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Roosevelt Boys and Benson Girls Reach State Basketball Finals

The Chiles Center was host to the conclusion of the OSAA Basketball State Championship this past weekend. The PIL sent the Benson and Jefferson girls' teams as well as Roosevelt and Grant on the boys' side. 

Boys’ quarterfinal action started on Wednesday with an all-PIL matchup between the Riders and Generals, with Roosevelt looking to avenge their lone loss from the PIL season. 

The Riders took a commanding 40-23 lead into the half, powered by 16 points from Owen Nathan. After the break, Grant responded with a run of their own. 12 straight points opened the 4th quarter and tied the game on a Keion James putback with just over five minutes to play. 

With 8 seconds remaining the score was again tied at 65. Grant inbounded and missed a three-point attempt, then off the rebound, Roosevelt had the presence of mind to look for a shot for their own. Terrence Hill Jr raced to the other end, caught a pass, and laid it in as the buzzer sounded to send Roosevelt to the semifinals. 

The girls began their quarterfinals on Thursday. Jefferson lost a hard-fought game, 53-37, to #5 Willamette, while Benson prevailed over #14 Grants Pass, 51-30. 

On Friday, the Riders were back in action against #7 Beaverton. They took the early lead and never looked back, cruising to a dominant 73-45 victory. Chance White finished as the leading scorer with 17 points. 

The Techsters also punched their ticket to the final in a tightly contested battle with reigning state champions #2 Clackamas. Mahogany Chandler-Roberts’ 19 points and Mauriana Hashemian-Orr’s 17 points led Benson to build an early lead and hold off Clackamas the rest of the way to win 51-47.

Saturday the PIL community packed the Chiles Center to cheer on representatives in both 6A state title games. 

Roosevelt took a 43-36 lead into halftime over #1 Central Catholic. But the third quarter saw the game flip, as the Rams took control the rest of the way. The Riders would come up just short of a state title, losing 85-76 and claiming second place after this tremendous season. 

Benson started cold from the field against #1 South Medford, struggling to find their usual offensive rhythm in the first half. Out of the break, a passionate Benson crowd pushed the Techsters to make a run. Eboni Clay led the game with 14 second-half points as they cut the South Medford lead to six early in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the early deficit proved too difficult to overcome, as Benson would lose 48-38 and finish second in state.

PIL Athletes Shine at 2024 Wrestling State Championships, Earn Two Individual Titles

The 2024 wrestling season reached its conclusion at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the 6A State Championships on February 23rd and 24th. 

Dozens of student-athletes from the PIL made it to compete with their peers from around the state on both the boys' and girls’ sides. 

This year the PIL is proud to celebrate two individual state champions from the girls' 6A/5A championships. Cleveland’s Isabel Herring and Ida B Wells’ Zorina Johnson were both the best wrestlers in Oregon this season in their respective classes. 

They were joined on the girls’ side by three other semifinalists: Maria Caudillo (Cleveland), Lillian Courtnage-Dyke (Grant), and Emony Greely (Roosevelt), as well as two more girls’ quarterfinalists: Niazeal Orduna Torres (Grant) and Micah Muir (Lincoln)

On the boys’ side, Jefferson’s Titus Rodela made it the furthest, finishing second in the state after reaching the final for his class. Lincoln’s Elijah Borrayo was the other semifinalist from the PIL this season.

Additionally, the league produced five more boys’ quarterfinalists: Isaiah Snyder (McDaniel), Nico Farinola (Lincoln), Ethan Holstein (McDaniel), Max Copus (Cleveland), and Dane Hartmann (Franklin).

Overall, eight PIL schools were represented in this year's state quarterfinals. Congratulations to our PIL student-athletes and coaches on a tremendous wrestling season!

Congrats To Our Youth Basketball District Champions!