SISTERS — Forest Grove, here come the Sisters Outlaws.
Noah Richards scored 27 points, Ty Horner tallied 21 despite early foul trouble, and Sisters rolled past Henley of Klamath Falls 72-60 on Saturday night in a first-round Class 4A boys basketball playoff game.
The win was the Outlaws’ sixth straight and sends them to the 4A state tournament, starting with a quarterfinal game at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Forest Grove High School against top-seeded Banks. Sisters lost in the first round each of the past three seasons but cleared that hurdle this time and advances to the final site for the first time since 2012.
Sky-Em League champion Sisters, the No. 8 seed in the 16-team playoff field, dispatched the No. 9 Hornets with relative ease, turning a two-point first-quarter lead into a 27-16 lead by halftime. Richards poured in 14 points in the third period, when the Outlaws stretched the margin to 53-35.
Henley, runner-up in the Skyline Conference and winner of nine of its previous 10 games, made a run at the hosts in the fourth quarter and closed within seven points. But the Outlaws made free throws down the stretch — they were 10-for-13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter; Jack Berg was 5-for-6 in the closing minutes — to win for the 10th time in 11 games.
Now, Sisters turns its attention to Banks, which routed Madras on Saturday to advance to the final eight.
“We saw Banks at our holiday tournament,” said Sisters coach David Godfrey, noting that while his team did not face Banks in the December tourney, he and the Outlaws got an eyeful.
“They’re big … they’re tough,” Godfrey said. “We’ll have our hands full. But tonight was only our sixth game with all of our players (because of injuries and illness throughout the season). So hopefully, we’re still trying to reach our peak.”
South Albany 49, Summit 43: ALBANY — Things were going well for the visiting Storm before foul trouble and an untimely injury created an opportunity for the Rebels in a Class 5A first-round playoff contest. No. 10 seed Summit made a 14-0 run late in the third quarter and took a 34-28 lead into the final period. But early in the fourth, standout senior wing Karson Klecker fouled out for the first time all season, and senior point guard Beau Blea took a spill that forced him to the bench for several crucial minutes with an injured wrist. “All of a sudden, two of our most important players are out of the game,” said Summit coach Jon Frazier. “It was a difficult position. Our kids did a great job continuing to compete, but on the road against a higher-seeded team (No. 7 South Albany), you need things to go your way.” And that did not happen for the Storm, whose season ends at 13-8. South Albany, which made 8 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter and 14 of 15 for the game, advances to the 5A tournament next week in Corvallis. Blea led Summit with 14 points. Joe Hicks made two 3-pointers and finished with 10 points, and Klecker had nine.
Churchill 83, Bend 39: EUGENE — The No. 8-seeded Lancers (19-7) led 44-19 at halftime — and then went on to score 30 points in the third quarter of the Class 5A first-round playoff game. Brian Warinner scored 16 points and Justin Kerr had 14 as the No. 9 Lava Bears (17-8) were held to their lowest point total of the season. Churchill made 15 3-point shots and 13 steals over the course of the game, the last of the season for Bend, while the Lancers advance to the 5A state tournament next week in Corvallis.
Banks 102, Madras 58: BANKS — The No. 16-seeded White Buffaloes knew they faced a tall challenge in their Class 4A playoff game against the No. 1 Braves, whose roster features four players standing 6 feet 5 or taller. Kanim Smith III, one of two Madras players listed at 6-4 — tallest on the roster — led the Buffs with 17 points, and Byron Patt scored 15. Banks’ two standout posts, 6-6 Dalton Renne and 6-7 Blake Gobel, scored 31 and 27 points, respectively. Madras won just three of its first 12 games this season but then won 10 of its next 12 to finish second in the Tri-Valley Conference and reach the state playoffs. “Throughout the season, we got better and better,” said Evan Brown of the second season of his second stint as Madras head coach. “It took some time for the kids to get accustomed to a new style, a much more up-tempo style.” The Buffs finished with an overall record of 13-12.