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Despite strong opening round, Wilsonville was unable to make it to the semi-finals of the tournament

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Junior Jack Roche had a huge game against Stayton, putting up 20 points with 10 assists. Wilsonville came into the Capital City Classic looking to rebound from a tough 51-64 loss to 6A standout West Linn. They did that, trouncing an overmatched Stayton Eagles 72-31 before losing subsequent games to Washington's Skyview in overtime 45-46 and the McNary Celtics 30-55.

WILSONVILLE BESTS STAYTON

In what was a banner game for several of the Wildcats starting lineup, Wilsonville dominated the Stayton Eagles 72-31 on Tuesday Dec. 18 at Willamette University.

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Wilsonville senior Caleb Larsen was a big part of Wilsonvilles success over Stayton, distributing the ball well and avoiding foul trouble. Right from the start, Wilsonville senior Caleb Larsen established the type of game the Wildcats wanted to play. Larsen had a clean steal at half-court and ran the ball back up the middle for an easy layup. Six different Wildcats scored in the opening eight minutes, including starting junior Jack Roche, who put away the first basket of the game.

Coming into the second quarter with a 16-5 lead, Wilsonville did not relent. The Wildcats went on a 12 point streak to start proceedings, which included three straight baskets from Larsen and sophomore Gabe Reichle. Stayton found a little more success in the second stanza, but to close out the half, Roche put a stamp on things by sinking a buzzer beating half-court shot. Heading into half time, it was 38-13 in favor of the Wildcats.

In the third quarter, 6'5 Draco Bynum got things started with his first basket of the night. Wilsonville continued to add to their lead with contributions from seniors Ryan Napoli and Zac "Big Z" Rosetti.

By the time the horn sounded, the Wildcats had more than doubled their lead.

"Caleb kind of set the tone with his on-the-ball pressure on defense, and he was able to do that without fouling while also scoring 16 points," head coach Chris Roche said after the game. "That was outstanding. He played very well. Jack did something I don't think anybody I have coached has done before; he had 20 points and 10 assists in the game."

The Wildcats came out of the game with a full head of steam, but would be stymied in the second round.

WILDCATS STUMBLE IN OVERTIME

In the tournament quarter finals, the Wildcats met the Skyview Storm out of Vancouver, Washington. Though the game was closely contested, the Wildcats wound up dropping the game 45-46.

In the opening quarter, momentum swung both ways. Skyview took a two point lead off the bat, but Wilsonville's Rosetti drained a three pointer to steal the advantage, setting the tenor for the game to come. Roche also had a big first quarter, scoring seven points, his final basket of the quarter giving the Wildcats a one point advantage coming out of the first quarter. 16-15 in favor of Wilsonville.

In the second quarter, Rosetti scored the first two points, and sophomore Keegan Shivers added to the total, extending Wilsonville's lead to three. Skyview remained undeterred, drawing even on two occasions, and closing out the half at 22 all.

The next eight minutes were primarily Skyview traffic, as the visiting Storm held Wilsonville to just three baskets in the third frame. Sophomore Dakota Reber put five points up on the scoreboard, and Rosetti found a bucket of his own, but coming out of that third quarter it was Skyview in command 36-29.

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Senior Zac Rosetti was crucial in getting the Wildcats into overtime against Skyview, scoring twelve points in the final quarter. Wilsonville battled back though, scoring five straight buckets, four of them courtesy of Rosetti battling it out in the paint against the Skyview defense. Rosetti had 12 points in the final quarter. Wilsonville had a lead late, but a basket in at 1:36 from Skyview tied the game up 40-40 sent the two competitors into overtime.

Skyview took the narrowest of leads to start the extra four minutes by draining a free throw, but Wilsonville's Roche put a three pointer through the net and gave his team a two point lead. Not to be outdone, Skyview answered with a three of their own. Rosetti found another basket from inside the paint, but Skyview again answered with a two of their own. Wilsonville trailed 45-46 as the clocked wound down, but a jump ball with 3.4 seconds to go in the game resulted in Wildcat possession in Skyview territory. Wilsonville's Larsen passed the ball in to Roche who through a Hail Mary shot towards the basket, only to have it bounce off the rim. When the game ended, it was 45-46 in favor of Skyview.

In the following matchup, Wilsonville started strong against the McNary Celtics, but was unable to find the basket and control their lead. The Wildcats were down 45-27 heading into the fourth quarter, and were held to just three points in the final eight minutes.

Wilsonville will look to rebound from it's first back to back losses of the season when they face Cleveland in their final game of Capital City Classic on Friday, Dec. 22 at noon.

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