PORTLAND - Hoping to bounce back from a loss to Portland Christian in the Northwest League championship game last week, the Warrenton boys basketball team faced a rather familiar opponent in the NWL district playoffs.
Meeting for the fourth time this year, Warrenton squared off against Clatskanie in a game to determine the league's No. 2 and 3 seeds in the Class 2A state playoffs.
Warrenton won a tiebreaker 54-52 over Clatskanie Feb. 10 to capture the West Division title, but the Tigers got revenge in big way with their 54-41 victory Saturday.
With the win, Clatskanie will host Waldport Friday in a first-round contest of the state tournament. As the No. 3 seed, the Warriors must travel to eastern Oregon to meet Vale Friday.
"We felt like we had a good chance to win, but it's tough playing a team four times and Clatskanie played a little better than us tonight," said Warrenton coach Tim Peitsch, the NWL Coach of the Year. "It's hard to set up a game plan, stick with it and depend on the discipline of the kids to execute well offensively, even though the opponent knows what you'll be doing. Winning the award is nice, but it's mostly the kids who are responsible for helping to win it since they performed so well to make my coaching look good."
Trailing 11-2 early, Warrenton took a 12-11 lead with a 10-0 run. A seesaw contest included a total of 10 lead changes. When Warrenton's Eric Gantenbein fired in a 3-pointer from the top of the arc late in the second, the Warriors had momentum and a 25-21 halftime edge.
Led by NWL All-Stars Scott Hodges and 6-foot-6 junior post Casey Doyle, Clatskanie regained control as they outscored Warrenton 17-10 in the third to go up 38-35.
Although the Warriors were shorthanded without senior Jon Anderson, who has mononucleosis, they appeared to lack intensity and a had a lower energy level in the fourth when Clatskanie pulled away for the victory, concluding the game with a 16-6 surge.
Senior guard Chris Diego led Warrenton in scoring with 14 and received NWL Honorable Mention.
Clatskanie 76, Knappa 50PORTLAND - Prior to a matchup against Clatskanie in the Northwest League District Tournament, Knappa coach Craig Cokley felt optimistic about the Loggers' chance to win and earn a second straight state playoff berth.
After winning three of their last four games, including a 69-50 home win over the Tigers Feb. 7, the Loggers appeared to have some momentum prior to the contest Friday at Multnomah Bible College in Portland.
Knappa held a 13-7 lead early, but Clatskanie's Scott Hodges led an 11-2 Clatskanie run, and the Tigers took control with a 19-3 surge on their way to a 76-50 win.
Knappa was eliminated from the postseason with the loss, while Clatskanie earned a state berth for the first time since 1984.
"I really thought we would have a good chance to win, but by halftime things didn't look too good," said Knappa senior Donald Pitts. "Clatskanie is very good, they had a height advantage particularly with Casey Doyle, but we didn't play well and nothing went right for us. Hodges is an outstanding shooter and their point guard (Kyle Sloderbeck) is an excellent passer."
Clatskanie dominated the remainder of the game and held a commanding 70-38 lead with 5:21 left. A significant height advantage seemed to be a favorable factor for the Tigers.
Doyle (21 points) was tough at both ends of the court as he scored often on putbacks after getting offensive rebounds. Hodges (34 points) was another story, as the Tiger guard was unstoppable while hitting from anywhere on the court, including five 3-pointers.
Astoria 68, Banks 50What a difference a year makes. On Feb. 17, 2005, the Banks boys basketball team defeated Astoria 55-40, knocking Astoria into fifth place in the league standings with a 2-7 record.
On Feb. 17, 2006, Astoria improved to 8-1 and took a big step toward a league title (their first since 2001-02) by demolishing the Braves at the Brick House, 68-50.
The Fishermen, who hold a one-game lead over Tillamook, must beat Seaside (2-7) Tuesday to win the Cowapa championship and No. 1 seed to the state playoffs.
Astoria was in control right from the start in Friday's game, from Andy Murray's 3-pointer in the opening seconds, to another three by Murray midway through the third quarter that gave the Fishermen their largest lead, 49-23.
In between, Astoria had a pair of 8-0 runs in the first half, the first highlighted by Brendan Landwehr's tip-in at the buzzer to end the first quarter.
The Fishermen had contributions from everyone, with nine players in the scoring column, capped by a steal and lay-up from Jordan Poyer in the closing seconds.
Murray led Astoria with 14 points, followed by K.C. Birdeno and Tony Robinson with 11 each. Astoria was 27-of-54 from the field.
Scappoose 57, Seaside 36SCAPPOOSE - Scappoose broke open a 9-9 tie after one quarter by outscoring Seaside 34-13 over the next two quarters, on its way to a 57-36 win over the Gulls Friday.
Justin Engstrom tossed in 14 points for the Indians, who drop to 6-3, one game behind Tillamook (7-2) and two behind the Fishermen.
Ilwaco 45, Toledo 37CHEHALIS, Wash. - Seeded fourth in their own district heading into the playoffs, the Ilwaco Fishermen now find themselves among the state title contenders, following their 45-37 win over third-ranked Toledo Friday night.
Ilwaco secured a state playoff spot, and will play for its first district title since 1990 Friday against Napavine - a team the Fishermen beat twice during the regular season.
The Fishermen have now won six of their last seven, and scored a little revenge over Toledo, which beat Ilwaco 57-55 in overtime earlier in the season.
Ilwaco's one-two punch of Jordan Williams and Jarod Schaak combined for 33 points, with 19 for Williams and 14 points and 10 rebounds for Schaak.
Toledo drops to 20-2 overall, after hitting just 13-of-42 shots from the field and eight-of-19 at the free throw line.
Naselle 72, Taholah 41MONTESANO, Wash. - Naselle had no problem against Taholah Saturday in a loser-out playoff in the Class B District 4 tournament.
Evan Hendrickson scored 17 points to lead four Naselle players in double figures in a 72-41 win over the Chitwin.
Hendrickson also had nine rebounds, with plenty of scoring support from teammates Ricky Johnson (16 points), Aoy Marion (14) and Kyle Burkhalter (13).
Naselle plays at 1 p.m. today at Hoquiam against Northwest Christian, a team the Comets defeated 68-49 earlier in the season.