The Crusaders take out Centennial, but get shot down by North Medford
by: MILES VANCE, SIDE BY SIDE — Jesuit junior guard Ted Coburn races Centennial senior Jacob Shoda for a loose ball during the Crusaders’ 56-42 home win over the Eagles last Wednesday night in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

For the first time in a long time - a very, very long time, the Jesuit boys basketball team will not be represented at the Oregon state tournament.

The Crusaders (16-10), the second seed from the Metro League, saw their season come to an end 70-56 at North Medford on Saturday in the second round of the Class 6A state sub-tournament, ending their 11-year streak of reaching the playoffs and the state tournament. Jesuit opened the playoffs last Wednesday by beating Centennial 56-42 at Jesuit High School.

North Medford 70, Jesuit 56

MEDFORD - Jesuit traveled long range for a shot at the Class 6A state tournament, but it was North Medford's long-range shooting that prevented just that.

The No. 5 Black Tornado (20-7) knocked down nine three-pointers to beat Jesuit 70-56 at North Medford High School and advance to the state tournament for the first time since 1999.

Black Tornado junior guard Jordan Ellis set the pace Saturday by scoring a game-high 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, six of those three-pointers.

With Medford hot all night - the Tornado hit 53 percent of its shots from the floor and 9-of-16 'threes' - Jesuit fell behind 23-11 at the end of the first quarter and still trailed 31-21 at halftime.

The Crusaders, who got 14 points each from sophomore Stephen Holt and freshman Kyle Wiltjer and 13 more from junior Brenton Spickerman, fell further behind in the third quarter - Ellis scored 10 points in the period for North - but rallied in the fourth. Down 54-38 entering the period, Jesuit took off on a 9-0 run that cut North's lead to 55-47 midway through the period.

But Wiltjer was whistled for a flagrant foul after an altercation with North's Matt Maurer that set off a 6-0 run for the Black Tornado that effectively ended Jesuit's comeback hopes. North then sealed its win with a five-point possession that included Ellis' final 'three' and, after a missed foul shot, a putback by Josh Pecktol that extended the Tornado lead to 66-49.

Jesuit hit 19-of-59 from the field and 6-of-21 three-pointers. Pecktol added 15 points for Medford and Danny Berger 11.

Jesuit 56, Centennial 42

BEAVERTON - Jesuit started its state playoff run in fine fashion last Wednesday, rallying late in the third quarter and in the fourth to knock out Centennial.

'We came out of the third and we needed to step up and we did that,' said Jesuit junior guard Ted Coburn, who had 13 points, including three three-pointers. 'It was a big win.'

'We missed some shots we normally make and they played very well,' explained Jesuit coach Gene Potter. 'We had a couple lapses but they're very good.'

Centennial (17-9), the third-place team from the Mt. Hood Conference, rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit and cut Jesuit's lead to one point late in the third quarter before the Crusaders put the game away.

The Crusaders were tied with the Eagles at 13-13 after Centennial's Dexter Morrison scored on a putback 52 seconds into the second quarter, but Jesuit closed the half on an 18-4 run paced by Coburn. Coburn hit all three of his shots from the field in the period - including two three-pointers within a span of 1 minute, 51 seconds - and scored 10 points, while Spickerman added five more to give their team a 31-17 lead at the break.

But the Eagles were just as good in the third quarter, turning up the heat on their defense - Jesuit hit just 2-of-9 shots from the floor and committed five turnovers - while Eagle senior guard Jacob Shoda (13 points) took over on offense. Shoda hit 4-of-6 shots from the floor, converted a three-point play and scored 10 points in the frame as his team cut Jesuit's lead to 33-32 on Diego Herrejon's steal and layin with 2:25 left in the period.

Centennial's highlight reel ended with the third quarter, however. Jesuit led 38-35 entering the fourth, and there, Wiltjer hit two 'threes' in just over a minute while the Eagles went 2-for-10 from the field and turned the ball over five times in the final frame.

'I was feeling pretty good,' said Wiltjer, who had 18 points against Centennial, including three 'threes.' 'Our shots just weren't falling like usual … but a playoff win's a playoff win.'

Spickerman added 16 for Jesuit.

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