of his own.
"I think all of our guys can shoot," senior Jack Roche said. "Dakota is as good a shooter as we've got, and having a big wing do the stuff he can do is great. He's talented and tough. He's a great player, and he came up huge for us tonight."
At the horn, the Wildcats led 36-29.
Coming out of the locker room Parkrose was fired up, and showed it on the floor. After a pullup jumper from Roche, the Broncos scored 11 straight points to take the lead 40-38. In that run Damontae Burns had 5 points, and Weiss had four points. Shortly thereafter, Briggs nailed the long ball increase the lead to 43-39.
"The goal for us was to win the first four minutes of the second half, and we didn't," Jack Roche said. "They came out and punched us in the mouth. Props to them as a team and as a culture that they're building. They came out and flat out dominated us in the first few minutes."
"Toughness was the message at halftime," Parkrose's Morgan said. "What I love about this program, Wilsonville, is that their kids are tough. Whether they're down five or up five, they play the same. They're very consistent, and I thought we came out with a little more urgency, but we're young still."
Once again, the winds changed.
Wilsonville put together string of points with Reichle going 4-for-4 from the free throw line, and Roche, Reber, Shivers, and senior Nolan Thebiay each getting a basket inside. Parkrose was unable to get anything going in that time, turning over the ball on traveling violations and missing on shots. The lead stood 51-43 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Wilsonville was finally able to create a little distance between itself and Parkrose. Thebiay made the first basket of the quarter to establish a double digit lead. The two teams battled back and forth, but the clock quickly became Parkrose's No. 1 concern. The Broncos were able to cut the lead to just seven points, but Wilsonville never let them build any sort of momentum, and was able to slow down the pace of play. By the final buzzer, Wilsonville still maintained a 10 point lead, and had the "W" well in hand, 70-60.
"I think everything from here on out will be tough," coach Roche said. "We haven't done anything except hold serve. Going over to Parkrose will be a tough game, but we have to worry about St. Helens right now. Get ready for that, and then we have Hillsboro here. Just take it one game at a time, and it'll be interesting because at this point of the year some teams don't get better. The best teams stay humble and hungry, and that's who we have to be if we want to reach our goals."
Wilsonville (16-2) will begin its second tour of the NWOC when it squares off with St. Helens (4-12) on Friday, Feb. 1. Parkrose (15-2) rematches the surging La Salle Falcons (11-7), who find themselves on a four game winning streak. The Broncos only losses up through this point in the season were to last year's state finalists, Wilsonville and Thurston (13-5).
Wilsonville: 16 20 15 19
Parkrose: 14 15 14 17
Wilsonville 70: Jack Roche 19, Dakota Reber 16, Keegan Shivers 14, Gabe Reichle 10, Nolan Thebiay 6, Zachary Rivers 3, Sam Westing 2
Parkrose 60: Travion Weiss 18, Damontae Burns 14, Shawn Briggs 12, Solomon Campbell 6, Christian Allen 6, Marlon Jefferies 2, Tre Anderson 2