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WIldcats win big, eye match-up for state tournament berth

Westview uses a big third quarter to race past North Medford


ROCK CREEK — The 2013 season began with a raft of new personnel for the Westview boys basketball team, and an equally large number of questions.by: MILES VANCE - HIGH FLYER - Westview senior Dyrall Goods splits two North Medford defenders to score during his team's Tuesday playoff victory.

But now, those days seem far, far in the past, and the Wildcats are poised for what they hope will be a return to Class 6A state tournament. Westview kicked off the Class 6A state playoffs on Tuesday with a 75-54 win over North Medford, and will play next at West Linn at 7 p.m. Friday for that coveted tournament berth.

No. 12 Westview’s Tuesday win lifted its season record to 14-10, while the fifth-ranked Lions beat McMinnville 74-55 on Tuesday to improve to 19-6. No. 21 North Medford saw its season end at 14-11.

The Wildcats’ recent play — they’ve won three straight and four of their last five — has them convinced of their chances at West Linn.

“We went down there earlier in the year and lost by nine and it was a close game the whole way, but we’re a totally different team than what we were then,” said Westview senior Dyrall Goods, who had 17 points against Thurston. “I think this team is very confident about going there to get a win.”

“We’re a team that — we want to surprise people — we’re going to go to the Garden and upset somebody big and go as far as we can,” added Westview senior starter Julius Rucker.

The Wildcats got things going early against the Black Tornado on Tuesday, survived a back-and-forth second period, then put the game on ice with a 12-point scoring margin in the third that boosted their lead to 51-31. After Ben Larson kicked off Westview’s scoring with a three-pointer, Goods stepped to the fore, knocked down 4-of-7 shots in the period and scored eight points to help his team take a 15-9 lead.

North Medford made a move early in the second period, scoring four straight points to close within 18-15 when Christian Reyes hit a floating jumpshot in the lane with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in the half.

But the Cats answered with an 8-3 run to close out the half, getting three Alex Carrick foul shots, a Goods steal and breakaway, another free throw from Trent Glasgow and a late putback by Carrick to make it 26-18 at the break.

It was in the third quarter, though, where this game was decided. After North’s Brian Bush hit a “three” at the start of the half to cut his team’s deficit to 26-21, Westview caught fire. Carrick did most of the dame in the period, scoring nine of his team-high 20 points in the frame, first hitting a turnaround in the key, then scoring on a breakaway, drilling a three-pointer, and then scoring on another fast break assisted by Goods.

Westview’s Isiah Denson then sandwiched baskets around a pair of Glasgow free throws, the second of those coming on the break after Denson made a steal and hit a pull-up to give his team a 51-31 lead in the final minute of the third quarter.

The Black Tornado got no closer than 12 points in the fourth quarter, the final time at 62-50 when Garrett Knox scored inside with 3:04 left in the game, but Goods, Larson and Matt Walker all hit three-pointers down the stretch to help their team pull away.

Now, the Cats will prepare for their Friday playoff and what they hope will be a trip to the state tournament.

“It’s one of our goals (getting to the Rose Garden) so we’re working to get there,” Rucker said. “We just get better each week and I think we’re going to get there.”

“We love playing the underdog role. We love when people take us for granted,” Goods added. “This team has something to prove.”

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




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