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Lions near post-season playoff berth

St. Helens should make the playoffs, and could have a home game if they stay high in rankings


The St. Helens Lions stayed right where they needed to be last week with a basketball win over Rex Putnam, but a loss to NWOC-leader Milwaukie.

The Lions couldn’t keep pace with Milwaukie on Tuesday night in a 73-43 loss, but held off a motivated Parkrose team on Thursday night, 51-44.

“Putnam’s season hasn’t been the best or the brightest, but they played with a lot of intensity,” St. Helens Coach Jerry Allen said.

The split left the Lions tied with Wilsonville and Sherwood for third-place in the league and two games remaining this week. If the Lions win out, they’ll most likely finish tied for third with Wilsonville or Sherwood. Those two teams play Tuesday, while the Lions take on second-place Sandy. They gave Sandy a hard-fought game in their first meeting and believe they can prevail.

“We need to keep working on our confidence and concentrate on how how hard we play and consistency,” Allen added. “I see some glimpses of really good play, but we have to be consistent.”

The team was working on their defensive assignments over the two days before their game Tuesday.

The good news for the Lions is that they are ranked 14th in the Oregon School Activities Association power rankings. Even with a loss, they shouldn’t drop more than a spot. That would get them a home play-in game on Wednesday, Feb. 27. If the standings were to remain static, they probably would play Bend. That can change through this Friday’s games, but the Lions should have a home game.

The Lions could rise in the rankings if they beat Sandy. With Parkrose low in the rankings, the Lions could drop a notch, win or lose. However, as long as they stay 16th or above they’ll be at home in the play-ins. League standings matter little when it comes to placement for play-in games. If they do rise, they could have a lower-ranked playoff opponent.

All that aside, the Lions would like to finish at least tied for third in the Northwest Oregon Conference. They may need two wins to do that.