Posted On: 03/9/18 1:05 PM

In a day full of defensive dominated match ups, the Cowapa League reaffirmed their status as the premier league in class 4A, sending three teams to the semifinals for the 2nd consecutive year.  We take a look at some of the stand outs from Day 1 in Forest Grove.

The Results:

#1  Banks 46       #8  Sisters  38

#5  Valley Catholic  62    #4 Lagrande  39

#6  Newport  55        #3  Marshfield  48

#2  Seaside  51         #7 Mazama  44


Bigs On The Block:

Big men dominated the day, as several players over 6’7 turned in quality quarterfinal performances.  6’8 senior Ty Horner scored 14 and added 12 boards in a loss to top ranked Banks.  Horner has already committed to play at Biola University, a D2 program in Los Angeles.  6’8 junior Blake Gobel of Banks posted a 15 point 9 rebound opening effort.  Gobel’s teammate, 6’7 Dalton Renne chipped in 14 points & 8 boards to the Braves’ victory.  Renne is the front runner for state player of the year and is pursuing college options.  6’7 Grant Webster, a junior from Marshfield started his state tournament with a 15 point 9 rebound night in the Pirates loss to Newport.

Unsung Heroes:

Two guys who usually serve in more complimentary rolls to higher profile teammates stepped up big and helped lead their teams to semifinal victories.  In Valley Catholic’s big win over Lagrande, 6’3 sophomore forward Daniel Pruitt had a double double performance with 22 points and 10 rebounds.  In Newport’s upset of Marshfield, Justin Plechaty, a 6’2 junior wing scored 21 points on 8/13 shooting in only 19 minutes of play.

Defense Wins Championships:

This is an old saying that has been thrown around in competitive in team sports for years.  This adage held true yesterday, as three of the four winning teams held their opponents below 30% shooting from the field.  Sisters at 29%, Lagrande at 28%, and Mazama also at 28% all struggled mightily to get anything going offensively against Cowapa League opponents.  Only Marshfield got much going from the field, shooting at a 43% clip, but struggled to a 3/15 night from three point range.


Semifinal Breakdowns:

#1 Banks vs #5 Valley Catholic – These Cowapa League rivals have faced off three times this year, with Banks winning a non league match up and each team winning their league contests on their home courts.  Banks is a big, long, phyiscal group that wears teams down with dominant defense and rebounding.  Valley is comfortable playing at a slower pace and employs a 1-3-1 zone defense to take advantage of their length and keep teams off balance.  There is no question in anyone’s mind that Banks is the best team at the 4A level and we expect them to be motivated to win the 1st state title in school history.  They take the next step in that mission tonight by pulling away in the 4th for a victory over a well prepared Valley Catholic squad.

#2 Seaside vs #6 Newport – These two have already faced off twice this season, with each team winning on the others home court in preseason play.  Seaside features the balanced trio of wings Chase Januik, Payton Westerholm, and Ryan Hague.  Januik and Westerholm are juniors who started as sophomores on last year’s state title team.  Hague is a talented sophomore who can score in bunches.  Westerholm and others on the Seaside team have been battling the flu this week and will need to be at full strength if their pressure man defense is to be at it’s most effective.  Newport is driven offensively by the play of 6’2 senior guard Kai Blaser, the Old West Conference player of the year.  The talented senior can score in a variety of ways & requires constant attention from opponents.  Seaside has the best collection of guards in the tournament and we think that combined with the programs experience in these situations will make the difference in a game that should go down to the final minutes.