Posted On: 03/9/18 5:02 PM

The 6A state tourney kicked off Thursday at the Chiles Center on the campus of the University of Portland.  The action was fantastic as many of the state’s top players were at their best in games that were all relatively competitive, with two coming down to the final possession of the game.

The Results:

#1 Jefferson 63         #8  Jesuit  48

#20 Barlow  69         #12 Tualatin  66

#11 Lincoln   39         #3  Southridge  36

#2  Grant   72             #10 West Salem  57

D1 Star Power:

By our count there are 6 players participating this week that have already garnered division 1 scholarship offers.  All six showed why yesterday putting their best foot forward on the state’s biggest stage.  A 7th D1 scholarship holder, Jefferson’s Marcus Tshonis suffered a finger injury in the Round of 16 that will require surgery and cause him to miss the state tournament.

Kamaka Hepa, 6’9 senior from Jefferson who committed to Shaka Smart & Texas, was his usual quietly dominant self on the way to 17 points & 12 rebounds, as well as altering numerous Jesuit shots in the paint.

Khalil Chatman, 6’9 senior from Jefferson with offers to Detroit among others, filled the scoring void left by Tshonis’ injury by going 11/17 from the floor and 6/7 from the line on the way to a game high 28 points.

Fillip Fullerton, 6’10 senior post from Southridge who has signed with Portland State, put together an efficient 13 point 9 rebound effort in a game that saw less possessions due to the slow pace of play.

Kyle Greeley, 6’4 senior wing from West Salem, who has also signed with Portland State, was his usual bucket getting self, going 10/17 from the field and 10/10 from the line on his way to a 31 point 6 rebound outing in the Titans loss to Grant.

Kelton Samore, 6’8 senior forward from Grant, who holds multiple offers and is considering his options, was dominant against an undersized West Salem team on his way to 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Aaron Deloney, a 6’0 junior guard, who recently picked up an offer from Portland State, showed off his electric offensive talents on his way to scoring 23 points.

Low Seeded Shootout:

Tualatin (#12) and Barlow (#20) are two of the higher seeds to advance to the round of 8 since the OSAA went to their RPI seeding system starting in 2011.  Each team features one of the premier guards in the state, and those two put on a show that didn’t end until the final shot at the horn.  Tualatin senior wing Alexis Angeles, the two time Three Rivers League POY, was almost impossible to stop, going 16/29 from the floor on his way to a tournament high 36 points.  He also kicked in 7 rebounds for good measure.  Barlow sophomore point guard Jesse White has shown marked improvement throughout the season and was on fire, going 6/11 from deep and 10/19 overall on his way to a 27 point 4 assist afternoon.  The dual came to a conclusion when White came off a ball screen and buried a 25 footer with just under 2 seconds remaining to account for the final margin.

Carrying The Load:

Lincoln, the 3rd place finisher in the PIL, has pulled off back to back upsets over Lake Oswego and Southridge behind the play of senior Bryce Sloan, a 6’4 guard.  On Thursday, Sloan accounted for over half of the Cardinals points when he scored 23 of their 39 points.  No other player had more than 9 for Lincoln.  To prove that he’s more than just a scorer, the point guard also corralled 8 boards against a much bigger Southridge squad.

Semifinal Match Ups:

#1 Jefferson vs #20 Barlow – Many local basketball fans took the news of Marcus Tshonis’ injury as a sign that the Democrats quest for a 2nd straight state title was in trouble.  As talented as the 6’5 guard is, Jefferson is still loaded with great athletes and basketball players.  Included in that mix are a pair of big men who have both garnered D1 offers.  Although they have lost their best perimeter scorer, they still have a stable of guards who can pressure and defend and play well in transition.  Barlow has caught fire in a bottle in the last 10 days with victories over South Salem, Sprague, and Tualatin, where they have averaged nearly 78 points a game.  The cog that makes it all go is Jesse White, but the Bruins have gotten timely contributions from several other players during this stretch.  We believe that the run will come to an end tonight, Jefferson simply has too many quality perimeter defenders to throw at White and company.  Look for Jefferson to extend their defense to take away perimeter shots and funnel players to the paint where shot blockers Hepa & Chatman will be waiting.

#11 Lincoln vs #2 Grant – The Generals have defeated Lincoln twice this season in PIL play, both games by relatively comfortable margins.  Grant has to be careful not to look past the Cardinals towards a likely 4th game against Jeffferson, as Sloan and company are also playing at a high level right now, having beaten two quality opponents in the last 6 days.  Although we expect Bryce Sloan to once again prove why he’s one of the most underrated players in the state, Grant has too much guard depth and scoring for Lincoln to contend with.  We expect Lincoln vs Grant Round 3 to be much a much closer game, but look for the Generals to seal the deal late in the game.