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Blue Jays sweep East Linn tournament titles

BASKETBALL - Damascus boys blow out Mapleton

The No. 9-ranked Portland Lutheran boys basketball team overcame an early 15-point deficit to beat the host team in the East Linn tournament title game Saturday night.

East Linn used a flurry of 3-pointers to build a 17-2 lead just three minutes into the game. But Lutheran gradually made up the gap and pulled even by the end of the third quarter and went on to win the game 70-59.

'In the first quarter, their shooters were wide open,' Lutheran coach Chad Rush said. 'After that we started getting a hand in their face and forced them to take shots they didn't want to take.'

Abel Araya helped turn the tide with three steals in the second quarter. He finished with a team-best 31 points and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

The Blue Jay girls beat East Linn 53-41 to win the four-team tournament title. Guard Cheryl Burris led the charge with 32 points, finishing the two-day tournament with 72 points over two games.

In boys action, Damascus jumped to a 24-2 first-quarter lead and was never challenged against Mapleton. Joe Russau led the Eagles with 24 points.