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Rams derail Jesuit title hopes in semifinals

The Crusaders lead by eight in the third quarter but fall short


by: MILES VANCE - TOUGH RESULT - Jesuit's Daniel Nelson walks off the court in disbelief after his team's 45-37 loss to Central Catholic in the semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament on Friday at the Rose Garden.

PORTLAND — The Jesuit and Lake Oswego boys basketball teams knew they were destined to clash again at the 2013 Class 6A state tournament.

The Crusaders, the four-time reigning state champs, had been ranked second behind the Three Rivers League-champion Lakers most of the year and were desperate for one more shot at LO after two previous losses.

Jesuit got that shot too, but it wasn’t in the state championship game as both teams had expected. Instead, both teams suffered upsets in Friday’s state semifinals — the Crusaders falling to Central Catholic and LO losing to TRL foe West Linn — and got their match-up in Saturday’s third/fifth-place game at the Rose Garden.

And for the third time this season, it was Lake Oswego that was the better team, taking the Crusaders apart 52-32 to place third and relegate Jesuit to fifth.

“It’s all about the journey getting here, but unfortunately, it didn’t end like we wanted it to,” said Jesuit senior Sean Milligan, one of six seniors on the Crusader roster.

Jesuit, which won its fifth straight Metro League title this season, ended its year at 24-4, while the Lakers closed out their 2012-13 season at 28-1.

The Crusaders held their own early vs. LO, getting an early three-pointer by Khyan Rayner and back-to-back hoops by Xavier Coleman to tie the contest at 8-8 with 2 minutes, 38 seconds to go in the opening quarter.

The Lakers started to pull away late in the frame, though, closing the quarter on a 7-2 run to lead 15-10 on to a jumpshot by Natan Jurkovitz, a steal and dunk by Connor Griffin, and a “three” from Daniel Verburg.

LO then tacked on three-pointers by Colin Caslick and Verburg in the first 1:28 of the second quarter to push ahead 21-10. The Lakers extended that edge to 25-12 when Caslick hit one free throw with 3:53 left in the half, but Jesuit moved back within 28-19 at halftime when Coleman buried a buzzer-beating “three.”

The LO lead was still nine — at 30-21 — when Rayner scored in the key two minutes into the third, but the Lakers pulled away again, and this time, Jesuit had no answer. Caslick made a layin and two free throws, Calvin Hermanson had consecutive hoops, and Griffin added three straight free throws with two seconds left in the frame to make it 43-27.

Jesuit got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way — at 45-32 when Henry Mondeaux hit a foul shot with 2:40 left — but by then, it was too little and too late.

While Jesuit struggled with the end of its reign atop the state, the Crusaders nonetheless left proud of their many accomplishments from 2012-13.

“It was a fun season,” Milligan said. “We couldn’t bring home a fifth (state title), but I’m leaving with two under my belt so I’m happy. I’m leaving Jesuit on a high note.”

Rayner led Jesuit with 13 points and five rebounds, Coleman had seven points four rebounds and two steals, while Sprunk added five points and six rebounds.

For LO, Caslick had 15 points, Griffin had nine points and six rebounds, and Hermanson added eight points and 11 rebounds.

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




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