Posted On: 02/23/18 6:21 PM
#16 Colton @ #1 Delasalle
The Vikings ended the year ranked 28th and qualified for the 3rd spot in league with a couple of league playoff victories. The reward for sneaking into the state playoffs? A match up at top ranked Delasalle. The Knights are led by 6’4 Emmanuel Reilly, the Lewis & Clark League POY and Kadeem Nelson, a 6’3 sharp shooting junior.
Prep Hoops Prediction: This is a big mismatch, look for Delsalle’s pressure and athleticism to overwhelm Colton as the Knights cruise to Coos Bay.
#9 Catlin Gabel @ #8 Irrigon
One of the more intriguing match ups of the first round. Catlin is young but super talented, as they ran through the Lewis & Clark league with two losses to Delasalle as their only blemishes. They take their 22 wins east to play Irrigon a scrappy and hard working squad that finds a way to win with intensity and great defense. First team all league forward Sasha Agapiev leads the way for Catlin, while co Eastern Oregon League POY Johnny Phillips is the guy to stop for Irrigon.
Prep Hoops Prediction: This game is a toss up that we could see going either way. We think that Irrigon’s home court & hustle plays will make the difference in a game that should come down to the final minute.
#12 Umatilla @ #5 Horizon Christian
The Vikings bring their 20-6 record to the Portland area to battle perennial 3A power Horizon. The Hawks are lead by 6’7 senior post Anthony Sprauer and junior guard Kyle Free. Horizon had a great week last week defeating both Dayton and Santiam Christian to lock up a home playoff game.
Prep Hoops Prediction: Umatilla traveled to the west side of the state a couple of times in the preseason and competed well against playoff caliber teams. Horizon Christian more than held their own in a league that features 4 of the final sixteen teams in the state. We expect this game to be closer than the rankings would suggest but look for Horizon to pull away late to advance on to the final 8.
#13 Amity @ #4 Blanchet
A rematch of a tightly contested MLK Day game which Blanchet won 74-65. The Cavaliers are led by do everything junior point guard RJ Veliz, one of the leading candidates for state player of the year. Blanchet has made a habit of winning close games throughout the year. Amity might be the most physically gifted team in class 3A, but has struggled to find consistency night in and night out. The Warriors are lead by all league performer Sam White and Zac Blake, a transfer from Sheridan.
Prep Hoops Prediction: While we could see this game going either way, we will lean towards Blanchet’s consistency and the settling influence of Veliz to win a close game.
#14 Salem Academy @ #3 Santiam Christian
The Crusaders enter the playoffs with a 14-12 record, looking for revenge from a 72-61 defeat at the hands of Santiam Christian. Leading the way for the young Academy squad are all league performers Hayden Wakefield a junior wing and Cole Hardy a sophomore forward. The Eagles are lead by the talented brother duo of Zach Baugher a 6’6 junior wing and younger brother Josh Baugher, a 6’5 forward.
Prep Hoops Prediction: Salem Academy is young and talented and is lacking the types of quality wins that make you think they can compete with the size, depth, and experience of Santiam Christian. The Eagles should roll to an easy victory as they gear up for a trip to Coos Bay.
#11 Coquille @ #6 Cascade Christian
Coquille may be the biggest victim of the class 3A league playoff format, as they were upset by Creswell in a neutral court league playoff game, losing home court advantage for the round of 16 despite their gaudy 23-3 record. The talented Red Devils feature a talented senior class lead by guard Seth Waddington, the league player of the year. Cascade Christian, whose physical style shouldn’t surprise based on their football state title is lead by seniors Joel Cochran and Tyler McLemore.
Prep Hoops Prediction: Based on their season performance both of these teams deserve to be in Coos Bay next week. However, only one of them will survive this weekend and our guess is that the home court and playoff experience will prevail and the fans from Medford will be making the trip to the south coast.
#10 Oregon Episcopal @ #7 Creswell
The Aardvarks play the most deliberate style of any of the remaining 16 teams and are content to play games in the 40s. Leading the way are a pair of sharp shooting senior guards in Ian Holzman and Colby Bullard. Creswell secured a home playoff game with a league playoff upset over Coquille. The Bulldogs are attempting to make their 2nd trip to the final eight in three years.
Prep Hoops Prediction: The poise, discipline, and shooting ability of OES should prevail and allow them to escape with a narrow road victory.
#15 St. Mary’s @ #2 Dayton
St. Mary’s earned a trip to state by being the #2 team out of the Southern Cascade League. The Crusaders are 13-12 on the season but just 0-7 against teams still alive in the playoffs. They travel north to take on defending state champion Dayton. The Pirates sport an impressive 23-3 record with no losses outside of the top 5. League player of the year Tanner Lewis leads the way for Dayton and is complimented by Braden Nowlin, an undersized but effective junior point guard.
Prep Hoops Prediction: This one could get ugly, Dayton has shown the ability to score in big numbers and St. Mary’s simply doesn’t have the athletes to match up. The Pirates roll to a big win as the gear up for a repeat bid.