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Bowmen wake up and earn state bid

Boys basketball: Sherwood grabs a postseason berth by rallying past Glencoe
by: JONATHAN HOUSE, BOWMEN BALL — Sherwood’s Nick Kalina (left) and Glencoe’s Robbie Unger fight for a loose ball during Friday’s NWOC playoff game.

SHERWOOD - For two quarters, Glencoe's zone defense held Sherwood in a zone of its own - one of passivity.

Trailing 28-20 at halftime, the Bowmen regained their edge and went on the attack in the second half to secure the Northwest Oregon Conference's No. 4 state playoff seed with a 59-54 victory at Sherwood High School.

The win marked the Bowmen's third over the Crimson Tide this season, though none came tougher than Friday night's league playoff game.

'They're a good team with a lot of skilled players,' said wing Connor Rumpf, who led Sherwood with 15 points. 'We were settling for a lot of jump shots in the first half. Coach (Brian Burke) wanted us to get the ball inside. That worked a lot better than standing around.'

Which is what the Bowmen did a lot of in the first half, passing around the perimeter and firing up long off-target attempts. More than half of Sherwood's shots before halftime were from behind the arc with the Bowmen converting 4-of-13 three-point attempts.

Coming of Tuesday's upset of Wilsonville in the first round, Glencoe took advantage, using a 10-0 run to build a 17-8 lead in the first quarter. The Tide shot 50 percent (12-of-24) in the first half and led 26-17 late in the second quarter when wing Robbie Unger drove and banked in a fadeaway basket to cap a 9-2 spurt.

The Bowmen shook off the slow start and got on the attack after the intermission with an aggressive press defense that jolted a rejuvenated offense.

'We were really struggling for a while,' Burke said. 'We were really passive. Some guys came in and picked it up and we got more aggressive.'

And back into the game. Sherwood chipped away at the deficit by getting to the basket, but still trailed 40-33 when Nick Apeland, who had 15 points for Glencoe, swished a three-pointer on the top of the arc with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Bowmen got within a bucket after point guard Travis Lutes found Nathanael Keohane, who had 14 points, for a layin then later drove and passed the ball out to an open Rumpf for a three-pointer in the right corner with 0:05 left to make it 40-38.

Keohane had eight points and Lutes added seven as the Bowmen outscored Glencoe 8-12 in the third quarter.

'It started once we got into the middle and got some easy buckets,' Keohane said. 'And we also kicked it out and hit some shots. We had to play hard and with heart.'

The Bowmen did both, tying the game when Rumpf stole the inbounds pass to open the fourth quarter and later converted the first two of his six free throws in the final frame.

Keohane worked inside for a bucket and 46-42 lead to cap a 6-0 run. Apeland's scoop layin forced a 46-46 tie with 4:30 left when Sherwood slammed the door.

Rumpf buried a three-pointer than two more free throws after the Tide's seventh turnover of the fourth quarter. Lutes' steal and finger-roll layin made it 53-46 with 2:59 left.

Glencoe got as close as three points at 55-52 and 57-54 after Martin Torres' leaner with 0:12 remaining, but Ian Donovan sealed the Bowmen win by hitting two free throws.

The victory moved Sherwood into the Class 5A state playoffs where the Bowmen traveled to Thurston, the No. 3 seed out of the Midwestern Conference, for Tuesday's first round game.

With Friday's win, the Bowmen improved to 17-9 on the season, while ending Glencoe's at 8-18. Sherwood beat Glencoe, who was led by Kevan Acker's game-high 17 points, by 15 on January 23 and again 50-37 on Feb. 13 in both teams' final conference game.

'In our league, it's tough to beat anybody three times,' Burke said. 'To their credit, they gutted it out.'