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Sherwood can't keep pace with Democrats

Boys basketball: The Bowmen have too many turnovers in the semifinal loss to Jefferson
by: JAIME VALDEZ, COACH CHAT — Sherwood coach Brian Burke talks to the Bowmen during their state tournament semifinal game with Jefferson.

EUGENE - The Bowmen knew they'd have to be perfect.

Or at least they had to do all of the little things perfect.

Try as they might, they weren't able to reach the level of perfection, and they couldn't keep up with Jefferson.

The Sherwood boys basketball team, playing in a state tournament semifinal for the first time since 1978, fell 66-44 to the No. 2-ranked Democrats in a Class 5A state tourney semifinal clash played Friday at McArthur Court.

'I think we could have beat them,' Sherwood senior Kole Krieger said after the game. 'But we had to be fundamentally sound, and we weren't.'

'We came out and played hard and aggressive on defense, but the turnovers killed us,' Sherwood senior Ian Donovan said. 'We had way too many turnovers.'

With the win, Jefferson improved to 24-1 on the season at that point and advanced to play in the state championship game. The Democrats defeated Corvallis on Saturday to claim the Class 5A state title.

Sherwood, with the semifinal setback, moved to 17-11 on the season at that point.

'We're a team that has to do all of the little things well,' Sherwood coach Brian Burke said. 'And we didn't always do that tonight.'

The Bowmen kept up with Jefferson in the early minutes of the game. In fact, Sherwood tied the score, at 5-5, when Donovan sank a three-pointer off a pass from junior Colin Wester coming with 3 minutes and 53 seconds to play in the first quarter.

But the Democrats finished the period with an 11-0 flurry, giving them a 16-5 lead going into the second quarter.

'We knew that they would go on runs,' Krieger said.

Sherwood, which had five turnovers in the opening period, turned the ball over eight more times in the second quarter. But the Bowmen stayed within shouting distance of Jefferson, thanks to some sharp shooting from outside the three-point arc.

Senior Travis Lutes, senior Elliot Loucks, senior Connor Rumpf and Wester all connected on three-pointers in the period, accounting for all 12 of the Bowmen's points in the second quarter, to keep Sherwood within 10 points of Jefferson, at 27-17, at halftime.

The Democrats, behind the play of standout sophomore Terrance Jones, started to pull away early in the third quarter. Jones had eight points in the opening 4:17 of the period, including a thunderous dunk following a steal, giving the Democrats a 39-25 lead.

But Sherwood got a three-pointer by Krieger, a pair of free throws by Rumpf and a layup by Wester off an assist by Krieger to cut the gap to 43-32 going into the fourth quarter.

Rumpf started the final stanza with another Bowmen three-pointer, trimming the margin to 43-35 with 7:21 left in the contest. But Sherwood wouldn't be able to get any closer.

Jefferson answered back with a quick 7-0 run, which included a pair of baskets by senior guard Kalonji Paschal.

Then, after Rumpf scored on a drive to make the score 49-37, the Democrats went off on a 14-2 run, pushing their lead to 63-39 with 2:14 remaining to play.

'We had the right idea, but there were a few stretches where things got away from us,' Burke said. 'We had some poor passes and took some quick shots. But we battled back. I'm proud of the kids.'

'We did our best, but they got on some rolls and we got out of our game,' Krieger said. 'When we did get back in the game was when we were doing the little things.'

Rumpf paced the Bowmen in the semifinal contest with 15 points. He made three of five attempts from three-point range and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Wester added seven points and three assists.

Sherwood, as a team, made 13 of 30 shots from the field with nine of those baskets being three-pointers. The Bowmen were plagued by 25 turnovers.

Jones led all scorers with 20 points. He also had five rebounds and four steals. Paschal had 12 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists.