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Top Wilsonville sports stories of 2019: Basketball team wins another state title

PMG FILE PHOTO - Jack Roche cuts down the net after winning the Class 5A boys basketball state title.

The dynasty continues

Wilsonville's boys basketball team won its third Class 5A state championship in four years.

Playing at Oregon State University's Gill Coliseum, the Wildcats defeated Churchill 67-58 in the finals.

"It's my senior year, it's the best one. I love all of these guys," said guard Jack Roche, who had a state championship game and recorded 13 assists. "Our coach put us in the best position to win tonight. It's hard to guard those guys, lots of shooters and so many athletes, too. But it's indescribable, going out on top. Couldn't have dreamed of a better high school last year."

Dakota Reber was the man for Wilsonville on that night. The 6-6 junior recorded 21 points and 9 rebounds, and had two of the team's three steals. Reber got those 21 points after going 7-of-13 from the field, and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

Fellow junior Keegan Shivers posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"I expected we were going to come out like a team and get the job done," Shivers said. "What we've been saying is stay tough and together. Before the games, me and Dakota have been saying that we're going to get every board that we can. Dakota is an animal, he gets the job done."

The Wildcats finished the season 27-2 with their only losses coming to California schools.

Reber and Shivers were both named to the all-tournament first team.

"I feel amazing," Shivers said. "There's no words that can describe how I feel right now. Last year we came up short, this year we were going to leave our hearts on the floor. I just want to thank God, my family, my friends, my teammates, everyone for just giving me the opportunity to get in this position with all of my friends. This has been the best season of basketball I've ever played in."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville's volleyball team celebrates during the first round of the playoffs.

Wilsonville volleyball team makes history

Before the 2019 season, Wilsonville set a goal to win the school's first state championship in volleyball.

The Wildcats finished one win shy, falling to Ridgeview 3-0 on Nov. 9 at Liberty High School in the Class 5A championship match.

"The goal from the beginning of the season was to get there, and we played an excellent team, who were really playing a very tough game," said Wilsonville coach Nathan Blankenship. "I think it was a combination of them playing really well and playing very hot, and us not playing so hot. We weren't on point and that's OK. What I'm very happy about is how hard we fought right down to the last point. We never gave up. We were swinging at balls. We hit a few out, but we were swinging hard."

Wilsonville junior Clarissa Klein and Ridgeview senior Rylee Troutman were named the players of the game.

Klein finished the match with 11 kills and five aces.

"Even though it wasn't first, I know we played our hearts out and that's all that matters," Klein said. "They were a great team, so I wasn't surprised. No. 7 (Troutman) just killed us. Their serving killed us and we dug ourselves too big of a hole."

Senior Kennedy Juranek, who along with Klein was voted to the all-tournament first team, had 20 assists in the championship match.

"I'm just so incredibly proud of my team," Juranek said. "We've worked so hard all season, since August, to be where we are now. I'm disappointed that we didn't take the title, but I feel so proud of what we've done, and we fought hard. Ridgeview is a really solid team. They were fun to play against."

The Wildcats were a perfect 14-0 and did not even drop a set during Northwest Oregon Conference play. Wilsonville finished 23-3 overall, with its only losses coming to Ridgeview and Class 6A playoff teams Central Catholic and Oregon City.

Soccer teams play for

state titles

Both Wilsonville's soccer teams got to the Class 5A championship game, but neither squad could bring home the title.

Playing a double-header Nov. 16 at Hillsboro Stadium, the girls got the closest, falling to Crescent Valley 1-0 in penalty kicks.

Wilsonville dominated possession and outshot Crescent Valley 11-1 over 90 minutes of regular and two 5-minute overtime periods.

"We dominated the game," Wilsonville coach Dwight Sheppick said. "It's as simple as that. For 100 minutes, we dominated the game. They had one shot the whole game and no shots in the second half. But that's soccer. It's a cruel sport, and right now I'm hating it, but I love my kids. They played their hearts out and they deserved better than they got. If you get beat by a team that just comes out and outscores you, it's easier to handle. When you lose in a shootout, you don't feel like you lost."

Wilsonville finished the season 13-5-1, reaching the state championship game for the first time since 2011.

"I couldn't be more proud of them, but it's going to take them a while to realize what a special year they had and to realize that they played phenomenal," Sheppick said. "This is a game they should never forget because of how they played. Second is always hard to accept, but I'd better be here and lose than be here and watch."

Wilsonville's boys played a familiar opponent for the state championship, falling to NWOC rival La Salle Prep 2-1.

Joseph Friedman scored the Wildcats only goal just before the buzzer on a header from a cross by Adam Landy.

"Even down two goals, these guys pushing for a goal, scoring with one second left, it speaks volumes about the character of our team," Wilsonville coach Ian Reschke said. "They didn't fold and they haven't all year."

Maoz captures gold, silver

Abby Maoz repeated as the Class 5A state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke on Feb. 16 at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center, finishing 1:04.29.

The Wilsonville sophomore also placed second in the 100 fly in 59.10.

"I'm just happy that I could represent Wilsonville and get on the podium twice this year because I only got on once last year," said Maoz, who also swam on the Wildcats 200 medley and 400 free relays, which took sixth and eighth place, respectively.

"I think that she's doing an absolutely marvelous job for us," Wilsonville coach Deb Mandeville said. "For her to find a second event that she can do so well in is amazing, so we're really proud of her."

PMG FILE PHOTO - Samantha Prusse runs at the Class 5A state track meet.

Prusse wins state championship in 1,500

On a rainy Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Wilsonville junior Samantha Prusse won the Class 5A state title in the 1,500-meter run.

Among 12 other runners, and seven personal best times, Prusse stood above with a time of 4:45.48. The championship mark was not her best, 4 seconds shy in fact, but it was 2 seconds ahead of Hood River Valley junior Frances Dickinson.

"I thought it would be a faster time, but no one wanted to lead, so the first 200 I got out like regular," Prusse said. "No one, I could feel it, no one was pushing on me, and I thought I could slow down. So I did slow down, and my time was really slow. But the last 400 or 600, Frances started kicking, and I thought, 'I feel OK, I'll stay with her. I'll just go for it.' I did, and it worked out pretty well."

Wilsonville grads help Oregon Tech reach NAIA title game

Tyler Hieb and Harrison Steiger, both graduates of Wilsonville High School, helped lead the Oregon Tech men's basketball team to the championship game of the NAIA tournament.

In February, Oregon Tech won its first outright Cascade Collegiate Conference regular season championship since 2011. Hieb had a team-high seven rebounds in the 75-72 clinching victory against College of Idaho.

The Owls then won their first NAIA tournament game since 2012, defeating the University of Antelope Valley 75-65 on March 6 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Oregon Tech defeated Indiana University Kokomo in the second round to set up a matchup against Indiana Wesleyan, the No. 1 overall seed and defending national champions, in the quarterfinals.

Steiger scored 13 points as the Owls upset Indiana Wesleyan 107-93 to reach the final four.

Oregon Tech defeated league rival College of Idaho on March 11 to advance to the NAIA championship game against Spring Arbor. But the Owls could not bring home the program's fourth national title, falling to the Cougars 82-76 on March 12.

"It's been one of the dreams for all of us, obviously, to play for the national championship," says Hieb, who shares a home in Klamath Falls with Steiger, team manager Tanner Karp, who also is a Wilsonville grad, and Oregon Tech teammate Mitchell Fink. "Doing it with people who you've known for so long and people who you've grown up with was a really, really cool experience and made it that much more special."

Cross country teams trophy at state meet

For just the second time in school history, Wilsonville's girls and boys cross country teams both brought home trophies from the Class 5A cross country state championships.

Wilsonville's girls, expected to finish a distant fourth or fifth behind Corvallis and Hood River Valley, placed third, only two points behind HRV and six points behind state champion Corvallis on Nov. 9 at Lane Community College in Eugene.

"They are competitors," Wilsonville coach David Barkley said. "They raced for every single point."

Senior Samantha Prusse led the pack, finishing second out of 90 runners in a personal best time of 18 minutes, 5.7 seconds.

"Samantha has been a dominant runner for us," said Wilsonville cross country coach David Barkley. "The league is happy to see her graduate this year. She has been a great leader and teammate for us. We knew she had a shot to win. The upside is that it probably gives her a little bit more fire for track season."

Gabriella Prusse and Sydney Burns finished ninth and 11th, also running personal bests in 18:46 and 18:54.3. Sarah Somerscales and Fiona Dunn placed 24th and 31st in 19:35.5 and 19:53.8, both PRs.

Wilsonville's boys rallied to edge The Dalles by seven points to place fourth.

"We knew three teams should be ahead of the boys coming into state and that there were four teams that would all be within a few seconds of each other for the final trophy spot," Barkley said. "At mile 1, we were 40-plus points out of fourth place. At mile 2, we were 19 points out of the trophies. With half a mile to go, we were still about six places outside. They ran really smart races. and gutted it out over the last few minutes. The entire group of boys ran excellent races. It was fun to watch a group compete so well that had no seniors."

Mason Weisgerber led the group, finishing 19th in 16:26.3, the fastest time ever by a Wilsonville freshman at the state meet.

Sophomore Jake McClelland, who has battled minor injuries all season, placed 20th in 16:27.1. Junior Ben Sheirbon, who also has overcome an injury, took 28th in 16:34.9. Junior Josh Aguilar finished 39th in 16:51.7.

Sebastian Pinger, another Wilsonville junior, placed 41st in 16:56.7.

"Sebastian finished the race really well," Barkley said. "He passed several folks in the last 400 meters, all points we needed to trophy."

Girls basketball team finishes third

In its first trip to the Class 5A state tournament since 2012, Wilsonville's girls basketball team brought back a third-place trophy from Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

After a disappointing loss to NWOC rival La Salle Prep in the semifinals, the Wildcats rebounded to defeat Crater 64-57 on March 9 in the third-place game.

"It really came down to a lot of guts," Wilsonville coach Justin Duke said. "The third game in three days, both teams probably not overly excited about being in this game. Both teams one game short of being in the state championship. We talked about what our character would be like not just as people who have the standards we want to set for the program, but for the culture we want to develop. I think they showed a lot of heart in coming out and playing as hard as they did."

The underclassmen led the Wildcats to the win against Crater. Sophomore Sydney Burns recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, five steals, five assists, and a block. Fellow sophomore Emilia Bishop had 14 points, eight rebounds, and a block of her own. Bishop also shot 7-of-8 from the field.

"I think that certainly getting here to the final eight was a big hurdle to climb," Duke said. "We wanted to get here last year, and it didn't work out. The seniors have raised the bar every year that we've been a part of the program. We've consistently gotten better all four years, whether they've been here all four years, three years, two years, whatever it was, they came in and fought and battled and wanted to create something we didn't have at Wilsonville. I think they really filled a void that is not going to go away for a while."

Resko places third at state wrestling tournament

Wilsonville sophomore Tyson Resko finished third in the 152-pound division at the Class 5A state championships.

Wrestling Feb. 28-29 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Resko pinned his first two opponents in the opening period.

After losing to Dallas senior Jacob Jones by a 2-0 decision in the semifinals, Resko rebounded by pinning West Albany's Devon McIntire in 2 minutes, 39 seconds and then pinning Corvallis wrestler Ryan Terwilliger to claim third place.

Resko made the podium for the second straight year after placing second in 2018 as a freshman.

Equestrian seniors win state titles

Wilsonville's eques-

trian team brought home a pair of state championship trophies after its appearance at the state Oregon High School Equestrian at Redmond on May 9-12. Seniors Sydnie Jersey and Brooklyn James each nabbed a trophy for pole bending and trail, respectively.

Jersey took the top spot with a time of 22.007 seconds to score 20 points.

James, meanwhile, took first place in trail equitation with a total score of 141.

The season was one of hard work for the duo, according to Wilsonville equestrian coach Lori Jersey.

"I would say an overarching comment for both Sydnie and Brooklyn has been their tenacity, their motivation and their absolute goal to finish on top this year," Jersey said. "When you ask the question about the turning point for both of these athletes, I think it was just a sheer desire and determination to finish their senior year on top. Thankfully, that's how everything played out in Redmond."

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