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Challengers fall, settle for fifth place

COOS BAY — Cascade Christian didn’t get the place it wanted at the Class 3A boys basketball state tournament, but the Challengers figure to get another chance.

With an all-junior starting lineup, Cascade Christian lost 55-45 in the third-place game to Harrisburg Saturday at Marshfield High and settled for fifth place and a 24-6 season record. It played the tournament without 6-foot-4 senior post Carson Cochran, the Southern Cascade League player of the year who had an appendectomy Thursday.

“That’s what we talked about after the game,” said coach Brian Morse. “Fifth place was great. I was proud of the effort. I said, ‘Let’s work hard and come back next year and get that first-place (trophy).' They were all very receptive, and I thought they responded well.

“We were overmatched in the three games, and they just responded and battled hard all three days.”

Cascade Christian led 13-10 after one quarter, but foul trouble sent its two big players, Ben Dunn and Christian Flores Alatorre, to the bench in the second. Harrisburg (23-6) exploited the move with a 20-point period and a 30-23 halftime edge.

The Challengers fought back in the second half, taking one-point leads late in the third and early in the fourth before the Eagles pulled away.

Cascade Christian’s last lead was 43-42 with 6:28 to play, and the Challengers “ran out of gas,” said Morse, with about 4½ minutes to play..

“Our legs were dead and our shot was dead,” he said, “and Harrisburg hit some pretty good shots to extend the lead to eight or 10. I asked the kids for three straight days to come with that same intensity, but we just came up short today.”

Fifth place was the Challengers’ best showing since back-to-back fourths three years ago. This was the first time they made it to the semifinals since winning the title in 2009.

Joel McLemore had his second straight big game, scoring 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers. In the semifinals, he scored 24 in a 72-62 loss to top-ranked Dayton.

“He had more shots because Carson was not there,” said Morse, “and he really stepped it up in the spotlight at this tournament. We needed him to pick up the scoring, and he kept us in striking range all game long.”

McLemore also held Harrisburg standout Tel Jones to nine points.

Kyle Reece had eight points and four steals for Cascade Christian, and Dunn had seven points and five rebounds.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (24-6)

McLemore 8-13 2-4 22, Reece 3-7 0-0 8, Dunn 3-10 0-0 7, T. Cochran 2-9 1-2 6, Alatorre 1-4 0-0 2, Agnifili 0-1 0-0 0, West 0-0 0-0 0, Collom 0-0 0-0 0, K. Schaan 0-0 0-0 0, H. Schaan 0-1 0-0 0, Crowl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-45 3-6 45.

HARRISBURG (23-6)

J. Knox 5-9 0-0 12, H. Knox 5-12 0-0 11, Parmenter 4-5 0-0 10, Jones 4-8 0-1 9, Ranch 2-6 3-6 7, Oakerman 2-3 0-0 4, Baker 1-2 0-0 2, Aceves 0-0 0-0 0, Owens 0-0 0-0 0, G. Knox 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-45 3-7 55.

Cascade Christian;13;10;15;7;—;45

Harrisburg;10;20;12;13;—;55

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 8-20 (McLemore 4-8, Reece 2-4, T. Cochran 1-4, Dunn 1-3, Agnifili 0-1), Harrisburg 6-16 (Parmenter 2-3, J. Knox 2-4, Jones 1-4, H. Knox 1-4, Baker 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Cascade Christian 24 (Dunn 5, H. Schaan 5, Alatorre 5), Harrisburg 28 (J. Knox 9). Assists — Cascade Christian 8 (T. Cochran 3), Harrisburg 14 (Parmenter7). Total fouls — Cascade Christian 13, Harrisburg 11. Technical fouls — None.