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Bowmen rally for playoff victory

Boys basketball: Sherwood, with its win over Woodburn, will play at Ashland on Friday
by: DAN BROOD, UP HIGH — Sherwood senior Travis Lutes goes up high to the basket in the Bowmen’s win over Woodburn.

SHERWOOD - It sure wasn't easy.

But the Bowmen are still playing basketball. And, more importantly, they're now only one win away from earning a berth in the Class 5A state tournament.

The Sherwood High School boys basketball team, rallying from a seven-point deficit with less than four minutes to play, scored a 63-58 win over Woodburn in a Class 5A state playoff first-round game held Tuesday at Sherwood High School.

'This is very exciting for us. We're really happy with it,' Sherwood senior guard Travis Lutes said following the victory on Tuesday. 'It was a struggle at times tonight, but now we're just one win away, and we're going up against a team we think we can beat.'

With the win over Woodburn, Sherwood, the No. 3 team from the Northwest Oregon Conference, improved to 15-10 on the season. The Bowmen will next take on Southern Sky Conference champion Ashland Friday in a Class 5A state playoff second-round game starting at 7 p.m. at Ashland High School.

The Grizzlies, led by 6-foot-9, 300-plus pound center Matt Lipski, are 16-9 on the season.

'We're going to have our work cut out for us,' Sherwood coach Brian Burke said. 'But we're real glad to have the opportunity to go to Ashland.'

The winner of Friday's game at Ashland will advance to play at the Class 5A state tournament, which starts Wednesday at McArthur Court in Eugene. The victor of the game at Ashland will start state tourney play Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. game against either South Albany or Mountain View.

'It's not just a goal to get there, but we want to get to the final day of the state tournament,' Lutes said. 'We still need to get better. There's a lot of stuff for us to work on.'

Sherwood had to work plenty hard Tuesday to get the win over Woodburn in a back-and-forth contest.

The Bulldogs, with freshman post Andy Agvi scoring 18 points, held a 29-28 lead at halftime. Bowmen senior Connor Rumpf scored 13 points in the first half to keep Sherwood close.

Woodburn opened a 39-36 lead in the third quarter before Sherwood senior Ian Donovan connected on back-to-back three-pointers, giving the Bowmen a 42-39 lead with 3 minutes and 49 seconds left in the period.

The Bulldogs answered with a 9-0 run, giving them a 48-42 advantage. Rumpf ended the Woodburn run with a three-pointer, cutting the lead to 48-45 going into the fourth quarter.

Woodburn would go on to up its lead to 54-47 on a layup by senior post Jeremy Fackrell coming with 4:14 to play in the game.

But that's when Sherwood turned up the intensity and came storming back. Lutes and junior wing Colin Wester each sank a free throw and Wester followed with a layup to trim the lead to 54-51 with 3:09 remaining.

Rumpf went 2-for-2 from the foul line after he was fouled while coming up with a steal to get the Bowmen within one. Rumpf then nailed a three-pointer, following a steal by Lutes and an offensive rebound by senior Kole Krieger, to give the Bowmen a 56-54 lead with 2:32 left in the game.

Sherwood then put the game away on defense. Donovan went 2-for-2 from the foul line following another steal by Lutes, making the score 58-54 with 1:37 left to play.

Krieger, Donovan, Rumpf and Wester all made free throws down the stretch as Sherwood wrapped up the 63-58 victory.

'That was a struggle,' Burke said. 'We gave up too many easy baskets. I take responsibility. We knew what they were going to run. We had to change out of our man defense.'

The Bowmen went to a 1-3-1 trapping defense in the decisive fourth quarter and ended up forcing Woodburn into eight turnovers in the period. Lutes, Donovan and Rumpf each had two steals in the quarter.

'We kept our heads and we caught them off guard,' Lutes said. 'Getting all of those turnovers really helped.'

Rumpf, who made five three-pointers, led the way for Sherwood in the win with 26 points. Lutes had 13 points to go with five steals and four assists. Donovan scored 12 points while Wester and Krieger each had six.

Sherwood, as a team, made 19 of 46 shots from the field and 17 of 27 free throws.

Agvi led all scorers with 28 points. The Bulldogs (12-13) shot at a 25-for-45 clip from the field.