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Posted On: 02/14/18 7:09 PM
Four teams entered Tuesday tied for first place in the Mt. Hood Conference, with two of them being Central Catholic and Clackamas. There is no love lost between the two schools, who are tops in the league in most sports. Their first meeting, in January, nearly came to blows and technicals were assessed. One intentional foul was called Tuesday, but it was a largely tame contest. Clackamas came out on top 66-62, to stay tied for first in the conference. Here’s what stood out:
(Pictured: SataieVior Ayilola swatted Cole Turner. Photo by Hayes Gardner.)
Cole Turner didn’t want to lose
Turner, a 6-foot-6 post and Nevada football commit, twice beat Central Catholic in football and improved his season record in both sports to 4-0 with Tuesday’s home win. The Cavaliers’ leader, Turner finished with 19 points, plus four steals and one massive fourth quarter block. He even knocked down a three-pointer. He was a focal point of Central Catholic’s defense and they collapsed on him when he caught the ball in the post, but he muscled his way to the basket, getting fouled or finishing on several occasions.
Meet Central Catholic’s new post
Guarding Turner for much of the game was SataieVior Ayilola, who is new to Central Catholic after playing his first two seasons at Grant. The 6-foot-6 burly lefty was terrific as a rim-protector and scorer. Facing the athletic Turner, Ayilola finished with 15 points. Most of his buckets came after he leaped to the rim, braced for contact, and then hit a layup on the way down. Uncoventional, Ayilola is strong and athletic enough to get away with it. He also blocked four shots. Central Catholic led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but when Ayilola went to the bench in that frame with two fouls, Clackamas staged a 17-4 run to get back in the game. Athletically a junior, Ayilola is academically a sophomore. He will only have one more year of high school eligibility.
The Cavalier’s second-leading scorer was senior Mitch Modjeski, who finished with 15 points. He missed a few recent games with academic issues, but came back off the bench to play a big role for the Cavs. His two-pointer with under two minutes left gave Clackamas a 64-60 lead and the Rams were never able to bring it again to a one-possession game.
Clackamas has seniors
All 66 of the Cavaliers points came from seniors. Guard Ryan McDonald, shooter Bubba Jaha, ball-handler Russell Gray, and wing Ryan Ahlstrom all started and played key roles along side Turner and Modjeski. Not only are the Cavaliers old, they also have experience winning. Most of their contributers have won state titles. Modjesk—the 6A offensive player of the year in football—and Turner won state on the gridiron in the fall and the Cavs baseball team won state in the spring.
The Central Catholic graybeard
The Rams are young and talented, with one big exception: senior Isaac Amaral-Artharee, who is old and talented. The guard has been the team’s leader all year and his efforts as a scorer and vocal leader nearly willed the Rams to victory. In the first quarter, he hit a three-pointer and then on the following possession, caught the ball in the corner, looked down at the space between his defender and him, and knocked down another. He finished with 25 points, including 8 of 10 shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
(For more prep hoops coverage, follow @HayesGardner on Twitter.)