East Portland team packs PIL talent


The Grant and Central Catholic baseball teams have carried their spring success into the summer and are tied atop the American Legion Area 2 standings entering this week's play.

Grant's team, playing as East Portland because it can include players from both Madison and Roosevelt, is 18-6 and will play host to a 12-team tournament beginning Thursday.

East Portland, filled with players from Grant's Portland Interscholastic League championship team, has played at a high level this summer. The team won a tournament at Centennial and finished second at a tourney in Eugene, losing to the Eugene Challengers Ñ the leader in the powerful Area 4 standings.

East Portland coach Rob Kennewell says he hopes to include as many as four teams from Southern Oregon in the East Portland tournament next season.

• Teams from Portland fared well at the annual Volleyball Festival in Sacramento, Calif.

The top team from the Northwest Juniors program, coached by former Marshall and Parkrose coach Rod Jones, finished third in the 18-and-under division last week.

Portland Volleyball Club's top team finished seventh.

The Rose City Volleyball Club finished 14th overall in the highly competitive 16-and-under division, which fielded 330 teams. All of the players on the Rose City team will play for Central Catholic in the fall.

Another team from the Rose City program finished eighth in the 14-and-under division. A team from the Northwest Juniors finished 10th in that division.

nÊA team of Portland area all-stars will play in a world championship of sorts, July 17-20, on the Nike campus in Beaverton as part of the Manchester United Premier Cup.

Twenty 14-and-under teams from around the world are slated to play in the tournament, which is being held in conjunction with Man U's tour through the United States. Man U, billed as the world's most popular team, will play in Seattle on July 22.

The Portland team hails from the FC Portland club and is coached by former Barlow coach Jim Rilatt.

nÊJesuit's football season is set to begin with a bang when the Crusaders play host to North Medford on Aug. 29 in a rematch of the Class 4A title game from 2000.

That game is likely to have as much economic impact on the Portland area as a Portland Beavers game. Last season, North Medford played before more than 9,000 fans in its annual game against cross-town rival South Medford.

Looking ahead to basketball season, three teams from the PIL Ñ Benson Jefferson and Lincoln Ñ have been invited to the Les Schwab Invitational boys tournament in December. Last season, only Jefferson played in the tourney.

Wilson's nonleague schedule includes three games in Hawaii, a path that Lincoln used to win the PIL title last year.

The rough draft of the girls hoop schedule for PIL teams includes an interesting weekend of games Dec. 26-27 when four PIL teams Ñ Benson, Franklin, Jefferson and Roosevelt Ñ duel with four schools from Seattle.

nÊAmong the players helping the Houston Comets battle for a playoff spot in the WNBA is Mfon Udoka, the former standout at Benson who played at De Paul University and was a draft pick of the Detroit Shock in 1998.