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Portland's 15U Babe Ruth Baseball Team Wins World Series
The Portland 15U Babe Ruth baseball team won the World Series on Saturday, Aug. 19th, in Jamestown New York. Eight (8) players are from the PIL (roster below), with Jefferson's Brave Johnson being named the World Series MVP. This is the first championship ever won for the Babe Ruth team.
Players from the PIL: (McDaniel) - Paul Oellrich, JaBril Love-Shabazz, Jackson De Young, Skye Baker Foxley. (Jefferson) - Brave Johnson. (Grant) - Joaquin Goodlow. (Franklin) - Silas Combs, Artai Hardnett
PIL student-athletes were among the top performers at the 2023 OSAA Track & Field State Championships at Hayward Field on May 25th - 27th. Lincoln boys claimed its first team title since 2007 by winning the 4x400, the final event, behind sophomore Ryan Hendrickson, freshman Nicholas Ranalli, senior Alexander Rhodes, and junior Nathan Davidson. Their 10 points proved to be the difference for the Cardinals, who finished with 55 points, pushing past Sheldon (51).
Lincoln's Grant Nyhus was the state champion in the triple jump. Nikki Prall took 2nd in the Pole Vault, with Alex Rhodes taking home the gold in the 400m. Roosevelt boys finished 6th overall, a huge accomplishment for the season. Will Heslam took 1st place finishes in the 1500m, breaking the state meet record, and in the 800m. Heslam is committed to running at the University of Oregon next year. Nywan Campbell took 3rd in the discuss and 4th in shot put. On the girls' side, Ellie Heslam took 3rd in the 400m, with Havana Alonso taking 2nd in the Javelin. Franklin's Ethan Aman took 5th in state in the Shot Put, setting a new PR of 50.03. This was the 1st "over 50 ft throw" for Franklin in 14 years. Junior Maleigha Canaday-Elliot from McDaniel won the state championship in the triple jump, with a score of 40'6.
Several PIL athletes placed in the top 10 in numerous events. For a complete list of the results, click HERE.
The PIL was well represented at the OSAA Golf Championships on May 15-16, with Helen Brodahl of Wells taking home the OSAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! The senior is headed to Stonehill College to continue her golf career.
Freshman Kate Ly of Cleveland tied for 2nd with Jesuit's Anna Poulin. Ly's older sister, Kyra Ly, took home the OSAA State Championship last year as a senior, with Brodahl taking home the 2nd place trophy. Wells was crowned the PIL District Champion, and finished 7th overall in the OSAA State Championships. Marnie Marrs and Emma Marrs from Grant were individual state qualifiers who competed as well.
Grant was crowned the district champion for the boys, while Lincoln's team qualified from the regional tournament. Lincoln finished 8th overall at the state championships. Also from the regional tournament, Wells' Lucas Devlin and Otto LaPrete were represented at the state championships, as well as Cleveland's Sam Faherty.
May 10, 2023 by Reid Tingley
The Democrats' season started with a question from a campus security associate at Jefferson, Andrew Bourne. He recalls talking with a few girls he would see regularly in the hallways. “I just happened to ask one day, you guys don't play sports?”
The girls responded that they play softball, but the school didn’t have a softball coach. A typical check-in turned into a conversation about what the students do outside school to keep themselves busy and accountable.
As the spring season approached, Bourne thought to ask if they had enough girls to field a team. When they said yes, he made an offer “I'll become your coach if that's all you need to get a softball team going. Let's all meet on Friday.”
“I went down there to the meeting thinking we'll have three or four girls and ended up having 24.”
By the time they were ready to practice, Bourne had a roster of 19 girls comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores. “Some girls didn't know how to put on the mitts, they were on the wrong hands, but they wanted to play. Everybody had a good attitude.”
“It's just about having fun and getting them to be more consistent, not just in sports, but also in school. For those girls, that was one thing to hold them accountable because they didn't have softball here, they didn't participate in anything, but to bring it back for them was a good thing,” Bourne said.
With such a young roster, the Democrats are playing their first season back at the JV level, and so far they’ve managed to hold their own. In their first game, the team had three double plays and a home run and since then they’ve managed a 4-1 start to the season.
“The comradery and the way that they’re learning the sport and developing is the biggest thing. The girls are having a blast being around each other.”
May 9th, 2023 by Reid Tingley
The PIL Tennis season culminated last week with the district's tournaments.
The championship matches began on Friday with the boys' singles final. After capturing the boys' team state title last season, led by defending 6A state singles champion Will Semler, it wasn’t surprising to see the Cardinals represented in the final.
In this match, Will faced a familiar opponent in his brother, freshman Tiger Semler.
“I think they were naturally looking forward to playing each other in the final. They were trash-talking at dinner, good brotherly banter,” said Lincoln boys coach Stuart Allen. “They obviously play each other all the time, but for them to have a venue of people watching and to be able to play each other in front of other fans and teammates was really exciting.”
In the end, Will would best his younger brother Tiger in a 6-3, 6-2 victory to capture another PIL title. “Will is an amazing kid. I’m not enamored with his tennis abilities, I’m enamored with him as a human being. He is dedicated to the sport. He is super focused, and he just happens to be really good at tennis. He has an extra gear, and he really stepped it up against his brother.”
The Semler brothers were joined by Grant’s Levi Lux and Josiah Mones as the PIL’s state qualifiers.
Next up on the day, was a highly competitive boys doubles final featuring Grant’s Simon Potter and Burke Reilly against Lincoln’s Cooper Lahti and Frederic Kemple.
Grant jumped out to an early lead, capturing the first set 6-2. In the second set, Lincoln fought to stay even but a number of key returns off of powerful shots at the net ultimately helped Grant stifle the comeback and win the PIL doubles title.
“Burke and Simon have great chemistry on the court and their personalities and playing styles complement each other well. It’s clear they’ve loved competing together this year,” Grant Boys Coach John Carolan said. “They’ve gone up against the top 3 or 4 teams in the state and they’ve hung tough so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make some noise at state.”
Both teams will be joined at the state competitions from May 18-20 by third-place finishers Logan Horvat and Ben llados from Wells, in addition to Sebastian Morse and Roland Alexander from Lincoln.
The girls' doubles final featured a championship match between Grant and Lincoln as well. This time, the Cardinals’ senior duo of Anabella Wilkinson and Reece Emmert would best Grant’s Quinn Koppleman and Maddy Naugler in a two-set 6-4, 6-2 victory.
“I was really proud of how Anabella and Reece came together as a somewhat new doubles team this year. I feel like they grew as a team, actively learning how to command a court, rather than just waiting for things to happen. They clearly deserved the title, and hope to make the PIL proud eyeing for the state championship,” Lincoln coach Joyce Feliciano added.
In the girls' third-place doubles match Ida B. Wells’ seniors Virginia Zanello and Kate Rodgerstennis won to notch an important placement for their program. They will move onto state along with Genevieve MacNair and Maia Gregor from Grant.
The placement helps mark a season in which the Wells program took a clear step towards challenging traditional PIL tennis powers Lincoln and Grant. Overall, the Wells girls' team comprised half of the doubles quarterfinals field with their top four teams making the final eight. On the boys' side, 12 seniors helped lead Wells to a 12-3 record and third place in the PIL.
Wells girls coach Barry Daigle attributed the progress to their work with low-compression balls on the school’s Pickleball courts. “Most of our athletes are new to tennis each year. Their practice with smaller courts and low-compression balls has done much for making the team a contender in districts when, just six years ago, Wells wasn’t able to win any doubles matches against teams like Grant and Lincoln.”
Wells’ success carried over to the singles side as well, where defending PIL champion Claudia Barberi earned another title for the Guardians, beating Grant’s Marina Seidl in a commanding two-set victory. Lincoln’s Elle Newton and Grant’s Juliet Hanson will also represent the PIL at state.
“Claudia played steady high-level tennis throughout the season. In the tournament, she created opportunities to pass her opponents who’d been coaxed to the net and drove forehands deep into the corners when her opponent wasn’t ready.”
“All season she lead her team as a captain with humor, focus, kindness, and an even disposition that was present on and off the court.” Coach Daigle shared.
May 1, 2023 By Reid Tingley
As we enter May, McDaniel is as hot as any softball team in the state. After a 2-10 record in the PIL last season that saw McDaniel finished 6th in the league, the Mountain Lions have taken the PIL by storm in 2023.
The differences from a year ago start with senior pitcher and starting first baseman, Tyler Brill, who is back after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Her return has made a huge difference for the team.
Another senior, Gloria Can Vazquez is a key utility player as well as an impactful presence in the batting lineup.
Fellow seniors, Maddie McGregor and Ruby Taylor are the “mama hens” of the group according to Coach Briley. “They always check in on everyone and help maintain positive moral.”
The Mountain Lions have also been energized by a promising group of freshmen. Catcher and third baseman Kaylie Schmitz has been a standout specifically, batting over .600 on the year.
“With the returners and new athletes, it took a little to get everyone to mesh. But now they are one big family. They enjoy seeing each other succeed and when it comes together as a whole I think they are realizing what potential they can have.” Coach Briley said.
Junior catcher and shortstop Mercedez Berduo-Flores, is another key piece of McDaniel’s turnaround. She came up big earlier this season in a close contest against Wells on April 21.
In the final inning, McDaniel trailed Wells by 2 runs when Berduo-Flores stepped up to bat. With bases loaded and two outs, Berduo-Flores hit a clutch triple to bring in the game-winning runs.
“Mercedez is our top leader. She brings energy, responsibility, and works hard every day,” Coach Briley shared. “She is the type of athlete who would run through walls for her teammates and coaches.”
At the time McDaniel was just 3-6 after a challenging non-league schedule to open the year. But the comeback win over Wells served as a catalyst for McDaniel to win 8 of their last 9 games to close out April and jump to the top of the PIL softball standings.
“If they play with confidence and keep up the energy I think it will be a great season. It already has been and we are excited to see how it plays out.”
May 1, 2023 By Reid Tingley
Benson High School recently became the PIL’s newest OSAA S.T.A.R. (Safety, Tolerance, Acceptance, and Respect) school.
The OSAA states the initiative is aimed at providing “a model for racial equity awareness, action, and resources on how to prepare for, educate, and interrupt discriminatory behaviors occurring during high school sporting events.”
Benson athletic director Mat Clark shared his observations on the characteristics of this school and community that made Benson worthy to apply for the honor. “When I go to sporting events and I just watch who we are. I think our teams are sportsmen-like. We don't really have any issues. I watch our fans, and I think our fans overall, they're really appropriate as well. I look at our coaches. I think our coaches do a lot of things to try and reinforce that message too.”
Per the OSAA, “The S.T.A.R. initiative is focused on helping schools create a safe, welcoming, and validating environment by specifically disrupting racism and combating discrimination so every student can thrive.”
Clark felt the initiative was a “natural fit” within the district because of the efforts being made currently by the nine PIL high schools.
“For me, it's about a marker of a culture and recognition of a culture as well. I think a lot of times it's easy just to do things and check boxes and forget about some pats on the back,” Clark said. “I want our community to realize, well, they are really doing most of the things that allow me to apply for this when it comes right down to it.”
April 26th, 2023 by Reid Tingley
Districts were held on Tuesday at Heron Lakes, bringing an end to the PIL golf season.
On the girls' side, Ida B. Wells finished as district champion and qualified for state. They were led by medalist Helen Brodahl.
The other girls' golf regional qualifying teams are Grant and Cleveland. Each featured an individual state qualifier in Kate Ly for Cleveland and Marnie Marrs for Grant.
Franklin’s Edie Stanley and Selma Biberic qualified for regionals as individuals as well.
Grant was crowned district champion for the boys and will be the team representing the PIL at state. The generals’ Rowan Eddie finished as a medalist.
Lincoln’s Kyle Moon and Ethan Chang are the PIL’s individual state qualifiers. Additionally, the Cardinals are amongst the PIL’s regional qualifying teams, joined by Cleveland and Wells.
Franklin’s Riley Nguyen and Lucas Pardee along with Benson’s Ian Stocco will also be featured at the boys' regionals as individual qualifiers.
Congratulations to all PIL golf programs, coaches, and student-athletes on a successful season. Best of luck at the upcoming regional and state competitions!
At the varsity relays held at Jefferson High School on April 12th, the Jefferson distance boys ran a school record in the 4x800 with a time of 9:00.23, a 20-second improvement on the previous time set in 2008. The girls 4x100 relay also ran a season-best of 50.23, maintaining their spot at the top of the PIL and 9th-ranked in all of Oregon. In the field events, freshman Zharmoni Gonzales had an almost 5-foot PR in Discus.
McDaniel Track & Field also had massive success at the varsity relays on April 12th, breaking four school records. The 4000M girls relay team (Berlin Herrera, Madison Schaefer, Avery Macdicken, and Lucille Gragg) beat the previous school record of 14:35.95 set in 2016 with a time of 14:08.04. The 4x800 relay team (Siena Mrazik, Thisbe Delamarter, Miriam Elfert, and Avery Macdicken) beat the school record set in 2007 by 14.99 seconds, with a time of 11:19.48. The 800M relay team of Luke McVay, Artemis Hebbe, Artem Hoffman, and Lucas Johnson beat the previous 2018 school record by 2.67 seconds, with a time of 1:42.79. Finally, the boys 4000M relay team beat last year's school record by 7.6 seconds, ran by Elliott Black, Raphael Blandini, Finnegan Quinn, and Joshua Hepner.
April 12, 2023
Over the weekend Roosevelt sent three student-athletes to the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia, California where they had the opportunity to watch some of the best track and field athletes in the country.
Roosevelt Senior Will Heslam would go on to win the elite 1 Mile Invitational. According to his coaches, "it was the smartest, most strategic race he has ever run.” A video shows the announcer calling the win for another runner as Heslam sprints to the finish line. This was a huge win for Heslam and the entire Roosevelt Track & Field team.
April 12, 2023, by Reid Tingley
Oregon Basketball Coaches Association have announced their 2023 all-state teams for boys basketball.
On the first team, Lincoln’s Moroni Seely-Roberts was featured. The second team included his twin brother Malachi Seely-Roberts along with Cleveland’s Jackson Cooper. Additionally, SC Tresvant from Cleveland and Kavon Bradford from Benson were included as honorable mentions.
April 3, 2023, by Reid Tingley
Head wrestling coach, Jeff Zerba, has taken a unique path toward building the Cleveland Warriors into a wrestling power in the PIL.
Zerba grew up in Milton-Freewater, a small eastern Oregon town with a strong wrestling community that introduced him to the sport. Zerba went on to McLoughlin high school, where he developed into a standout athlete, capturing two state championships early in his career.
Then, during a competition his junior year, Zerba suffered a dislocated neck and was left paralyzed. Instead of stepping away from it, Zerba leaned on his experience in wrestling and ultimately rededicated himself to the sport.
“In many ways, I think (the injury) kind of propelled me into the sport a little bit more,” Zerba said, “A lot of people think, why would you coach or why would you be involved in wrestling? Because you've been injured in it, you're in a wheelchair because of it.”
“The fact of the matter was that the skills that I learned during wrestling, the hard work ethic, the perseverance, setting goals… Just how brutally hard and brutally tough wrestling is, kind of put me in a position where I kind of took on my disability in the same way. And I think being a wrestler really carried me through some tough times and some tough challenges.”
Zerba started at Cleveland in 1991, and a few years later was hired full-time as a health teacher and head wrestling coach. Since then, coach Zerba has built Cleveland into the most successful wrestling program in the PIL, capturing 12 straight district titles for the Warriors and developing multiple individual state champions.
Zerba’s philosophy on wrestling and emphasis on improving through challenge and adversity has been foundational in the success of the Cleveland program.
“I truly believe that wrestling is a unique sport. Two people enter and one person leaves. And I think that just teaches you a lot and losses are some of the things that you learn the most from,” Zerba shared. “It's learning not only how to wrestle, but learning how to push yourself, how to work hard, and how to believe in yourself.”
As for what’s next, coach Zerba is looking forward to vacationing and spending more time with his wife, Linda, who he also thanked. “She's been an integral part of keeping me going, keeping my head straight, and keeping me in line. I think she's pretty excited that I'm going to be done too because I have some more time to hang out and be with her during those winter months.”
“I hope to be involved in wrestling one way or another, and I always will be,” he added.
Coach Zerba ended by thanking those that have helped and supported the Cleveland program. “I've been fortunate over the years to be able to work with a lot of great people and assistant coaches,” Zerba added. “This community has been really open, and really has made me feel comfortable. I've been really happy to start and finish my career here at Cleveland High School.”
Thank you Coach Zerba for the impact you have made on student-athletes! You will be missed.
Congratulations to the following PIL student-athletes on committing to playing sports after high school! Additional names will be added after spring sports have concluded.
Malaya LeSueur, Benson Girls Basketball - Fresno State University
Eleionna Brown, Benson Girls Basketball - Hofstra University
Isa Hensley, Benson Girls Basketball - Colorado School of Mines
Sean Christopher, Cleveland Boys Basketball - Oregon Tech
Jackson Cooper, Cleveland Boys Basketball - Oregon Tech
Owen Combs, Franklin Baseball - Mt. Hood Community College
Dylan Iwanaga, Lincoln Football - Linfield University
Carson Wacker, Lincoln Football - Lewis & Clark College
Alexander Rhodes, Lincoln Boys Soccer - University of Puget Sound
Zack Andoh, Lincoln Boys Soccer - University of California Berkeley
Kennedy Fletcher, Lincoln Girls Soccer - University of Arizona
Noel Hendrickson, Lincoln Girls Soccer - Clark University
Leeza Burke, Lincoln Girls Soccer - UC Santa Cruz
Henry Alexander, Lincoln Boys Cross Country - Williams College
Eva Novy-Hildesley, Lincoln Girls Cross Country - University of California Berkeley
Graham Eikenberry, Lincoln Boys Basketball - St. Andrews School (Rhode Island)
Henry Fovinci, Lincoln Baseball - Whitworth University
Colton Schmokel, Lincoln Baseball - Centrailia Community College
April 7, 2023, by Reid Tingley
Cleveland, Grant, Lincoln, and Roosevelt made the trip to Arizona over spring break for the annual Coach Bob Invitational to face off with other teams across the West.
This was a special trip for Roosevelt in particular, as it marked their first visit to CBI in program history. The Roughriders held their own going 2-2 on the weekend.
Grant had the most successful trip on the field, going undefeated on the weekend. The Generals capped off the CBI with an 11-10 win over Pine Creek (CO) to take home the championship.
March 12, 2023, by Reid Tingley
Lincoln fell, 69-89 against #1-ranked West Linn in the semifinals on Friday night.
On Saturday, the Cardinals faced off against Barlow for third place in the Oregon 6A state playoffs.
The game started with a highly competitive first half that finished 44-43 in favor of Lincoln.
In the second half, Lincoln pulled away thanks to an impressive and efficient team shooting performance, finishing 18 for 32 from the field and 5 of 9 from deep in the second half.
The Cardinals also controlled the glass, out-rebounding Barlow 22-13 in the half, which translated to a 50-31 advantage on the scoreboard.
A trio of Lincoln seniors delivered spectacular individual performances to cap off their high school careers with this impressive team achievement.
Moroni Seely-Roberts once again led the Cardinals in scoring with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Malachi Seely-Roberts filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists. While Graham Eikenberry delivered a double-double of his own, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Their third-place finish in state caps off a very impressive second season for head coach Heather Seely-Roberts.
March 10, 2023, by Reid Tingley
#4 Lincoln faced off against #5 Gresham in a quarterfinals matchup at the Chiles Center on Thursday.
The Cardinals got out to a fast start with Moroni Seely-Roberts scoring the game's first 6 points. A few minutes later Malachi Seely-Roberts knocked down a pair of threes on back-to-back possessions to stretch the Lincoln lead to 19-10 at the end of the first.
The margin grew to 12 early in the second, before Gresham responded with a run of their own. Four three pointers in the quarter helped the Gophers mount a 16-7 run that cut the score to 33-30 heading into halftime.
After the break, Graham Eikenberry elevated his play, serving as a catalyst for Lincoln to rebuild their lead. Eikenberry gained an edge in the battle down low, grabbing 5 boards and adding 6 points in the quarter including a two-handed slam that gave Lincoln a 43-36 lead with 1:17 left in the third.
In the fourth, both teams continued to trade baskets in a fight to reach the semifinals. With 2:20 left to play, Lincoln gained a 58-48 advantage.
But Gresham refused to go away easily. The Gophers nailed an improbable three straight three-point attempts to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 60-59.
With 1.9 seconds remaining, Gresham got the ball back with a chance to win. Their final shot hit the backboard, then the inside of the rim, before bouncing off and ceiling the Lincoln victory.
On the night, Moroni Seely-Roberts scored a game-high 24 points and added 13 rebounds in a double-double performance. Malachi Seely-Roberts added 18 of his own, including 4 three-pointers, while Graham Eikenberry finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds, and a pair of blocks.
After surviving this hard-fought contest vs Gresham, the Cardinals’ next test will be against Oregon’s #1-ranked team, West Linn, on Friday night in the state semifinals.
March 6, 2023, by Reid Tingley
On Friday night the final two PIL girls' basketball teams remaining traveled to face top-6 opponents in the second round of the OSAA State Playoffs.
The PIL regular-season champion and #11-ranked Benson Techsters went on the road to face #6 Barlow Bruins.
Early on, Barlow found a rhythm in front of their home crowd and extended a double-digit lead by the middle of the second quarter.
Down 25-11 with just over 4 minutes remaining in the half, Benson dug deep to bring themselves back. The Techsters ripped off 13 unanswered points to emphatically flip the momentum heading into the locker room.
The tightly contested matchup remained close throughout the second half. Benson managed to pull even early in the third with a layup from junior Mauriana Hashemian-Orr. Minutes later the Techsters took a 34-31 lead after a three from leading-scorer Eboni Clay, who would finish with 19 points.
The two sides continue to battle into the fourth, but a barrage of Barlow threes in the final minutes ultimately sealed the Bruins' victory over Benson, 60-56.
#12 ranked Jefferson also went on the road to face Clackamas. The Demos fought hard but lost in the end to the #5 team in Oregon, 72-42. Three Jefferson players: Charisma Johnson, Chauncey Andersen, and Abrianna Lawrence all finished with double-digit scoring efforts, while Leila Núñez added a pair of steals.
On the boys' side, Cleveland and Lincoln met in an all-PIL second-round matchup with a quarterfinals berth on the line.
One year ago to the day, Cleveland defeated Lincoln in the second round to send the Cardinals home. This year, the two teams split their regular season matchups, with Cleveland winning on Lincoln’s home floor two weeks ago.
Early on, Lincoln appeared focused on re-writing the recent history of this rivalry. In front of their home crowd, the Cardinals gained a 13-9 lead with five different players scoring in the first quarter.
Midway through the second, Lincoln threatened to build an insurmountable gap, pushing their lead to 25-14 with three minutes left in the half.
However, Cleveland closed strong behind seven second-quarter points from senior Jackson Cooper. With seconds remaining, a SC Tresvant layup narrowed the score to 27-21 going into the break.
In the third, Lincoln responded with another run of their own, led by brothers Moroni and Malachi Seely-Roberts who combined for 39 points on the night.
This time, Cleveland would not be able to close this game.
Lincoln senior Graham Eikenberry made his mark on the game as well, stifling the Warriors with four blocks down the stretch. Eikenberry’s defensive ability and energy helped the Cardinals protect a double-digit lead over the final 12 minutes.
Then, with 4:15 remaining, Moroni Seely-Roberts drove the lane and punctuated the result with a highlight dunk. The crowd erupted, turning their nervous optimism into a rapturous celebration.
The game ended 73-50 giving way to a dance number and the celebratory cutting of the net led by the Cardinals’ head coach Heather Seely-Roberts. For Cleveland, this brings an end to a successful season that saw them finish 2nd in the PIL.
The other PIL team featured in the second round was #21 seed Benson. The Techman had a tough test on the road against #5 ranked Gresham.
They delivered an impressive performance, pushing Gresham to the final minutes. However, Benson would fall just short in the end, losing 62-61.
March 2, 2023 by Reid Tingley
PIL girls basketball has two teams advancing in the OSAA state championships. 12th seeded Jefferson defeated Sherwood, 56-45, with Abrianna Lawrence and Chauncy Andersen each scoring 19 to lead the Demos. Lawrence also had 7 assists and 6 rebounds, with Anderson adding in 8 rebounds. Carmela Nunez had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. They take on 5th seed Clackamas on March 3rd at Clackamas (time TBD). 11th seed Benson defeated Liberty, 65 - 43. Mahogany Chandler-Roberts led scorers with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Samarah Massey added 12 points and 6 rebounds. Benson will take on 6th seed Barlow on March 3rd at 7pm.
#19 seed Cleveland fell to #14 seed Sheldon, 57-49. #31 seed Wells lost to South Medford, 74-31.
Benson boys basketball had their first OSAA state playoff win under coach Earl Clark, making this the most wins in one season. The #21 seeded Techman beat #13 seeded Southridge, 58-52, with Kavon Bradford getting his 17th double/double of the season. Bradford scored the go-ahead 3-point play with 2:07 left, giving Tech their 1st lead of the game. Benson had trailed by as much as 10 in the 3rd quarter.
#13 seed Cleveland beat Lake Oswego, 66-52 and #4 seed Lincoln advanced as well, defeating #29 seed David Douglas 76-47 to round out the three boys teams moving on from the PIL. The Warriors and Cardinals will play Saturday at Lincoln for a bid to the quarterfinals.
#30 seeded Roosevelt fell to #3 seed Tualatin, 71-65. #18 seed Grant came up short against #15 seeded Sherwood, 68-60.
Congratulations to our PIL Wrestling programs on a successful season! Here are the PIL finishers from the OSAA State Championships:
February 28th, 2023 by Reid Tingley
The Grant Generals and Benson Techmen met on Saturday in the regular season finale that would also determine the third-place finisher in the PIL Boys Basketball standings.
The festivities started with a ceremony for the Grant seniors. Fans cheered on the graduating players and their families in a celebration of their high school careers ahead of the Generals’ final game on their home floor.
The game began with a scorching hot shooting display from Benson. senior Fernando De La Torre led the way with half of the Techmen's six long-range buckets in the first quarter, helping his side blitz out to a quick 15-7 lead.
Early on the contrasting styles were clear between the two teams. In response to Benson’s volume shooting, the Generals opted to attack the basket, drawing four fouls in the first and tightening the score to 23-15 by the end of the period.
To start the second quarter, Grant’s Christian Green continued his impressive scoring pace with 14 more points. Back-to-back threes from Green drew the Generals to within a point, then an assist tied the game 29 all with just over three minutes to play in the half.
Grant would steal the lead back just before the half, to go into the break up 35-33.
In the third, Benson wing Kavon Bradford erupted for a 9-point quarter of his own, as he fought to keep the Techmen in the game.
Still, the patient offensive approach preached by Grant head coach Dondrale Campbell allowed the Generals to steadily grow the lead to 55-47 heading into the final 8 minutes.
Then, early in the fourth, an impressive drive from Grant senior Josh Peeler followed by a quick steal on the next possession stretched the Grant lead to 62-48. Soon after coach Campbell would call off his seniors to applause from the home crowd.
Green finished his day with a game-high 34 points for Grant, while De La Torre led the way for Benson with 16.
The performance capped off a third-place finish for Grant in the PIL standings.
Both teams' seasons will continue as they face competitive matchups this Wednesday, March 1st in the first round of the state playoffs. Cheer on both schools as Grant travels to play Sherwood and Benson visits Southridge!
February 25th, 2023 By Reid Tingley
Two of the PIL’s top boys' basketball teams met Friday when Lincoln hosted Cleveland in a matchup with significant implications for the regular season title.
The two sides had met a tightly contested matchup on December 16th, finishing in a 69-64 victory for Lincoln. Two months removed from their first meeting, the Warriors and Cardinals were set for a rematch as the top two teams in PIL standings.
Lincoln entered the game as the OSAA’s 4th-ranked team in the state thanks to an undefeated record in league play.
For Cleveland, a successful season had seen the Warriors reach a 10-3 record in the PIL and secure a top 15 ranking in Oregon. This was an opportunity for the Warriors to earn a statement victory to build momentum leading into the state tournament.
Things tipped off to a fast-paced opening. Both teams traded possessions and baskets leading to an early 12-7 lead for Cleveland four minutes in. After the first quarter, the Warriors held a 19-11 lead.
Early in the second, an and-one from senior guard Jamel Pichon stretched the Cleveland lead to double digits making it 24-14.
But Lincoln closed the half strong on an Isaac Margolis three, a quick turnover, and a fast break layup to cut the score to 33-28 and put themselves back within striking distance at the break.
After a low-scoring, defensive-minded third quarter, the Cardinals managed to narrow the deficit to 41-38. 8:00 minutes remained with a chance to secure the PIL regular season title in front of their home crowd.
In the fourth, Lincoln continued their comeback bid spearheaded by senior Moroni Seely-Roberts who finished with a game-high 27 points. His brother Malachi Seely-Roberts piled on another 10 after halftime, including two fourth-quarter threes that cut the Cleveland lead to one possession down the stretch.
But ultimately, Cleveland’s poise on offense and an efficient 13 for 16 from the free-throw line in the fourth sealed the game down the stretch. The Warriors would hold on to win 62-58, thanks to a true team effort in which four players contributed double-digit scoring efforts.
Now with the state playoffs on deck, the Cardinals and Warriors have landed in the same quarter of the 6A playoff bracket and could be set for a second-round rematch on Saturday, March 4th if they can get past first-round games against David Douglas and Lake Oswego respectively.
February 13th, 2023 by Reid Tingley
Our PIL Game of the Week featured the league’s top two girls basketball teams. The matchup took place Tuesday night when OSAA’s 12th-ranked Jefferson Democrats welcomed the 9th-ranked Benson Techsters.
The two teams entered the contest unbeaten against the rest of the PIL. In their lone matchup earlier this season, Benson outlasted Jefferson 60-48 at the PIL showcase.
The rematch started with a statement run from the Techsters, blitzing out to a 19-3 lead in the game’s first five minutes. As Jefferson settled into their zone defense, they were able to limit Benson’s attack and find a rhythm of their own offensively.
The Demos managed to cut the deficit to single digits midway through the second quarter. Then a Benson response, punctuated by a long-range three at the halftime buzzer, gave the Techsters a 40-27 lead as both teams entered the locker room.
Jefferson continued to hang around as the second half opened. Then back-to-back threes from Demos’ lead scorer Abrianna Lawrence cut the lead to 45-40 with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter. The home crowd erupted as the run forced a Benson timeout to halt the momentum.
Both sides traded runs as the tension built and the score tightened to 60-59 with just over a minute left to play. Possession went back and forth until a foul sent Jefferson’s Leila Nunez to the free throw line, who sunk both to claim the Demos' first lead of the night.
Just 7.7 seconds remained for Benson to preserve their 40-game PIL win streak. The ball inbounded to junior guard Olivia Hinck who cut through the defense and pushed her way to the hoop for a game-winning layup on her first points of the game.
Jefferson would not get a chance to respond before the final buzzer sounded, ending this epic game 62-61 in favor of Benson. Despite the heartbreaking finish, this was an impressive performance from Jefferson against the class of the PIL, and in front of an electric home crowd.
For Benson, they were pushed to the end in the first single margin of their PIL schedule. The Techsters were led on the scoresheet by junior forward Mahogany Chandler-Roberts who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The last-second victory brings head coach Eric Knox’s group one step closer to another PIL regular season title.
We can only hope to see a third matchup between Benson and Jefferson in the OSAA state playoffs, which will begin on February 28th.