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Beavers knock off Apollos to keep hope alive


Beaverton still has a chance at one of the Metro's automatic berths

CEDAR MILL — The door is open for the Beaverton boys basketball team.

The Beavers, fighting for one of the Metro League’s three automatic Class 6A state playoff berths, have given that door a pretty good push in the past week and a half, winning two of their last three games, including a key 70-56 victory at Sunset High School on Tuesday.by: MILES VANCE - AT THE BASKET - Beaverton's Ty Peacock leaps past Sunset's Jonathan Willes during his team's Tuesday win at Sunset High School.

The win lifted Beaverton’s Metro League record to 3-5 (15-6 overall) and kept the Beavers within one game of third-place Westview with two regular-season contests left. The Beavers host second-place Southridge at 7:15 p.m. Friday, then close out Metro play at Westview at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

“We knew that we needed it. We knew we could beat them,” said Beaverton junior guard Martin Tannler, who had 12 points in Tuesday’s win. “We knew that if we focused on defense and blocked out, we could ultimately win the game.”

“We knew coming into this game that we needed to win,” added Beaverton senior forward Davasyia Hagger, who led his team with 20 points. “That was our only goal. We didn’t want to come out with anything less than a ‘W.’”

The Apollos, meanwhile, lost for the fourth straight time in league play and dropped into a fourth-place tie with the Beavers at 3-5 (12-9 overall). Despite their recent skid, the Apollos — like the Beavers — still have a shot at finishing third and winning the Metro’s final automatic berth to state. Sunset plays at Jesuit at 7:15 p.m. Friday, then hosts Aloha at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

“We think we can make a run, especially if we finish our last two games strong,” said Sunset junior Taylor Harris, who had 11 points in the loss. “We really think we can push forward and play together. We honestly think we can compete with any team in the state and win.”

In Tuesday’s game, the Beavers closed the first quarter on an 8-4 run that included three-pointers by Duncan Cashmer and Nick Alonzo, and a fastbreak basket from Tannler with six seconds left that gave Beaverton a 16-12 edge.

The Apollos answered at the start of the second period, though, getting a Ryan Hendry “three,” a baseline jumpshot from Adam Mead, then back-to-back baskets from Harris, the second of those on a drive that gave Sunset its last lead at 21-18 with 6:01 remaining in the half.

Beaverton took over there and put together an 18-6 run in the final 5:37 of the half, that stretch highlighted by nine Alonzo points that included two three-pointers and another three-point play. Hagger then added back-to-back hoops in the final 1:27 of the half to push Beaverton’s lead to 36-27.

Hagger kept right on scoring in the third period, hitting three straight times to boost his team’s lead to 47-34, the last of those when he took a Tannler pass and scored on the fast break with 3:07 to go in the quarter.

Sunset moved back within 49-41 when Mead took a pass from Tyler Gutierrez and scored with 26 seconds left in the third, and the Apollos were still within 56-49 when Jeff Bieber hit a free throw with 3:10 to go in the fourth quarter.

Beaverton made sure the Apollos got no closer, though, salting the game away at the foul line by hitting 12-of-17 free throws in the final 1:53, including four straight from Ty Peacock and 4-of-5 by Hagger.

Alonzo finished with 12 for Beaverton, while Bieber paced the Apollos with 18 and Gutierrez added 13 more.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.