Wilsonville battles injuries at Les Schwab Invitational
HILLSBORO — Even far from 100 percent, Wilsonville showed it could play with about any high school basketball team in the country.
In their return to the Les Schwab Invitational, the Wildcats went 1-3 on Dec. 26-29 at Liberty High School.
Wilsonville opened the 16-team tournament with a 78-69 loss to Eastside Catholic of Seattle, Wash.
Tied early in the second quarter, the Wildcats lost leading scorer Dakota Reber, who sprained his right ankle coming down from a dunk.
Gabe Reichle scored 23 points to lead Wilsonville. Reber, who came back into the game in the third quarter, finished with 14 points. Keegan Shivers added 13 points.
Eastside Catholic then defeated Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and dominated 2019 Class 6A state runner-up Jefferson to reach the Les Schwab championship game.
Playing without Reber, Wilsonville defeated Lake Oswego 54-42 in the consolation bracket.
Shivers had 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Andrew Classen added 13 points and Reichle scored 11 points.
"We played very well against Lake Oswego," Wildcats coach Chris Roche said. "They are a good, big, deep team, and to beat them without Dakota was a nice accomplishment. They could win the Three Rivers League. We had many guys play really well. It was a team effort, a great win."
Wilsonville outscored the Lakers 30-14 in the second half.
"We moved and shared the ball very well," Roche said. "We were able to impose our will defensively, and hold them to five points in the fourth quarter. It was a team effort. Really strong play by lots of guys. Fun to watch."
The Wildcats led Clackamas to start the fourth quarter, but could not overcome another injury when Cason Dougall suffered a concussion.
"I think we were tired playing our seventh game in 10 days, and we just kind of ran out of steam," Roche said of the 63-53 loss. "Finishing games is something we take pride in, and that game was tough that way."
Reichle led Wilsonville with 22 points.
Playing without Dougall and Reber, the Wildcats closed the tournament with a 56-49 loss to Jesuit, last year's Class 6A state champion.
Reichle led the Wildcats with 17 points. Shivers had 15 points and nine rebounds.
Wilsonville led by one point at halftime and trailed by just two entering the fourth quarter.
"We had a lead but just could not quite get it done," Roche said. "They made more plays in the fourth quarter. Eighth game in 11 days is hard. We thought we could handle it, but knew if we had foul trouble or injuries, it would be very hard to win because of the level of competition. Playing the defending 6A state champs that short-handed is a tall task. All that said, we want to be tough when faced with fatigue and adversity, and we know we will have to improve in this way going forward."
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