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The Wildcats lead comfortably until the Comets rally at the end of the contest.

PMG PHOTO - Wilsonville junior post Tristan Davis looks to score inside during his team's 64-58 win over Crater in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament at Gill Coluseum in Corvallis on Wednesday, March 9.It's not about style points at the state tournament.

The Wilsonville boys basketball team proved that — in a good way — in its Class 5A state tournament opener on Wednesday, March 9, when the Wildcats survived a huge Comet comeback in the final minute to win 64-58 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

"I think we shared and distributed the ball well," said Wilsonville sophomore wing/guard Kallen Gutridge, who tied for team-high scoring honors with 13 points (on 5 of 13 shooting from the field and a 3 of 4 day at the free throw line), along with three rebounds, five assists, one blocked shot and one steal. "We also shot well from the free throw line when it mattered most."

"I think the outcome of today was definitely desirable, but we have a few things to work on," added junior guard/wing Maxim Wu, who finished with 12 points (on 4 of 4 shooting from the field, including one 3-pointer and a 3 of 4 day at the free throw line), along with four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Junior post Tristan Davis added 13 points (on 4 of 5 shooting from the field, including two 3-pointers and a 3 of 5 day at the foul line), along with five rebounds and four assists.

With the win — No. 3 Wilsonville's 14th straight — the Wildcats improved to 25-2 overall after winning the Northwest Oregon Conference. Next up, Wilsonville faces No. 2 Churchill — a 66-52 winner over No. 7 Eagle Point on Wednesday — in the semifinals at 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 11.

Crater, meanwhile, saw its six-game winning streak snapped and fell to 21-6 after finishing second in the Midwestern League.

The Comets were led by senior wing Caden Lasater, who scored a team-high 14 points (on 4 of 8 shooting from the field, including four 3-pointers and a 2 of 6 day at the free throw line), along with one rebound and two assists. Senior wing Tate Broesder finished with 13 points (on 5 of 13 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers and an 0 for 1 day at the foul line), along with three rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot. And senior wing Kadin Price added 11 points (on 3 of 6 shooting from the field and a 5 of 5 day at the foul line), along with three rebounds and one steal.

The Wildcats started fast against Crater, building a nine-point lead in the first quarter — at 14-5 on a Davis 3-pointer — and leading at the end of each of the game's first three quarters. Wilsonville used its size — including the 6-foot-7 Davis and 6-10 senior post Logan Thebiay (11 points, six rebounds, one assist and one block) — to great effect against Crater, leading 16-12 at the end of the first period, 29-22 at halftime and 41-28 at the end of three.

Indeed, the Wildcats were still up 13 at 53-40 when Thebiay took a Davis pass and dunked with 3:29 left in the game.

But there was excitement — a lot of it — ahead in the night's final four minutes. From there, the Comets closed with a flurry, outscoring Wilsonville 18-7 over the next three minutes and cutting the Cats' lead to 60-58 when Lasater buried a 3-pointer with just 35 seconds left in the contest.

Other Crater highlights in that stretch were back-to-back "threes" by Broesder and five Price points before the Wildcats finally sealed their win at the foul line, with Wu hitting two free throws and sophomore Nick Colyer and senior Enzo Chimienti one each.

"The key to success was … Nick Colyer stepping up and hitting a big free throw to extend the lead to three in the final seconds," Gutridge said.

"I think the key to success was sticking together as a team and buying into team basketball," Wu added.

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