Cats step up at LSI

New-look Westview shows it's ready to compete with the best in the upcoming Metro race
by: Miles Vance BIG EFFORT – Westview senior Bonhan Stafford goes up for a rebound between four Jefferson players during his team’s 72-62 win over the Democrats in the first round of the Les Schwab Invitational tournament at Liberty High School on Monday.

HILLSBORO - Standing on Oregon's biggest preseason stage, the Westview boys basketball team showed that it was ready to go.

The Wildcats, already considered one of the favorites for the 2012 Metro League race, opened the Les Schwab Invitational in impressive fashion on Monday, leading wire-to-wire against Jefferson and posting a 72-62 victory at Liberty High School.

The win lifted Westview's season record to 5-1 and sent the Cats into a quarterfinal match-up against

Houston's Yates High School held yesterday (Wednesday) after the Valley Times' press deadline. Jefferson fell to 1-3 with the loss.

Jefferson is 'a big run team. They go a lot off energy,' said Westview senior post Landen Lucas, who finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds to offset six turnovers. 'But I don't think they got a lot of momentum - as soon as they got a little bit, we would come right back at them.'

'Our goal was just to come out and shut them down. Contain their drives, don't let them shoot, and just play like we can,' added Westview junior guard Dyrall Goods, who finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. 'We knew if we kept our focus, we knew we could take care of business and I think we did.'

The Democrats actually led 10-7 early on after Kadeem Strickland buried a three-pointer midway through the opening period, but the Wildcats closed the quarter on a 12-0 run, took a 19-10 lead and never trailed again. In that stretch, Westview got a 'three' by Keon Burns, then two more three-pointers by Goods in the final 1 minute, 25 seconds of the period.

Jefferson closed within 19-14 at the start of the second frame, but Westview ripped off a 10-0 streak that included a Lucas tip-in, a big Lucas dunk set up by Justin Leatherman and a Montie Leunen layup to make it 29-14.

But the Demos, as they did the rest of the way, made enough plays to stay within arm's reach of the Wildcats, getting three late foul shots by Victor Sanders to bring Jefferson within 38-27 at the half.

The third and fourth quarters followed a similar arc, with Westview extending its lead to 47-32 on a Leunen free throw midway through the third. But again, Jefferson closed the gap to 10 points twice in the quarter, the last of those at 52-42 on a Jamartae Brown layup with 1:52 to go in the stanza.

Goods then hit a pair of foul shots one minute into the final period to provide his team's biggest lead at 59-42 before the Democrats closed the game on a too-little, too-late 20-13 run over the final 6:20 of the contest.

'Dyrall did a good job knocking down free throws at the end of the game so the last four minutes was kind of a wrap,' Lucas said.

'I think everybody's starting to trust each other,' Goods said after the game. 'Like Landen said earlier, we're starting to figure out what he wants and what we want and it's all starting to come together.'

Cole Gatewood added 11 points and two steals for Westview, while Burns added nine more.

For Jefferson, Sanders had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Terrell Penney Jr. added 16 points.

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