• Knights roll in 4A tourney opener

  • CORVALLIS — After early-season knee surgery, North Valley's Kevin Brazille is rounding into top form at the opportune time.
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  • CORVALLIS — After early-season knee surgery, North Valley's Kevin Brazille is rounding into top form at the opportune time.
    The senior point guard scored a game-high 20 points to lead four North Valley players in double figures as the Knights pulled away for a 70-48 victory over Sutherlin in the opening round of the eight-team Class 4A boys basketball state tournament Tuesday at Gill Coliseum.
    Undefeated North Valley (25-0) is back in action in Thursday's semifinals against La Salle, which defeated Gladstone 36-27 in its quarterfinal game.
    The OSAA second-ranked Knights are trying to erase the memory of losing two straight in last year's tournament.
    "We talked about last year when we got up here," said North Valley coach Jeff Nelson. "We played a little too fast and could never get into a good rhythm. Tonight we wanted to get our feet wet and get the jitters out. We didn't want to get too amped up like we did last year."
    North Valley trailed 10-8 after the first quarter, then outscored the Bulldogs a combined 42-18 over the next two periods.
    Brazille, who missed a month of the season after getting injured in the third game, shot 6-of-10 from the field, including all three 3-pointers, and was 5-of-5 from the line. He accounted for 10 points in the third quarter to help the Knights take a commanding 50-28 advantage entering the final period.
    "Kevin took over the game in the third quarter," Nelson said. "His offense the last two-to-three weeks is really coming together. He's just in mid-season form now."
    JJ Chirnside, North Valley's 6-foot-9 senior post, scored 18 points to go with nine rebounds, eight blocks and four assists. Wyatt McCue, who had nine points in the first half, and Cameron Lyon each added 11 for the Knights.
    North Valley shot 53 percent from the field and limited Sutherlin (19-8) to less than 30 percent. The long-range shooting Bulldogs were just 4-of-24 on 3-pointers.
    SUTHERLIN (48) — Jensen 4-12 4-4 14, Wattman 4-13 2-2 11, Matteo 3-7 0-0 6, Anspach 2-5 2-2 6, Navickas-Avery 1-4 2-2 4, Caillier 1-4 0-0 3, Eakin 1-4 0-0 2, Martineau 0-1 2-2 2, Fulton 0-0 0-0 0, Mock 0-3 0-0 0, Brewer 0-1 0-0 0, Hoobler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-54 12-12 48.
    NORTH VALLEY (70) — Brazille 6-10 5-5 20, Chirnside 8-12 2-4 18, McCue 2-6 5-6 11, Lyon 5-10 0-0 11, Burke 3-4 0-0 6, Thompson 1-2 0-0 2, Calzada 1-1 0-0 2, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Morsa 0-3 0-0 0, Vodicka 0-0 0-0 0, Tappan 0-0 0-0 0, Olmstead 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-49 12-15 70.
    Sutherlin 10 9 9 20 — 48
    North Valley 8 19 23 20 — 70
    3-point goals — Sutherlin 4-24 (Jensen 2-9, Wattman 1-6, Caillier 1-3, Navickas-Avery 0-1, Eakin 0-2, Martineau 0-1, Mock 0-2), North Valley 6-10 (Brazille 3-3, McCue 2-3, Lyon 1-4). Rebounds — Sutherlin 32 (Wattman 8), North Valley 32 (Chirnside 9). Assists — Sutherlin 11 (Jensen 4), North Valley 15 (Chirnside 4, McCue 4). Total fouls — Sutherlin 17, North Valley 12.
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