Posted On: 12/20/18 10:54 AM

The Les Schwab Invitational has long been a hoops holiday staple in Oregon and this year, there will be some additional high quality basketball action with the introduction of “The Eight”, a separate day tournament that starts today at Liberty High School. Six top Oregon teams and two talented out-of-state squads will battle it out the next three days for the championship on Saturday at 7:30 pm.

“We are very excited about the first year of The 8,” said tournament director Reggie Walker.  “We have a great group of Oregon schools mixed in with some national schools that feature elite talent that fans of the Les Schwab Invitational are accustomed to.”

Three different classes in Oregon will be represented at The Eight. Representing 6A will be Liberty, Sandy, Sherwood, and Sherwood. Sherwood enters the tournament with a 7-1 record and is led by senior wing Braden Thorn and junior point guard Jamison Guerra. Sandy, at 4-1, is led by seniors Colton Gorski and Jaden Robinson, while Westview, at 3-2, is led by senior guard Kobe Newton. Liberty, the hosts, are working on improving their record after a slow 1-4 start.

Representing 5A is Silverton, which has come out of the gates as a major state title contender. Seniors Jonah Downey, Levi Nielsen, and Josiah Roth lead the charge along with juniors David Gonzales and Grant Dunn, and playing against bigger schools will surely toughen them up for league play. Representing 2A is defending state champ De La Salle North who is hoping to show that they can hang with the big boys. Seniors Kadeem Nelson and Anthony Mosley Jr lead the way for the Knights.

The two out-of-state teams will be Eastside Catholic out of Sammamish, Washington, and Pacifica Christian out of Newport Beach, California. Eastside Catholic is young but extremely talented, with a backcourt of Nolan Hickman and Shane Nowell. Both may only be sophomores, but both already have earned scholarship offers from Pac-12 schools. The Crusaders also feature on their roster Jayhlen Tuimoloua, who is considered the #1 football player in the country. Pacifica Christian is led by junior forward Judah Brown, who has already racked up a whole host of mid-major Division I scholarship offers.

Games for The Eight start at Liberty High School at 4:00 pm on Thursday afternoon and the full bracket can be found here.