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Bowmen roll in league finale

Sherwood also beats Bend in a Class 5A state play-in game


SHERWOOD — In its final game of the regular season, the Sherwood High School boys basketball team wanted to accomplish a pair of things.

The Bowmen wanted to have a successful Senior Night and they wanted to do some final preparations for the state playoffs.

Well, it looked like the Sherwood squad went two for two.

The Bowmen, in their final home game of the season, rolled to a 66-39 win over Liberty in a Northwest Oregon Conference finale played Friday at Sherwood High School.by: DAN BROOD - HANDS UP -- Sherwood High School senior post Alex Jones (right) shoots over a pair of Liberty defenders in Friday's game.

“This was important to us,” said Sherwood senior guard Jordan Skoubo, who was one of four Bowmen players to score in double figures in the victory. “The seniors have been playing together for a long time.”

“This was a fun night and we had a great crowd,” said Sherwood senior post Alex Jones, who led all scorers with 16 points. “Now, we’re super excited for the playoffs.”

With the loss, Liberty finished its season with a 2-12 record in league games and a final overall mark of 8-16. Sherwood finished the regular season with a 9-5 record in NWOC play (14-9 overall), putting the Bowmen in third place in the league standings.

“We’re playing well now, and we’re all excited for the playoffs,” Skoubo said. “We have a lot of momentum now.”

“Our confidence is the highest it’s been,” Jones said.

In Friday’s regular season finale with Liberty, Sherwood started off fast and never looked back. Jones and Skoubo each scored four points in the first quarter, which ended with the Bowmen holding a 13-7 lead.

The Bowmen then turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter. They allowed the Falcons to take just five shots from the field in the period while also forcing six turnovers and outrebounding Liberty by an 8-2 margin.

“We’ve been working hard on defense in practice,” Skoubo said.

“With our defense, we’re getting turnovers and from that, we’re scoring on offense,” Jones said.

Sophomore guard Evan Kitto sank a three-point basket from the top of the circle to start the second-quarter scoring for Sherwood. Junior post Jordan Kurahara then scored on a layup off a pass from Kitto.

Then, following a free throw by Liberty senior Aaron Holman, the Bowmen got back-to-back baskets by Jones and senior Jacob Brooks to open up a 22-8 lead with 3 minutes and 51 seconds left before halftime.

Jones scored five more points in the quarter, converting a three-point play in the process, and senior guard Zach Milligan added three points to help Sherwood take a 30-16 halftime lead.

Sherwood then put the game away in the third, outscoring Liberty 18-8 in the period.

Skoubo scored six points in the first three minutes of the quarter, giving the Bowmen a 38-18 lead at that point.

Sophomore Jacob Spurgeon scored five points in the final 1:59 of the period and Kurahara had a pair of follow-up hoops to help the Bowmen stretch their lead to 48-24 at the end of the quarter.

Spurgeon continued his scoring spree in the fourth quarter. He had seven points, to go with two rebounds, a steal and an assist in the period, helping Sherwood close out the 66-39 victory.

“That was a great finish for the seniors,” Sherwood coach Tony Merrill said. “The kids played good basketball. We’ve been getting better, and we’re looking forward to the playoffs.”

In addition to Jones’ 16 points, Sherwood also got 12 points from Spurgeon, all coming in the second half.

Kurahara scored 11 points, Skoubo added 10 and Milligan scored six.

Holman led Liberty with 13 points.

*****

Sherwood was victorious in its postseason opener, as the Bowmen ran to a 60-52 win over Bend in a Class 5A play-in game played Tuesday at Bend High.

“That was good,” Merrill said. “Any time you get a win in the playoffs, it’s great.”

Sherwood started fast in the contest, holding a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and then going on to hold a 28-17 advantage at halftime.

Bend, making four three-point baskets in the third quarter, cut the Sherwood lead to four, at 45-41, going into the final stanza.

But Sherwood, making clutch free throws in the final stanza, was able to put away the eight-point victory.

“The guys reacted well,” Merrill said. “They stuck with their game and we were able to close it out. We did a good job on defense, keeping the pressure on them.”

Kurahara led a balanced Sherwood scoring attack in the win with 16 points. Skoubo added 13 points and Jones had 10. Kitto, sinking two of three attempts from three-point range, had nine points.

Sherwood will now meet Silverton in a Class 5A state playoff game set to start at 7 p.m. Friday at Silverton High School.

Silverton, led by senior standout guard Zach Gengler, is 20-4 on the season.

“They’re a really good team, and it’s going to be a great playoff environment,” Merrill said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The teams met earlier this season, with Silverton scoring a 60-44 win in a game played Dec. 11 at Sherwood High School.

The winner of Friday’s game at Silverton will advance to the Class 5A state tournament and will face either Marist or Milwaukie in a tourney quarterfinal game set to start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene.



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