6A State Tournament Preview

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Posted On: 03/7/18 7:41 PM

It’s every 6A team’s dream to be one of the final eight teams, still alive and playing at the Chiles Center. On Thursday, those teams will duke it out in the quarterfinals. Here’s what to expect:

(Pictured: Jefferson vs. Lincoln played on January 27)

No. 1 Jefferson vs. No. 8 Jesuit, 1:30 p.m.

This will be our first look at a Marcus Tsohonis-less Jefferson team. The PIL Player of the Year was injured in the second round, making the Democrats seemingly vulnerable. Jefferson is so dang talented that they’ll be able to replace his minutes with other talented players. Plus, it only means more shots for guys like D-I bigs Kamaka Hepa and Khalil Chatman. The biggest problem may be that they’ve played an entire season with Tsohonis at the point and it’s not easy to make such a big change this late in the season. Jesuit will be led by seniors Matt Lang, Joe Wall, and Sam Handley. Both Lang and Wall can really shoot it from deep and Handley is an athletic 6-foot-6 post who just may be up for the task of containing Hepa.

Last year, the Crusaders’ season ended at the hands of Jesuit. That’s likely to happen again. Although Jesuit is led by seniors and although Tsohonis is out, Jefferson is just too talented.

No. 12 Tualatin vs. No. 20 Barlow, 3:15 p.m.

Both teams upset Greater Valley Conference powers to reach the Chiles Center for the first time since 2008. Tualatin features one of the premiere scorers in the state in senior guard Alexis Angeles, who can score seemingly at will. However, Barlow, one of four teams who earned a share of the Mt. Hood Conference title, has been defending well in the playoffs. They’ve also been shooting the ball extremely well, especially backup junior guard, Daello Portin-Chapman.

Look for Barlow coach Tom Johnson to key in on Angeles and for the Bruins to balance their scoring. Expect Barlow to win a tight one.

No. 3 Southridge vs. No. 11 Lincoln, 6:30 p.m.

An intriguing matchup, to say the least. Southridge has lost just one game to an in-state opponent (at Jesuit) and features one of the top front courts in the state, especially 6-foot-9 Filip Fullerton, a Portland State commit. But it’s not just Fullerton, the Skyhawks are balanced and shoot well from deep. Some teams have trouble dealing with Southridge’s size, but Lincoln boasts a couple of 6-foot-6 posts in Addison Phillips and Aidan Anastas, who rebound well. Plus, the Cardinals might have the best high school player on the floor in Bryce Sloan, who tallied 29 points, 13 assists, 9 rebounds and 8 steals in Lincoln’s double-overtime win over No. 6 Lake Oswego.

Lincoln (17-9) has played a more challenging schedule than Southridge (23-3), including a couple of close losses to Jefferson. The Skyhawks mostly walked through the Metro League competition outside of Jesuit, so the Cardinals may be more battle-tested. This one should be a close contest, but look for Sloan to do a lot for Lincoln and lead them to victory.

No. 2 Grant vs. No. 10 West Salem, 8:15 p.m

West Salem coach Travis Myers said his team may have had the most difficult path to the Chiles Center and he might be right as they played a dangerous Clackamas team in the first round and then uber-talented West Linn. Now they have Grant, the consensus No. 2 team all year. The Generals have athletes at every position and junior point guard Aaron Deloney is having an especially impressive year. Five times this year, Grant has scored over 100 points. It will be tough for the Titans to match-up with their starting five. West Salem will, as always, rely on 6A’s leading scorer Kyle Greeley, who scored 28 points on 18-of-20 free throw shooting in the second round. Players like 6-foot-7 senior guard Tyke Thompson will help him out, but if the Titans are to pull of the upset, he’ll need to score a bunch.

This is a rematch of last year’s 4th/6th place game in which West Salem won in double-overtime. Expect a different result this time. Grant’s talent should prove to be too much for the Titans to handle and the Generals, one of the 6A favorites along with Jefferson, should advance.

(For more prep hoops coverage, follow @HayesGardner on Twitter.)