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Lincoln nabs new coach from Eugene

Lincoln High's boys basketball program has found its successor to Troy Berry. He's Jeff Bair, who will leave the program at Eugene's Willamette High to take over the Portland Interscholastic League's reigning champion.

Bair, 34, led perennial second-division finisher Willamette to the state playoffs twice in his five years.

'I'm looking to continue the positive program that Troy built,' Bair says. 'We want to show people that we're a class team that can offer the academic side, as well.'

Berry moved over to Benson early this summer.

Bair played at Clackamas High under his father, Jim Bair. He went to Chemeketa Community College and then earned his degree at Mesa State in Colorado. He spent two years in the West African nation of Mali and then was an assistant coach in Clinton, Miss., where he helped develop five NCAA Division I players.

Bair has been eyeing a return to Portland for some time and was an applicant for the job at Grant five years ago.

At Lincoln, he takes over a team that won the PIL for the first time in nearly 40 years and returns several key players. The returnees include incoming juniors Omar Leary and Latravis Turner, who were on the school's interview committee.

Bair, who teaches social studies, plans to be involved in one of the summer all-star programs, too.

BASEBALL: Former Franklin High star Jeff Pry plans to begin pitching again this week as he tries to decide whether to sign with the Cleveland Indians or attend the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Pry, who was one of the top players in the PIL, was a 17th-round draft pick of the Indians, who are waiting for him to recover from a right arm injury.

'My intention had been to go pro,' Pry says. 'But I'm not sure what I'm going to do now, especially because Hawaii has come back with a better offer.'

Hawaii plans to use him as both a pitcher and a hitter, Pry says.

Pry hit .615 during the high school season and had an on-base percentage of .860. He expects to make a decision before Aug. 23, which is when Hawaii wants him to report.

Pry says his injury came from overuse.

'I think I'm going to come back stronger than before,' says Pry, who has been working and taking one summer school class in order to graduate. 'I think the Indians are waiting to see if that happens.'

MORE BASEBALL: The Northeast Portland all-stars reached the title game of their 12-team tournament before losing 7-5 Sundayto the combined team from Mt. View and Evergreen high schools of Vancouver, Wash.

Northeast Portland, with most of its players coming from Grant High, enters the Area 2 district tournament as one of two top seeds, along with the Subaru team, which has mostly Central Catholic players.

Games begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at Sckavone Field. The final is 6 p.m. Sunday, with the winner advancing to the state tourney in Eugene.

TRACK: Lincoln's Mike McGrath will have local company at the Pan-Am Junior Games this week in Barbados. Galen Rupp of Central Catholic flew directly from the World Youth Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to Barbados.

Rupp, who qualified in the 3,000 meters, finished seventh in the Youth Games 3,000 final in 8 minutes, 10.42 seconds, his personal best and just two seconds off the all-time state best.

McGrath, who will run the 800 in Barbados, ran 3:50 in the 1,500 at an all-comers meet in Eugene on Thursday. That was four seconds off the state best of 3:46.8 and three seconds off his personal best.