Posted On: 12/27/18 12:00 PM
The 23rd annual Les Schwab Invitational kicked off on Wednesday and fans were treated to eight full games full of talent, intrigue, and competitiveness.
Here’s a look at the Second Session on Wednesday, the last four games.
Jefferson 70, South Salem 65
In an extremely intense game, Jefferson fought their way out of a 16-point hole to overcome South Salem in the first game of the second session. The Demos struggled with their outside shooting but got some key shots from senior Keylin Vance off the bench, who ended up the game with a 21 points. South Salem put four players in double figures, led by Portland State signee Jaden Nielsen-Skinner wiht 23 points.
“It was a tale of night and day with the halves,” said Jefferson head coach Pat Strickland. “We had more energy in the second half, were able to make Skinny take some tough shots, but we’ve got to get in the lab and work out the kinks or we’ll get beat by West Linn.”
Sierra Canyon 84, Churchill 45
Sierra Canyon simply had too much size, athleticism, and depth for Churchill and overpowered the Lancers in a rout. Cassius Stanley showed why he is considered one of the nation’s top players with 26 points on 11-for-13 shooting and Kenyon Martin, Jr. and Scotty Pippen, Jr. each had their own moments. Churchill was led by Brian Goracke with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Gonzaga Prep 62, Columbia Christian 42
In the nightcap, Gonzaga Prep was simply too much for Columbia Christian as they cruised to an easy win. Anton Watson was basically unstoppable in the paint and on the break in scoring 18 points but it was actually teammate Sheadon Byrd that snuck into the scoring lead with 19 points. Columbia Christian was led by Isiah Mariscal with 10 points while Ben Gregg and Dominic Blake added nine each.
University School 76, Tigard 51
Severely outmanned size-wise, Tigard fell behind 40-13 at halftime and while they never really could catch up, they kept the margin reasonable in the loss to University School. The nationally ranked Florida squad was led by Duke-commit Vernon Carey Jr. with 22 points while highly regarded junior Scottie Barnes added 11 as everyone on the roster got playing time. Tigard was led by sophomore shooter Drew Carter with 21 points.
Here are the top performers from those games:
Keylin Vance (2019 Jefferson) – The 6-foot-3 senior has settled into a role off the bench as instant offense and he was certainly that for Jefferson on Wednesday afternoon. Vance immediatley took the ball hard to the basket, finishing on creative drives while also knocking down one of Jefferson’s two threes in the game. The key with Vance’s playing time is his effort on defense, and he was part of a group that helped hold South Salem’s Nielsen-Skinner in the second half.
Nate Rawlins-Kibonge (2021 Jefferson) – His stats don’t scream out to you off the page, but Rawlins-Kibonge had a huge impact on the game. Of his ten points, six of them were on power dunks which help energize the team and on the defensive end, he also contributed by drawing no fewer than three offensive charges which also fired up the squad. As usual, Rawlins-Kibonge was a presence on the boards (he grabbed eight) and with blocked shots (two).
Jaden Nielsen-Skinner (2019 South Salem) – In the first half, there was no stopping the young man known as “Skinny”. Nielsen-Skinner was hitting threes, driving to the basket, and converting a number of his patented running rainbow floaters in the lane. The Portland State signee was also sharp with his passing, finding teammates for easy baskets. While his production was lower in the second half and the Saxons lost the game, Skinny easily had one of the more dominant performances of the entire day.
Cassius Stanley (2019 Sierra Canyon) – The ultra-athletic Stanley was absolutely dominant offensively, scoring in every possible way you could imagine. He soared to jams on the fast break, he scored on drives to the basket, he pulled up from mid-range, and he also knocked down open threes. Stanley even shared the ball on offense and racked up a team-high four assists. There’s no question fans will be treated to more of his talents in the days ahead.
Kenyon Martin Jr. (2019 Sierra Canyon) – With his former NBA player father Kenyon Martin Sr watching on the sidelines, the younger Martin had some spectacular moments on the court. He utilized his athleticism to score inside but also stepped out and hit a three from the baseline. On defense, he showed off his shot blocking ability racking up three in a row on one possession. And on one fast break, he chased down an outlet pass to catch it, jump up, and reverse dunk it all in one motion at full speed.
Brian Goracke (2020 Churchill) – Sure, the results weren’t all that pretty but Goracke was one Churchill player who didn’t play intimidated in the least. The 6-foot-6 junior continued to drive to the basket, even if he would get blocked, and his persistence led to a couple of buckets inside and he also showed his versatility by stepping out and knocking down a couple of threes. Goracke fought hard against bigger players to pull down seven boards as well.
Vernon Carey, Jr. (2019 University School) – Listed at 6-foot-10, 275-pounds there’s no questoin Carey is a big young man, but unless you stand near him (which we did) you can’t get a feel for just HOW big he is. Carey is already built like an NBA player and he played like one too. He was simply unstoppable in the paint, and when he got out on the break – like he did several times – he threw down some thunderous dunks that got plenty of oohs and ahhs.
Drew Carter (2021 Tigard) – Tigard actually got some good looks at the basket but simply couldn’t hit anything in the first half. The Tigers got something going in the second, thanks mainly to Carter who started stroking it from the perimeter, both from three-point range but also on dribble pull-ups. Carter has one of the smoothest strokes in the state, especially in the Class of 2021, and that was on display against University School.
Anton Watson (2019 Gonzaga Prep) – The Gonzaga signee flashed dominance at times, scoring down low almost at will and also getting out and finishing on the break. In the second half, he started getting a little rattled by Mo Hartwich and Ben Gregg blocking his shot inside, so Watson focused on distributing the ball to find open teammates.