Jefferson's girls basketball team took a loss over the weekend, but the Lady Demos at least averted what could have been a disastrous outcome during a game against No. 2 Southridge in the final of the Southridge tournament.
The Skyhawks dominated Jefferson for more than a half and led 29-9 midway through the third quarter, but the Demos picked up their level of intensity and rallied as close as 37-30 in the fourth quarter before settling for a 43-32 loss Saturday night.
Jefferson begins its Portland Interscholastic League schedule Wednesday against Grant and plays league title contender Lincoln on Friday.
'We learned a lot from this game,' junior point guard Jequala Warren said after the Southridge game. 'We have to show up with intensity at the start of the game. We can't wait until after the jump ball to get it going.
'We need to focus on our halfcourt offense a lot more, and we definitely have to be more verbal with each other.'
Sophomore Simone Jordan hit three 3-point shots in the second half to spur the Jefferson comeback and finished with 17 points. Senior Brittney Davis added 10 points.
Southridge (3-0) neutralized Jefferson's press for the first 20 minutes of the game and steadily pulled away, getting a team-high 11 points from 6-2 senior post Gretchen Gottfried. Sophomore post Stacy Nicholls added 10 points.
The Skyhawks, who begin their Metro League schedule with a home game against Liberty on Wednesday, were somewhat relieved to have survived with a win, particularly considering their six-minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter.
'We kind of dominated them for the first half, but then we realized they could come back,' Gottfried said. 'But the good thing is we dominated them for a while. And we can keep improving.'
Jefferson coach Milt Adams said playing tough teams such as Southridge was a key ingredient to the Demos' plan to reach the state tournament this season.
'We wanted a tough preseason to get the hype out of the way,' Adams said. 'This game showed us how important it is for us to start every game with a lot of intensity.'
Central Catholic senior Galen Rupp heads back to Southern California this weekend for the Foot Locker cross country national championships after finishing third in the West Regional final Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College near Los Angeles.
Rupp, the two-time defending Class 4A boys champion, finished five seconds behind Shadrack Kiptoo of Albuquerque, N.M., on the 5,000-meter course, placing one spot ahead of Beaverton's Stuart Eagon. Rupp finished in 15:37. Eagon finished in 15:38.
The national finals are in San Diego on Saturday.
Twelve other Oregonians ran in the seeded portion of the West Regional, which includes 23 races beginning with seventh-graders. John Maletis, a junior at Jesuit, finished 42nd (16:38).
Danielle Jordan of North Medford was the top Oregon finisher in the girls race, placing 18th. Meghan Armstrong of Tualatin finished 31st in 19:19. There were nine Oregonians among the 155 entrants in the seeded race, including Catlin Gabel junior Jolee VanLeuven, who won the Class 2A state title in November.
Cleveland, which finished second to Grant in the PIL district meet last year, returns three district champions to fuel its district title hopes this season. Both Brett Christy-Hamilton, the PIL champion at 112 pounds, and Brock Luedtke (145) wrestled at the junior nationals in Fargo, N.D., this summer. Anthony Clymens (125) also returns.
Grant junior Ndamukong Suh said he hasn't gotten much recruiting material despite being a 6-5 lineman who was first team all-PIL on offense and defense.
'Oregon has sent me a letter,' Suh said Saturday before scoring seven points against West Linn in the final of the Southridge basketball tournament. 'Other than that, I haven't gotten anything.'
Suh said he was hoping to be a college basketball player until earlier this year when he realized his chances of being a college football player were significantly greater. He plans to attend a prep camp in Texas next spring.
'It's definitely fun to see those college games on television and think I could be playing in one of them someday,' he said.
Former Oregon football coach Rich Brooks will be the featured speaker at the 44th annual scholar-athlete banquet sponsored by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame on Wednesday at the Jantzen Beach Doubletree Hotel.
Among the recipients from Portland area football districts are Kacy Fairfax of Wilson, Joe Lemon of Franklin, Kyle Moore of Central Catholic, Jon Teague of David Douglas and Kevin Clarke of Jesuit. Curtis Bradford and Blake Cole of West Linn, Corey Ellis of Glencoe, Joseph Seifert of Canby, Jordan Boustead of Dallas, Dave Schulze of Sherwood and Jared Beeler of Tilla--mook round out the scholarship winners, who are to receive more than $26,000 in financial aid. Bradford, Ellis and Boustead all sport 4.0 GPAs.
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, Oregon State coach Mike Riley and Portland State coach Tim Walsh also will be on hand to award scholarships.
Athletes from Roosevelt High were on hand Friday to help unload more than 600 Christmas trees at the North Portland Optimist Club lot on North Lombard Street and Chautauqua Boulevard. Proceeds from the lot help support Roosevelt High athletics. Last year, the lot raised more than $8,000 for the school. Among the students who showed up Friday were sophomore Jeff Perkins, a cross country runner who was helping his program and putting in community service time, something he was assigned to do because of tardiness at school. 'This helps the school, and it fulfills my community service,' Perkins said. 'I'm happy to do it.' É The East Portland American Legion baseball program has added Cleveland to its lineup of schools: Grant, Roosevelt, Marshall, Madison and Benson.