Posted On: 02/24/18 6:00 PM
In 6A, 32 teams make the playoffs, meaning there are 16 first round games. Truth be told, that’s a lot of games and most of them go as planned. But, after seeing the bracket, here are three games in which I believe the road team will win:
No. 17 Beaverton at No. 16 Grants Pass
Okay, okay, it’s No. 17 at No. 16. It’s not a massive seeding disparity. But, if you’ve ever driven from Beaverton to Grants Pass, or vice versa, the seeding can feel monumental. It’s a 242 mile trek between the schools, so the Beavers won’t quite be in the 503 when the play in the Cave*. Even still, I like the Beavers odds. Beaverton (14-10) has played a more difficult schedule than Grants Pass (15-9) and will have the best player on the court in Western Oregon commit Jake Estep.
*I’m not sure if Grants Pass calls their home court the Cave, but I think now would be a good time to start.
No. 18 Tigard at No. 15 McMinnville
I promise I’m not just choosing the easiest upset picks, but I do think Tigard will win this matchup. McMinnville ended their season in peculiar manner: they beat GVC-champ Sprague on the road, then lost to McNary and South Salem. They’re led by 6-foot-6 forward Aaron Baune, who averages 23 points and 10 rebounds. Still, Tigard has shown improvement over the season and has faced a tough schedule. They’re led by one of the best 2019 high school players in the state in Stevie Schlabach, plus senior post Austin Dufort. If they can take care of the ball, the Tigers will win, likely setting up a rematch against Grant.
No. 20 Barlow at No. 13 South Salem
South Salem is one of my “Don’t Sleep” teams because they have such a dangerous backcourt. Unfortunately for them, Barlow is a complete team full of shooters. Jesse White is a handful and the two best players on the court will be him and Saxon junior Jaden Nielsen-Skinner. Still, South Salem is small. Barlow’s 6-foot-3 Dominic Jacoby may be able to get some interior buckets over the Saxons. The Bruins have a terrific chance to give the Mt. Hood some respect with a road victory. Regardless, neither team will have much of a chance against their likely second round opponent: Sprague and Teagan Quitoriano, who will be unstoppable against either team.
Others with a decent chance:
No. 21 Sheldon at No. 12 Tualatin
No. 23 Clackamas at No. 10 West Salem
No. 28 Sherwood at No. 5 McNary