Clackamas, Putnam exit early
The Cavaliers and Kingsmen get blown out by ranked teams in the first round of the boys basketball playoffs
Clackamas and Putnam made a quick exit from the 2008 Class 6A boys basketball playoffs last week.
The fifth-ranked North Medford Black Tornado used sharp outside shooting, a domination of the backboards and an up-tempo pace of play to put Clackamas away 72-46 in last Wednesday's first round.
And cold shooting cost the Kingsmen as they fell behind early and got blown out by sixth-ranked Central Catholic 67-44 in the first round.
Both North Medford and Barlow won again on Saturday and earned berths in the eight-team state tournament. The Southwest Conference runner-up Black Tornado (20-7) got the best of Jesuit 70-55, and the Mt. Hood Conference champion Rams (20-6) topped Benson 58-55.
The Tornado used sharp shooting from beyond the arc to build a 34-26 lead over the Cavaliers by halftime.
Clackamas closed to within four points to start the fourth period, but North Medford then stole the ball five times during a three-minute span and went on a 12-0 run to put the game away.
Jordan Ellis (14 points) and Danny Berger (14 points) helped ignite the Black Tornado offensive barrage. They both cashed in three times from downtown, as the Tornado went 8-of-14 from beyond the arc on the night.
Meanwhile North 6-2 senior wing Josh Pecktol did the damage on the inside, slicing through the Cavalier half-court defense for 21 points.
Nine different North Medford players claimed at least one rebound, and the Tornado earned a 25-15 advantage on the backboards.
Craig Seiler was the only player who had much success for the Cavaliers. The 6-4 senior burned the nets for a season- and game-high 27 points. But he was the only Cavalier to reach double figures in scoring.
North Medford was 23-of-46 (.500) from the field and 18-of-23 (.782) from the free throw line.
The Cavaliers found the mark on 21-of-44 field goals (.477) and on 3-of-4 free throws.
With the loss, Clackamas finished the year with a 16-8 record, after placing third (8-4) in the Three Rivers League.
It's the first time since 1999 that a North Medford team has won in postseason play.
Jake Rickert (10 points) was the only Putnam player to reach double figures in scoring in the Kingsmen's loss to Central Catholic.
The Rams were in command all the way, building a 16-8 lead in the first quarter and a 35-16 advantage by the halftime break.
Demetrius Guice and Nate Carr packed the one-two punch for Central Catholic, scoring 20 and 19 points respectively.
Putnam, the fourth and final seed from the Three Rivers League (5-7), finished the season with an overall record of 12-13.