The Cleveland Warriors took an important step Tuesday night toward clinching at Oregon School Activities Association playoff berth, and they left the Wilson Trojans in somewhat precarious position.
Clevelands wire-to-wire, 59-42 win at home put the Warriors in excellent shape to be one of the top four teams and among four automatic Class 6A postseason qualifiers in the Portland Interscholastic League.
Wilson is looking more now at finishing strong enough to lock down a spot in one of four play-in games.
Cleveland used its aggressive defense and the scoring of sophomore wing Sethon Moore to all but sew up the a victory in the first half.
Moore scored 22 of his game-high 27 points in the first two quarters, and the Warriors led 38-18 at the break.
The lead grew to 25 midway through the third quarter. Cleveland then cooled off for a while, passing up numerous good looks, and Wilson cut the gap to 14 with 4:46 remaining. But the Trojans couldnt make up any more ground.
Moore barely looked to score in the second half. He was 0 for 1 from the field and scoreless in the fourth quarter to finish 11 of 17 for the game.
Cleveland senior Stellan Roberts made 4 of 5 field-goal attempts and scored nine points. Sophomore guard Rowan Anderson also had nine points, and senior post Nate Anderson added seven.
We played great defense the first half and executed very well, Warriors coach Don Emry said. And Sethon is a warrior.
Cleveland improved to 8-5 and moved into a tie for third in the PIL with Grant.
The Generals fell to 8-5, losing 65-48 at home to Jefferson, which leads the league at 10-3.
Franklin beat host Madison 86-34, as the second-place Quakers lifted their record to 10-4.
Idle Lincoln and Roosevelt are 7-6, and Wilson slipped to eight place at 6-7. Roosevelt got past Benson 55-50 at Benson.
Cleveland isnt out of the PIL title picture, although its hopes took two recent blows with losses to Grant and Franklin. The Warriors have a big game Friday at Jefferson before finishing the regular season against the bottom two teams in the league standings, Madison (3-11) and Benson (0-12).
Cleveland beat Jefferson 67-61 at Cleveland on Jan. 22, but Moore said it will take a very good effort for the Warriors to sweep the season series.
Were going to have to come out strong Friday and play really good defense, he said. Our goal is always to hold teams under 60 points.
The Warriors made sure of that on Tuesday, holding Wilson to three baskets in a 19-6 first quarter.
We knew they would try hard to get a win tonight because theyre trying to get into the playoffs, Moore said, so we had to play hard.
For Wilson, sophomore wing Maleek Elmi scored 13 points and sophomore guard Blake Blake had 10.
The Trojans have lost four in a row and six of their last seven games, and they had trouble matching up with both Clevelands quickness and the versatile game of the 6-3 Moore, who got a lot of his points after posting up.
I like playing inside and outside, he said. There were some matchups tonight where we thought they might be a little slower, so my teammates went to me a little more than usual.