Grants Pass shocks Jefferson
The hot-shooting Cavemen were nearly flawless in upending the No. — seed Jefferson in the first round of the Class 4A tournament
PORTLAND - There may be no such thing as a perfect game in basketball, but the Grants Pass Cavemen came awfully close Wednesday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.
The unranked and 14th-seeded Cavemen boys shot a sizzling 64.5 percent from the field, made 79.2 percent of their free throws and displayed the precision and poise of a brain surgeon to post a stunning 82-68 victory over Jefferson, ranked and seeded third, in an opening-round game of the Class 4A state tournament.
"We shot the ball well, rebounded it well, played tough defense - we did everything it takes to beat a good team," said senior point guard Tyler York, who led the Cavemen with 19 points and played all 32 minutes. "And maybe the biggest thing was, we weren't intimidated.
"It was just another game for us."
The victory advanced Grants Pass into a quarterfinals matchup against Tigard at 7 o'clock tonight. Jefferson fell into the consolation bracket, where it will meet South Salem at 9 this morning.
Running its motion offense to near-perfection, Grants Pass connected on 20 of 31 shots from the field and converted 24 of 29 free-throw attempts in the fourth period as it gained some revenge from last season's third-place game at the tournament when Jefferson rolled to an 80-64 win.
For Wednesday's game, the Cavemen made a tournament-record 28 free throws in 38 tries.
Balanced scoring was another Grants Pass virtue as Brant Minor, Tom Cohen and Kory Mahr supplemented York's big game with 15 points apiece. Senior post Bart Bailey came off the bench to score 11, including eight in the fourth period when Minor and Mahr were saddled with foul trouble.
"This was undoubtedly our best game of the year," grinned Mahr, a senior post who went 7-for-7 from the field and added five rebounds and three blocked shots. "I'm not sure we can play any better than this."
The game was close throughout most of the first half, with seven ties and five lead changes. But the Cavemen rattled off seven straight points midway through the second period to take a 30-23 advantage. Minor scored the first four points during the run on a pair of free throws and a turnaround jumper deep in the lane, and York logged the others on a long 3-pointer.
Minor added two more free throws with 6.8 seconds left in the half to give Grants Pass a 37-29 bulge at the break.
The road to victory, however, was still a long and laborious one.
Minor picked up his fourth personal foul with — minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the third period and Mahr followed him to the Grants Pass bench at the 1:21 mark with his fourth foul.
Suddenly, the Cavemen were without the 6-foot-5 Mahr and the 6-3 Minor, their two best rebounders and two of their best defenders.
Grants Pass was still able to stretch its lead to 54-42 with 46 seconds left in the period when Bruce Voges knifed inside for a layup out of the Cavemen's delay offense. But Jefferson scored the final four points of the quarter on an 8-foot jumper in the lane by Brandon Lincoln and a tip-in at the buzzer by Jalonta Martin.
The Portland Interscholastic League champion Democrats seemed to have the momentum at that point, but Grants Pass went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth period.
the time Minor and Mahr reappeared with 3:43 to play in the game, the Cavemen held a 64-49 lead and then made a truckload of free throws down the stretch to salt away their 22nd victory in 26 games this season.
Senior post Martin registered a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds to fuel the Democrats and junior wing Thomas Gardner added 19.
Jefferson made just 26 of 70 shots from the field (37.1 percent), including an icy 6-of-30 from beyond the arc.
"I felt good about our chances going into the fourth quarter - the momentum had shifted," said Jefferson coach Marshall Haskins, whose team was ranked No. — earlier this season. "But we just couldn't get over the hump. A couple times we were real close to getting steals and didn't come up with them. A couple of other times their kids called timeout as they were sailing out of bounds. They also had a couple free throws that bounced all over the rim and still went in.
"It just wasn't our day, I guess."
GRANTS PASS (82) - Cohen 3-7 7-8 15, York 3-6 11-12 19, Minor 5-6 5-7 15, Voges 1-2 2-2 4, Mahr 7-7 1-2 15, Baily 1-3 9-13 11, Draper 0-0 3-4 3, LaLonde 0-0 0-0 0, Cameron 0-0 0-0 0, Mathews 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Heater 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-31 38-48 82,
JEFFERSON (68) - Martin 8-9 4-5 20, Gardner 6-16 3-4 19, B. Lincoln 4-13 3-3 11, C. Lincoln 3-15 0-0 7, Lambert 1-4 0-0 2, Foster 3-9 0-0 7, Carney 0-0 0-0 0, Tolliver 1-3 0-0 2, Crittenden 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Mason 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-70 10-12 68.
Grants Pass ................................... 15 22 17 28 - 82Jefferson ........................................ 13 16 17 22 - 68
3-point goals - Grants Pass 4-7 (Cohen 2-3, York 2-4), Jefferson 6-30 (Gardner 4-12, C. Lincoln 1-8, B. Lincoln 0-1, Lambert 0-1, Foster 1-7, Tolliver 0-1). Rebounds - Grants Pass 31 (Minor 8), Jefferson 33 (Martin 14). Assists - Grants Pass 12 (York 3), Jefferson 8 (Gardner 2). Turnovers - Grants Pass 20, Jefferson 14. Fouled out - Mahr, B. Lincoln, C. Lincoln. Technical - Gardner. Team fouls - Grants Pass 14, Jefferson 31.
Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail