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Bowmen storm the tourney

Boys basketball: Sherwood scores a 52-44 win over Mt. View in state opener
by: JAIME VALDEZ, WINNING SMILE — Sherwood senior Kole Krieger (10) and the rest of the Bowmen celebrate their 52-44 win over Mountain View in Wednesday's Class 5A state tournament quarterfinal contest.

EUGENE - The Sherwood High School boys basketball team entered the Class 5A state tournament in a definite underdog role.

Don't look now, but those underdogs have advanced to the state tourney semifinals.

The unranked Bowmen earned a spot in the tournament final four by running to a 52-44 win over Mountain View of Bend in a tourney quarterfinal game played Wednesday at McArthur Court.

'So far, this is our biggest win of the season,' Sherwood senior Connor Rumpf said after the victory. 'No one expected us to do anything here, so this is exciting.'

Sherwood, the No. 3 team out of the Northwest Oregon Conference, improved to 17-10 on the season with the victory. The Bowmen will next be in action Friday when they face No. 2-ranked Jefferson in a state tournament semifinal game starting at 6:30 p.m.

'I can't wait for Friday,' Rumpf said.

Sherwood started strong in Wednesday's playoff contest. The Bowmen, getting baskets by Rumpf, senior Ian Donovan and junior Colin Wester, ended the first quarter with on a 6-0 run, giving them a 14-10 lead going into the second quarter.

Rumpf connected on a pair of three-point baskets in the second quarter to help Sherwood to a 27-24 lead at halftime.

Mountain View, the No. 2 team out of the Intermountain Conference, battle back in the third quarter and tied the game at 35-35 on a put-back basket by senior post Nick Ridling coming with 53 seconds left in the period.

Sherwood regained the lead, at 37-35, when senior Travis Lutes scored on a buzzer-beating drive to the basket, giving the Bowmen a two-point cushion going into the fourth quarter. The wouldn't trail the rest of the way.

Sherwood scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to up its lead to 41-35. The Bowmen then opened up a 46-39 lead on a pair of free throws by senior Kole Krieger with 1:26 left to play.

Wester and Lutes each went 2-for-2 from the foul line in the final minute of play to wrap up the 52-44 win.

'That was awesome,' Sherwood coach Brian Burke said. 'The kids showed a lot of poise and confidence. They really believe in themselves.'

'This is our biggest win so far this season,' Donovan said. 'Coming in, we knew we'd have to play well. We played well as a team. That was the big thing. Going up against bigger teams motivates us. We feel like we can compete with anyone in the state.'

Rumpf led a balanced Sherwood scoring attack with 13 points.

'We played like a team,' Rumpf said. 'We played good team defense tonight. That was the key to the game.'

Wester scored 12 for the Bowmen while Lutes and Donovan each added 10.

The Bowmen also outrebounded the taller Cougars by a 36-21 margin. Rumpf led Sherwood with eight rebounds while Wester and Krieger each had seven boards.

'It's all about effort getting to the ball,' Donovan said of the rebounding advantage. 'We try to play harder than the other team does.'

Meanwhile, on defense, Krieger and Sherwood senior Elliot Loucks helped limit Sean Dart, Mountain View's standout 6-foot-7 post, to 12 points.

'It's a lot of work,' the 6-2 Krieger said. 'And it takes a lot of trust in your teammates. A lot of teams are bigger and have more talent, but we work harder. Everyone on this team plays their hardest all the time.'

Mountain View fell to 15-11 on the season with the loss.

For a complete game story and more photos, and for coverage of Sherwood's next two state tournament games, see the March 20 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times.