Crusaders oust Canby in state quarterfinal matchup
Jesuit moves on to play S. Medford in Eugene
EUGENE - Experience is king at the state tournament and Jesuit's boys basketball team proved that in spades Thursday night, finishing off Canby 54-50 in its quarterfinal opener in the Class 6A state tournament at McArthur Court.
The Metro League champion Crusaders (23-3) showed their mettle in the game's middle two periods, outscored the Pacific Conference champion Cougars 36-18 and held on down the stretch to win 54-50.
Canby fell to 22-6 with the loss and was eliminated from the tournament by Grant. Senior guard Kevin Chalmers, along with John Elorriaga the only two significant holdovers from last year's state tournament team, played a huge part in that success, hitting 6-of-7 shots from the floor and 5-of-6 foul shots on his way to a game-high 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
'We didn't come out very well, but we knew if we could take our lumps and keep going, just hang in there, we knew our run would come,' Chalmers said. 'Our defense just kind of carried us.'
'They were really aggressive on defense and we were tentative on offense,' Jesuit coach Gene Potter said. 'Once we settled down a bit and got the game going up and down the way we wanted to, we were OK. We just weren't very aggressive at the start of the game.'
The Crusaders turned to Chalmers in the third quarter and he delivered. Chalmers hit 4-of-5 shots - all layins - and his only free throw for nine points in the quarter and also added three steals and two assists in the period for a 39-29 lead.
Jesuit eventually built its lead to 12, at 48-36 on two Michael Hart foul shots with 2:43 left in the fourth quarter, but Canby eventually cut the Crusader lead to 51-48 on Clint Chapman's two foul shots with 43 seconds remaining. But the Cougars missed three-point attempts on their remaining two possessions and Chalmers hit 3-of-4 foul shots in the final 20 seconds to seal their victory.