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SUBARU CLASSIC: Comets fizzle in title game

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Crater took down the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3A boys basketball on Friday.

The Comets weren’t as fortunate a day later against No. 2.

Santiam Christian, from the Corvallis area, got off to a fast start, then weathered a Crater rally for a 44-40 victory in the championship game of the 26th annual Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic Saturday at Cascade Christian High.

“I’m really happy with the competition we had,” said Crater coach Chris Schmerbach, whose team won an overtime game against top-ranked 3A Dayton in the semifinals. “Those teams are in the state semifinals or finals every year. We knew it would be a good challenge for us, so I’m glad we competed.”

Crater (7-3) is ranked fifth in 5A. The lone loss for Santiam Christian (10-1) came a week earlier against Dayton, resulting in them flip-flopping in the coaches poll.

The Comets seemed out of sorts at the outset, said Schmerbach.

“We didn’t have a great start in the first half,” he said. “We just didn’t execute. We weren’t quite mentally and physically ready to compete. We missed assignments, we weren’t in the right spots on offense, we weren’t executing our game plan on defense.”

“You can’t start a basketball game the way we did and expect to beat a good team,” he added. “That’s on me. I’ve got to make sure they’re ready to play.”

He credited the Eagles’ zone defense with playing a part in Crater only scoring 15 points in the first half and trailing by 11 at halftime.

Santiam Christian is “long,” he noted. The Eagles have four players on the roster ranging from 6-foot-6 to 6-8. Their top player, 6-7 senior Zach Baugher, was out after suffering a concussion and other injuries when he fell to the floor while dunking in the tournament opener Thursday.

The Comets at halftime altered their attack of the zone, and went to a zone themselves on defense.

Crater pulled within two points in the fourth quarter.

Trailing by three with half a minute left, the Comets failed to block out on a missed free throw by Santiam Christian. The Eagles rebounded, were fouled, and upped the lead to four.

“We didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to give us an opportunity to win,” said Schmerbach.

The Comets got 20 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks from Nate Bittle.

SANTIAM CHRISTIAN (40): Henderson 14, Galceran 2, Vela 9, J. Baugher 13, MaQatish 0, Gilbert 0, Williamson 6. Totals: 15 7-9 44.

CRATER (40): Ray 4, Horton 8, Jaasko 3, Chubb 2, Eaton 0, Johnson 0, Bittle 20, Dance 3. Totals: 13 11-17 40.

Santiam Christian1313513— 44

Crater78916— 40

3-point goals — Santiam Christian 7 (Galceran 3, J. Baugher 2, Williamson 2), Crater 3 (Horton 2, Bittle 1).

PHOENIX 47, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 40: Phoenix jumped out to an early lead and made four of its five 3-pointers in the first half in the consolation-round game.

Junior forward Ethan Hutsell went for a game-high 23 points for the Pirates (9-3) and Braeden Watts added 14.

Phoenix led 25-20 at halftime.

Cascade Christian (1-10) rallied to within two points with about three minutes to go in the game but couldn’t come any closer.

Challenger junior Layne Collom and sophomores Dominic Lewis and Levi Sciapiti combined for 30 points

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (40): Reece 0, Sciapiti 10, Schaan 2, Jackson 0, Miller 0, Coppedge 0, Lewis 11, Collom 9, Sample 3, Spurlock 5, Flenner 0. Totals: 14 11-18 40.

PHOENIX (47): Martinez 3, Serna 1, Goff 3, Hutsell 23, Jenkins 0, Stella 2, Watts 14, Beer 0, Stanfield 1. Totals: 15 12-24 47.

Cascade Christian515713— 40

Phoenix1691210— 47

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 1 (Lewis 1), Hidden Valley 5 (Martinez 1, Hutsell 2, Watts 2).

HIDDEN VALLEY 56, ST. MARY’S 50: Hidden Valley capitalized on a free-throw advantage in the consolation-round victory.

St. Mary’s (6-7) cut its deficit to 51-50 with about a minute remaining in the contest but the Mustangs (7-4) hit five free throws late for the final margin of victory.

For the game, Hidden Valley was 10 for 17 from the line while the Crusaders got to the stripe seven times and made three.

Hidden Valley senior post Joe Blanton scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half to help the Mustangs sieze a 31-21 advantage.

Gavin Rajagopal and Tre Foster paced the Crusaders with 14 points each. Foster also had five rebounds and four blocks.

HIDDEN VALLEY (56): Harry 0, McLean 15, Byrd 3, Blanton 14, Wright 8, Hagerty 2, Iwamizu 14, Tucker 0. Totals: 22 10-17 56.

ST. MARY’S (50): Kaeo-Wailehua 10, Young 0, Conner 6, Hadley 2, Rajagopal 14, Synder 4, Foster 14, Sternenberg 3. Totals: 21 3-7. 50.

Hidden Valley17141114— 56

St. Mary’s1381316— 50

3-point goals — St. Mary’s (Kaeo-Wailehua 2, Conner 2, Sternenberg 1), Hidden Valley (Byrd 1, Iwamizu 1).; Fouled out — Rajagopal. Technical foul — Foster.


CRATER 60, SANTIAM CHRISTIAN 24: All-tournament MVP Sydney Gray generated 20 points, six rebounds and four steals for Crater, which led wire-to-wire in the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic championship at Cascade Christian High School.

“She was pretty outstanding in all three games, then tonight she really played two quarters and a couple of minutes, and to be that efficient is pretty impressive,” said Crater coach Scott Dippel on Gray’s game.

“I think our defensive intensity both in full- and half-court was disciplined and intense so we were able to get transition buckets and just attack off of it. That was the difference tonight.”

The Comets (9-2) only committed two turnovers in the first half where they seized a 41-12 advantage after holding Santiam Christian to just two points in the first quarter.

Gray scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half and had four three-point plays while McKenzie Hirsch collected seven points, four rebounds and three steals for Crater.

In the third-place game of the three-day, eight-team event, Klamath Union topped Dayton, 54-41.

SANTIAM CHRISTIAN (24): Atkins 4, Risinger 3, S. Roberts 0, Miller 2, Stayton 8, Allman 2, Carley 3, Davis 1, Gurr 1, C. Roberts 0. Totals: 7 8-14 24.

CRATER (60): Gugliotta 0, Hirsch 7, Dance 4, Idiart 2, Van Hook 4, Westbrock 1, Oestreich 3, Gray 20, Ellis 4, Dutkiewitcz 3, Woodard 4, Bowers 0, Young 4, Waters 4. Totals: 20 19-26 60.

Santiam Christian21057— 24

Crater1724118— 60

3-point goals — Santiam Christian 2 (Risinger 1, Carley 1), Crater 1 (Hirsch 1).

EAGLE POINT 26, PHOENIX 16: Eagle Point senior forward Alexa Burgess came alive with all eight of her points in the second half to rally the Eagles to victory in the seventh-place game.

Eagle Point (6-4) trailed 12-11 at halftime but limited Phoenix to just four points after intermission.

Burgess knocked down two of the Eagles’ 3-pointers and grabbed six rebounds and had one steal.

Eagle Point used a combination of defenses to get back into the low-scoring affair. Senior guard Kaylee Shelton came off the bench to spark the Eagles’ defensive effort,.

Delani Parent, a sophomore post, scored seven points to pace the Pirates (4-8).

EAGLE POINT (26): Hogan 2, Monroe 4, Flores 4, Amidei 5, Burgess 8, Swanson 3, Shelton 0, Sked 0, Lawler 0, Sather 0. Totals: 6 5-10 26.

PHOENIX (16): Carrillo 4, Bolstad 3, Tellez 2, Parent 7, Villasenor 0, Skaff 0, Flores 0, Badillo 0. Totals: 6 4-9 16.

Eagle Point5687— 26

Phoenix7522— 16

3-point goals — Eagle Point 3 (Amidei 1, Burgess 2).

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 52, ST. MARY’S 39: Emily Stephens generated 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to propel Cascade Christian past crosstown rival St. Mary’s at Cascade Christian High.

Stephens scored 10 of her 21 in the second quarter, and in just 12 minutes off the bench, Sophie Ferreira added 10 points and five rebounds for the Challengers (4-7).

Cascade Christian responded after a rough first quarter by outscoring St. Mary’s in the final three periods. Eight of Ferreira’s points came in the fourth quarter.

The Crusaders (6-4) were paced by Emma Bennion’s 15 points and Ibixica Alvarez’s 11.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (52): Joseph 2, Quast 2, Alexander 6, Meilicke 6, Clark 0, Ferreira 10, Willard 5, Hagloch 0, Sweem 0, Stephens 21, Hensley 0. Totals: 20 11-17 52.

ST. MARY’S (39): Young 1, Alvarez 11, Bennion 15, Lippert 7, Christman 2, Rothfus 1, Ward 2. Totals: 15 6-14 39.

Cascade Christian7121419— 52

St. Mary’s11998— 39

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 1 (Willard 1), St. Marys 3 (Alvarez 1, Bennion 1, Lippert 1). Fouled out — Bennion, Ward.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Craters Nathan Horton looks for a pass in the 4th quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Craters Nathan Horton shoots for 3-points in the 2nd quarter.