EUGENE - A stellar regular season gave way to a poorly-timed state tournament funk for the Westview boys basketball team.
The Wildcats, the second-place team from the Metro League, opened the Class 6A tournament with a first-round loss to top-ranked Lake Oswego on Thursday, then saw their season end with another defeat, this time to McKay, Friday morning.
The Wildcats saw their season end at 21-8 after losing to the Silver Scots 60-51.
'They had some kids step up and make some free throws. They hit a three here and there and it's that kind of intangible you count on to win a game, said Westview coach Pat Coons. 'And we struggled at a couple spots today.'
'We really thought we could win a state championship, but coming back at nine in the morning is tough,' said Gonzaga-bound junior post Andy Poling, who finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks against the Silver Scots. 'It's tough. We just needed some guys to step up.'
Throughout Westview's season finale, the Wildcats struggled from the outside -- they shot 31 percent overall and just 16 percent from three-point range -- while McKay managed to hang around and hit enough big shots to win.
The Wildcats led 38-36 on Trevor Siefken's two foul shots with 2 minutes 57 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Scots closed the period on a 7-2 run, five of those (including a three-pointer) coming from Greg Plater, for a 43-40 edge. McKay extended that streak to 11-2 and a 47-40 lead behind baskets from Plater and Jordan Barrier at the outset of the fourth quarter, but Westview didn't die.
The Wildcats responded with a 10-3 run over the next 4:17, with Andrew Jones hitting a three-pointer to get things started and Siefken doing the rest, turning in a three-point play and then hitting back-to-back jump shots from the foul line to tie the contest at 50-50 with 2:53 remaining.
The magic ended there for Westview, though. The Wildcats missed their final four shots from the field, turned the ball over twice and scored just one more point while McKay added baskets from Kyle Evans and Reese Smith and hit six straight free throws in the final two minutes to win.
Siefken led Westview with 18, Andrew Jones had 16 and Poling 13, but no other Wildcat had more than three.