Once again, Wilsonville got the job done against the La Salle Falcons. This time though, things were a little closer. While the Wildcats still picked up the win, this time La Salle kept things tight until the fourth and final quarter.
Wilsonville defeated the home team 57-44 on Tuesday, Feb. 12 to improve to 10-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference (NWOC). La Salle's league record falls to 6-4 so far in the season.
How close were the Falcons to the No. 2 team in the state? Late in the third quarter, the home team trailed the Wildcats just 35-32. It was a strong fourth quarter that sealed the deal Wilsonville, as they outscored La Salle 19-12 in the final eight minutes.
Senior Zachary Rivers led the team in scoring with 15 points, and played solid defense as well. Coach Chris Roche was happy with his guard's performance.
"Zach had one of his best games tonight," said Chris Roche, "I thought he was a huge key in us winning. His activity on defense, his effort level throughout, and then his attack mindset on offense. They all mattered and all helped us win. He had a monster game for us tonight, and he's very capable of doing that."
Fellow senior Jack Roche trailed just behind his teammate with 14 points, and reached a milestone in his high school career: 1,000 points. Jack Roche joins seven other Wildcats to have passed the mark: Zach Reichle (2017), Jeremy Wilson (2005), Seth Gearhart (2011), Tyler Hieb (2016), Kevin Marshall (2012), and Michael MacKelvie (2010).
"Those are huge individual achievements," Chris Roche said. "To be the first guy to ever do anything in our program is really impressive because we have had so many good players over the years. All the individual stuff aside, I think Jack is probably happiest that we as a team found a way to win tonight."
Other strong scorers for the squad included junior Dakota Reber with 9 points, junior Keegan Shivers with 8, and junior Gabe Reichle with 6. The team shot 45 percent from the field, but just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. They were also just 16-of-23 free throw line, 69.6 percent. Coach Roche acknowledge as much, and was proud of the way his team found a way win.
"Sometimes, when you aren't shooting particularly well, you have to find ways to win through defense and rebounding," said Roche. "We were not perfect tonight, but we gutted out a win, I saw some leadership things, and we did enough tough things to come out on top. We need to focus and zero in on some things better, but I think there are some positive things we can take away from this game."
Wilsonville (19-2) will next face off with Scappoose (0-10 in NWOC play, 2-17 overall) on Friday, Feb. 15. La Salle (13-8) sees its six game win streak snapped, and will have a chance to rebound against Milwaukie (5-5 in NWOC play, 8-11 overall) in a road matchup on the same day.