Jeff Ter Har/For Seaside Signal
FOREST GROVE — Seaside secured its spot in the Class 4A boys basketball state championship game with a 56-52 win over Newport, late Friday night.
The Gulls will face Valley Catholic at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the state title, a rematch of the 2017 final. It will be third meeting of the year between the two Cowapa League rivals. The first two meetings were both won by Seaside.
In Friday’s semifinal, the Gulls had to rally from a 33-27 halftime deficit, and did so by outscoring Newport 14-9 in the third quarter, followed by a 9-1 run to start the fourth.
Payton Westerholm scored his first points of the night early in the fourth period to give Seaside a 43-42 lead. Moments later, Chase Januik scored his first basket of the game for a 45-42 advantage, and the Gulls never trailed again.
Westerholm added a 3-pointer, and Seaside turned a 39-36 third quarter deficit into 52-43 lead midway through the fourth, following a 16-4 run.
The Cubs made a late rally and pulled to within 53-52 on a short jumper by Kye Blaser with 27 seconds left, but Januik drained a pair of free throws with 17 seconds remaining, and teammate Beau Johnson made 1-of-2 for the final point.
Seaside’s Ryan Hague scored 11 points in the first quarter, on his way to a 23-point night.
After they were both held scoreless through three quarters, Januik and Westerholm combined for 15 points in the fourth.
Newport outshot Seaside (46 percent to 39 percent) and the Cubs outrebounded the Gulls 36-29, but Newport had 23 turnovers to Seaside’s nine.