A late-season flurry of wins and a little luck propelled the David Douglas Scots into the Class 4A boys basketball state playoffs, which begin tonight.
The Scots won the Mount Hood Conference's fourth playoff spot by winning seven of their last 10 games, including a 77-74 victory over Centennial in overtime Saturday night, which concluded a three-team conference tiebreaker.
David Douglas tied for fourth when it beat second-place Reynolds on the final day of the regular season and got help from Parkrose, which beat Centennial on the same day. Centennial beat Parkrose in the first game of the fourth-place tiebreaker Friday. The Scots beat Centennial three times this season Ñ by a total of eight points.
'We're lucky just to be in the playoffs,' Scots coach Stan Woodfill said. 'For a while, we were hoping just to get out of the bottom of the conference. Now, we're healthy and we're playing as well as we can play. We feel like we can beat good teams.'
David Douglas is host to Hillsboro of the Metro League tonight in the first of three-rounds of single-elimination games that lead into the 16-team state tournament March 11-15 at Memorial Coliseum.
In other first-round games, Benson is host to Tigard and Central Catholic is host to Bend.
Junior Kyle Bennett averages more than 15 points and eight rebounds per game to lead David Douglas, which also has gotten key contributions from senior center Tayo Cotton and senior guard Maycol Rivera.
MORE HOOPS: Benson's road to the state tournament is long and tough this year, but it doesn't include a trip to Grants Pass. The Techmen need to beat defending state champion Tigard, Sunset and Reynolds to reach the tournament. Benson has experience with this route, though, having won three playoff games last year to visit the tourney.
'It really helped us get ready for the tournament last year,' Benson coach Don Emry said. 'It's too bad we have to play Sunset again because I think we're two of the 10 best teams in the state.'
Benson beat Sunset earlier in the season, although the Apollos played without standout center Sam Rayburn.
Grant coach Tony Broadous said his team is playing with confidence because it finished third in the PIL.
'We're No. 3 in a great league,' he said. 'We feel like we can play with anyone.'
Grant's path to the tournament includes a home game Thursday, possibly against neighborhood rival Central Catholic. The winner of that game will travel to Grants Pass, which upset Jefferson in the first round of the state tournament last season.