Wilsonville advances to state quarterfinals with 72-31 win
When it was close, well, it was close. But when it wasn't? You got to see that there are levels to the game of basketball. Wilsonville boys' basketball team showed that in the opening round of the state playoffs against the visiting Crescent Valley Raiders on Friday, March 1, defeating the 15th ranked team 72-31 in blowout fashion.
While the Wildcats never trailed, the team hit speed bumps in the first half and only led 28-21 at the end of the first 16 minutes. Where the home team asserted itself was in a dramatically lopsided third quarter, outscoring the Raiders 31-3. The team's superb passing set up several clean baskets from the courts leaders. Senior Jack Roche put up 10 points in the quarter alone, and junior Keegan Shivers had 7 points.
The highlight of the third quarter though came from junior Dakota Reber. The 6 foot, 6 inch Wildcat got the ball on a breakaway play with no defender in sight. To the roar of a raucous home crowd, Reber slammed the ball home to extend Wilsonville's scoring streak late in the third quarter.
That third quarter came after a first half that was start and stop for the Wildcats. Crescent Valley's defense was able to keep things close in the first quarter after falling behind 8-2. Senior Shakir Serdani put up 6 of the Raiders 10 first quarter points. That came against 15 points for the Wildcats.
In the second quarter Wilsonville still struggled to put together consistent scoring streaks. Crescent Valley closed the gap to just two points early in the quarter, but another highlight play kept Wilsonville ahead. Jack Roche connected with Reber on the lob pass for a slick alley-oop to the approval of the crowd and bench.
Senior Jack Roche led the team in scoring with 19 points, followed by Shivers with 16, Reber with 12, and junior Gabe Reichle with 11 points.
With the win, Wilsonville continues its trend of reaching Corvallis for the quarterfinals. In the first game at Gill Coliseum, Wilsonville will lock up with the Pendleton Buckaroos (17-5). Pendleton reached the quarterfinals after winning an overtime shootout 74-73 with NWOC No. 3 Parkrose.