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Scoring leader grows into role

Corey Allen has tall hopes for his basketball future.

At 6-4, the Central Catholic junior is among the state's top scorers as a shooting guard and small forward. But he'd like to be 6-6 next season.

'Hopefully, I can grow a couple more inches,' he says. 'That would make me a much more legitimate shooting guard or small forward at the next level.'

Allen is averaging 21.5 points per game. What's more, he's among his team's leaders in rebounds and assists.

'He does it all for us,' senior Kyle Moore says. 'He's a great player. But he's more than that: He's a great leader and a good person, too.'

Central Catholic begins the -OSAA Class 4A state playoffs Wednesday with a home game against Grants Pass. If the Rams win, they likely will play at South Salem on Saturday for a spot in the state tournament March 11-13 at McArthur Court in Eugene.

Allen has grown up playing alongside the Tarver brothers of Jesuit on club teams. He played half of his freshman season with the Central varsity and was one of the Rams' most impressive players last year.

'That gave teams a look at who I was,' he says. 'So I haven't been that much of a surprise to them this year.'

Allen says he handles the pressure of being a scoring leader by passing a lot and rebounding.

'There's pressure that comes along with being the team's leading scorer, but each game is different, so that helps me,' he says. 'I just try to find what I need to do in each game to help us win. Sometimes that's rebounding, sometimes that's passing, and sometimes that's scoring.

'We have other guys on the team who can score, so that helps, too.'