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Wildcats give Parkrose second league loss, remain first in Northwest Oregon Conference

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville senior Keegan Shivers scored 16 points Tuesday night at Parkrose in his first game back from a thigh contusion.

PORTLAND — Keegan Shivers got healthy at just the right time.

The Wilsonville senior, returning from a thigh contusion, scored 16 points Tuesday night to lead the Wildcats to a 72-63 win at Parkrose.

"I'm glad he played because I don't know if we would have won without him," said Wilsonville coach Chris Roche of Shivers, who had not played since Jan. 14 at St. Helens. "He was really good and tough, especially not having played in a couple of weeks. He played really well and got big rebounds for us. He had a really good game and at just the right time for us.

"Having him was a big plus tonight. He's a good player. And it's tough your senior year to miss that much time. It's really fun for everybody to see him back out there. It just calms us a little bit, even though we didn't look very calm tonight."

At 6-0 and 5-1, Wilsonville and Parkrose entered the night first and second in the Northwest Oregon Conference.

"This was a really important game for us because they were second in league, so to win this one on the road and get through the first half of league the way we did, puts us in good shape," Roche said. "There's a long way to go, but we've done all we can do so far."

Shivers first basket gave Wilsonville a 16-13 lead with 1:55 remaining in the first period.

"My legs felt really good tonight and my shot felt good and it was just really nice to be back on the court with my teammates, said Shivers, who then drained a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 21-17 lead.

After Parkrose junior Damontae Burns buried a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, Brian Bilbrew made a 3 to give the Broncos a 27-25 lead with 4:53 remaining in the second period.

Another 3-pointer, followed by a layup from Bilbrew extended Parkrose's lead to 32-27.

"I thought Parkrose was really ready to play and energized," Roche said. "It was a good crowd. They were really flying around. "We're happy to go, but we were willing partners in playing really loose tonight. We were too loose tonight, but they pressured us. They do a good job."

Wilsonville closed the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 39-34 advantage into intermission.

Senior Andrew Classen scored eight points during the Wildcats' run, making two 3-pointers.

"He's having a really good year," Roche said of Classen, who finished with 14 points. "I think everybody has confidence in him. He chooses his spots well and fits in with the guys well. He's defending. He's becoming a really good all-around player. I thought he was really good tonight."

Wilsonville outscored the Broncos 15-10 in the third quarter to take a 54-44 lead into the fourth quarter.

A Dakota Reber 3-pointer then extended the Wildcats' lead to 61-46 with 5:30 remaining in the game.

Reber finished with 21 points to lead Wilsonville in scoring. Gabe Reichle added 14 points.

Burns drained a 3-pointer with 3:15 to get Parkrose within eight points, 63-55, but the Broncos could not get any closer.

Roche was not pleased with how Wilsonville finished the game.

"We took their best shot, but I don't think we played very smart," Roche said. "We get a 15-point lead and we're still going like we're 15 behind. All we had to do was be smarter and tougher with the ball and we continued to just go in overdrive and kept them in the game."

The Wildcats played in front of a raucous crowd that included Parkrose's middle and high school bands.

"I love playing here," Shivers said. "That's one of the reasons why I wanted to get back because this place is so fun. That band is so loud. You can't hear. It's like a state playoff game. It's awesome. Parkrose is always a fun game. They're always really talented, always a good challenge for us."

Wilsonville is 7-0 in league play, and hosts St. Helens for the second time this Friday.

"A lot of times at this point of the year teams don't get better," Roche said. "For us, the goal is get better in practice, keep working hard and stay focused on getting to be as good as we can be. There's a lot of room to improve. Hopefully, we'll be zeroed in on that and not sleepwalk through things because that's what happens a lot. Hopefully, not us."

Derek Wiley
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