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CHRISTMAS CLASSIC: Challengers survive and advance

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Sometimes all that matters is that your basketball team comes out of a contest with a victory.

It was that kind of night for the Cascade Christian boys basketball team Wednesday, with the fourth-ranked Challengers doing just enough to secure a 40-33 win over No. 5 Santiam Christian in the semifinals of the Christmas Classic.

“There were no style points,” said Cascade Christian head coach Brian Morse. “It was definitely an offensive struggle. Both teams played pretty good defense but there were a lot of turnovers and missed shots.”

“Part of the problem is we rarely are a team that gets outworked, and I thought Santiam Christian outworked us tonight,” he added. “They got a lot of 50-50 balls and offensive rebounds that we usually get. I feel fortunate that we were able to win with a lot of free throws there at the end.”

With the victory, Cascade Christian (4-2) advanced to tonight’s championship game at 6 p.m. against Crater (8-1), which won 53-38 over Dayton (6-2) in Wednesday’s late semifinal.

“The guys are excited to be in the championship game,” said Morse, whose team is the tournament host. “We’re going to play a quality opponent and that will be good to see if our guys can rise to the occasion and win the Christmas Classic.”

Austin Maurer led the Challengers with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Cody Reece had 11 points.

For Santiam Christian (7-4), which plays at 3 p.m. in the third-place game, Benjamin Bourne scored 12 points.

“The good thing is we’re being exposed with a lot of things we need help on,” said Morse. “That’s why we try to play a tough nonleague schedule so we can get ready for our league and the playoffs.”

Cascade Christian built a 13-7 lead through one quarter of play and essentially kept that margin of difference over the Eagles until a fourth-quarter lull allowed Santiam Christian to pull within three points at 32-29 midway through the quarter.

Maurer scored his team’s first basket of the fourth on a nice slip screen and assist by Reece with about four minutes to play on the ensuing possession, and then it became about whether the Challengers could get enough stops and convert from the free-throw line.

Both questions were answered positively for Morse and company, with Santiam Christian (7-4) making one free throw and a 3-pointer at the buzzer over the final stretch and the Challengers making all six of their final foul shots.

“Six straight free throws at the end, that was good,” said Morse. “That was the bright spot is that we made our free throws down the stretch. Good teams are able to make those and put the game away, so that was a little cherry on the top.”

The Challengers finished 11-for-14 from the foul line, with Cannon Anderson getting things started in the final 40 seconds of play with a 2-for-2 effort and then Landon Hess going 4-for-4.

SANTIAM CHRISTIAN (33): Hughes 0, Risinger 5, Hill 6, Fitzpatrick 5, Roth 5, Carley 0, Bourne 12. Totals: 11 6-9 33.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (40): Reece 11, Anderson 2, Wallace 0, P. Maurer 2, Hess 6, A. Maurer 18, Bryant 0, Nering 1. Totals: 14 11-14 40.

Santiam Christian77118— 33

Cascade Christian138118— 40

3-point goals — Santiam Christian 5 (Bourne 2, Risinger 1, Fitzpatrick 1, Roth 1), Cascade Christian 1 (Reece 1). Fouled out — Hill. Technical foul — Santiam Christian coach Ropp.

CRATER 53, DAYTON 38: Colton Vranes scored 16 points and Ashton Acrey added 12 as Crater held off Class 3A Dayton to advance to today’s championship game.

Crater (8-1), which has won five straight, also got eight points from Tate Broesder as the Comets outscored the Pirates 31-20 in the second half to pull away.

Crater will face host Cascade Christian (4-2) at 6 p.m. for the tournament title.

Dayton’s Tyler Spink led all scorers with 18 points. The Pirates (5-3) will face Santiam Christian in the third-place game at 3 p.m.

DAYTON (38): Hudson 6, Hodges 0, Bettiga 0, Primbs 0, Wall 4, Spink 18, Miller 2, Freeborn 3, Ashley 5. Totals: 15 5-8 38.

CRATER (53): Acrey 12, Lasater 5, Vranes 16, Smith 6, Price 6, Idiart 0, Dahlin 0, Broesder 8. Totals: 18 14-19 53.

Dayton7111010— 38

Crater9131516— 53

3-point goals — Dayton 3 (Spink 2, Freeborn 1), Crater 3 (Broesder 2, Lasater 1). Fouled out — Wall.

PHOENIX 60, ST. MARY’S 52, OT: Phoenix used a game-tying 3-pointer by Jack Monroe with five seconds remaining in regulation and a 9-1 overtime advantage to defeat St. Mary’s for the second time in three matchups already this season.

Julius Bolstad opened the extra session with a 3-pointer and the Class 4A Pirates (4-4) never looked back as 3A St. Mary’s (3-6) went ice cold from the floor in the final period.

Monroe finished with 12 points, Bolstad had 11 and Dylan Harper contributed 10 points for Phoenix, which next plays in the fourth-place final at 1:30 p.m. today.

Kayden Walker scored 18 points and Noah Friesen had 14 for St. Mary’s, which was making a quick turnaround after a 9:30 p.m. clash Tuesday night ended with Dayton winning 70-43.

Walker and Friesen each scored in double figures on Tuesday as well.

ST. MARY’S (52): Friesen 14, Kranenburg 0, Walker 18, Haynes 7, Delplanche 8, Hensman 0, Johnson 5. Totals: 18 8-12 52.

PHOENIX (60): White 0, Brown 0, Monroe 12, Stubbs 4, Je. Selden 2, Valadez 9, Trenbeath 5, Crump 3, Harper 10, Talbott 4, Bolstad 11. Totals: 25 4-6 60.

St. Mary’s9111318 1— 52

Phoenix9201111 9— 60

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 8 (Friesen 4, Delplanche 2, Walker 1, Haynes 1), Phoenix 9 (Monroe 3, Bolstad 3, Valadez 1, Trenbeath 1, Crump 1). Fouled out — Valadez. Technical foul — Valadez.

ST. MARY’S (43): Friesen 12, Flowers 0, Kranenburg 0, Walker 10, Haynes 8, Delplanche 2, Hensman 4, Johnson 7. Totals: 18 5-9 43.

DAYTON (70): Hudson 6, Hodges 4, Garrison 0, Bettiga 5, Primbs 2, Wall 17, Shepherd 3, Spink 13, Miller 8, Freeborn 7, Gallagher 0, Ashley 5, Perez 0. Totals: 29 7-9 70.

St. Mary’s1561012— 43

Dayton12212017— 70

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 4 (Friesen 2, Haynes 1, Johnson 1), Dayton 5 (Wall 1, Shepherd 1, Spink 1, Freeborn 1, Ashley 1).

Girls

EAGLE POINT 34, HARRISBURG 29, OT: Eagle Point rallied after a four-point first quarter to force overtime and then scored seven unanswered to advance to today’s championship game.

Eagle Point senior Emilee Nielsen hit several key free throws in overtime to help the Eagles (2-5) get their second win in as many days. They will face Santiam Christian, a 51-43 winner over Klamath Union, in the 7:30 p.m. final.

Jocelyn Hanan, a sophomore, led Eagle Point with 12 points and six steals, while junior Alondra Cabrera had nine points and five rebounds. Nielsen recorded seven assists and senior post Haley McCornack chipped in six points and pulled down 10 boards.

Senior guard Delaney Buzzard scored 14 points and hit three of Harrisburg’s five 3-pointers.

HARRISBURG (29): Buzzard 14, Bucher 2, Traw 7, Hill 0, Cox 0, Holland 6, Smathers 0. Totals: 10 4-15 29.

EAGLE POINT (34): Raber 0, Nielsen 5, Hanan 12, Baldwin 2, Pena 0, Munoz 0, Balero 0, McCornack 6, Cabrera 9. Totals: 13 7-13 34.

Harrisburg1111232— 29

Eagle Point411757— 34

3-point goals — Eagle Point 1 (Cabrera 1), Harrisburg 5 (Buzzard 3, Holland 2). Fouled out — Traw.

ASHLAND 36, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 30: Ashland secured its first win of the season by using an 11-5 surge in the fourth quarter to break a 25-all tie with Cascade Christian during consolation bracket play.

Abbey Lambert scored 13 points, including a pivotal three-point play with two minutes to play, and Gabby Heiken had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds to propel Ashland (1-5).

Kendra Caruso added seven points, four steals and three assists and Isabella Robinson pulled in seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, who will play at 12 p.m. today in the fourth-place final.

Timnah Roberson scored 10 of her 13 points in the first half for Cascade Christian, which led 12-5 after one quarter but couldn’t get shots to fall in a second half that saw the Challengers tally eight points overall.

Jordynn Jones added seven points for Cascade (3-7) one day after leading her team with 11 points in a 47-24 opening-round loss to Santiam Christian.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (30): Cramer 0, Shipman 0, Sweem 5, Williams 0, Folin 0, Brehm 1, Jones 7, Pierson 2, Roberson 13, Purrier 2. Totals: 9 10-20 30.

ASHLAND (36): Montgomery 0, Lambert 13, Caruso 7, G. Carter 2, Jenkins 0, Heiken 12, Robinson 2. Totals: 16 1-4 36.

Cascade Christian121035— 30

Ashland514611— 36

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 2 (Roberson 2), Ashland 3 (Caruso 1, Heiken 2).

SANTIAM CHRISTIAN (47): Davis 2, Roberts 2, K. Fast 15, Fullbright 2, Vincent 0, Scariano 0, Fields 10, E. Fast 0, Vost 13, Hughes 0, Riddle 3. Totals: 18 5-10 47.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (24): Cramer 0, Shipman 0, Sweem 8, Williams 2, Brehm 0, Coats 0, Jones 11, Pierson 0, Roberson 3, Smith 0. Totals: 9 4-7 24.

Santiam Christian911189— 47

Cascade Christian12273— 24

3-point goals — Santiam Christian 6 (K. Fast 3, Vost 2, Riddle 1), Cascade Christian 2 (Sweem 1, Jones 1).

PHOENIX 33, NORTH VALLEY 32: Junior guard Kyla Potratz was fouled on a driving attempt with three-tenths of a second remaining and converted a go-ahead free throw to seal a consolation bracket win for Phoenix.

The Pirates (5-5) had gotten possession of the basketball in the final 10 seconds before Potratz made her fateful move to the basket. Phoenix next plays Ashland at 12 p.m. today in the fourth-place final.

Anabell Delgado scored 18 points and had four steals for the Pirates, while Morgan James totaled five points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Potratz finished with four rebounds and two steals and Kynna Nolan had five steals.

Ashlyn Godfrey scored 13 points to lead North Valley (5-3).

NORTH VALLEY (32): Moore 5, Cooke 0, Hawkins 1, Schrock 2, Wheeler 7, A. Godfrey 13, S. Godfrey 0, Touey 4, Fagert 0. Totals: 14 3-6 32.

PHOENIX (33): James 5, Nolan 4, Potratz 4, Delgado 18, Rector 2, Mohamud 0. Totals: 10 9-15 33.

North Valley81158— 32

Phoenix76515— 33

3-point goals — North Valley 1 (Wheeler 1), Phoenix 4 (Nolan 1, Delgado 3).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Austin Maurer shoots for two points during the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Cody Reece drives to the hoop during the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Landon Hess blocks the ball away from Santiam Christian's Colby Hill during the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Peyton Maurer shoots from beyond the arc during the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Peyton Maurer blocks the shot of Sanitam Christian's Jackson Risinger during the 3rd quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Cody Reece drives to the hoop during the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCascade Christian's Cody Reece drives to the hoop during the 2nd quarter.