The Pioneers put up a big second half to down St. Helens 69-50 on Tuesday night.
The Sandy boys basketball team took a big step toward wrapping up a first-round bye in the 5A playoffs with Tuesday nights 69-50 win at St. Helens.
The Pioneers erased a slim first-quarter deficit and took a six-point lead into the locker room before breaking the game open with 39 points in the second half. Sandy connected on 11 3-pointers for the game, led by Jacob Groom with five bombs and 17 points.
The win boosted Sandy almost eight points in the RPI list, expanding its gap over No. 9 Eagle Point to a seemingly insurmountable 30 points. The top eight teams in the final rankings gain a first-round bye in the 5A playoffs and a home date in the second round.
Sandy moved to 11-2 in the Northwest Oregon Conference and will play for a share of the league title when it hosts Milwaukie (12-1) on Friday night. With a win, the Pioneers would likely overtake the Mustangs for the No. 7 spot in the RPI.