Sherwood plays a strong first half, but the Jaguars are able to pull away
by: DAN BROOD FLOATING ON AIR — Sherwood junior wing Jordan Skoubo goes to the basket during Tuesday’s game at Century. Skoubo scored a game-high 24 points.

HILLSBORO - For a half, the Sherwood High School boys basketball team seemed to be full of energy as the Bowmen were, for the most part, keeping up with powerful Century.

But, in the second half, things didn't go quite as well for Sherwood - not even close.

Sherwood, after playing an inspired first half, watched the Jaguars pull away in the second half to get a 74-44 win in a first-round game of the Century/Hillsboro Christmas Classic, played Tuesday at Century High School.

'We came out and really played well in the first half,' said Sherwood junior wing Jordan Skoubo, who led all scorers with 24 points. 'But in the second half, we were just flat. This is definitely a learning experience. We'll learn from this.'

Century, which looks to be one of the favorites in the Class 6A Pacific Conference this season, improved to 7-1 with the victory.

'They're very good,' first-year Sherwood coach Tony Merrill said.

Sherwood moved to 2-5 on the season with the setback.

'We competed well with them in the first half,' Merrill said. 'But, in the second half, we came out flat. I'm not sure why. We just have to be more consistent.'

The Bowmen got off to a super-quick start in Tuesday's game. Skoubo sank a three-pointer off an assist from junior wing Zach Milligan to give Sherwood a 3-0 lead just 25 seconds into the contest.

The lead went back and forth throughout the rest of the first quarter.

Sherwood, getting a turnaround jumper by senior post Dusty Crabtree, a three-pointer by Skoubo and another turnaround jumper by Crabtree, opened up a 12-6 lead with 4:27 left in the quarter.

The Bowmen lead was at 14-10 after Skoubo connected on a foul-line jumper with 3:05 remaining in the period. But Century ended the period with a 5-0 run to take a 15-14 lead going into the second quarter.

The Jaguars, getting baskets from junior Sam Riddle, senior Cody Jurgens and junior Xavier Mitchell, scored the first eight points of the second quarter to open up a 23-14 advantage.

But Skoubo brought the Bowmen back, sinking three three-point baskets in a span of 4:02 to trim the margin to 31-26 with 1:22 left in the first half.

Century got layups by Riddle and Mitchell in the final 22 seconds of the second quarter to take a 35-26 lead at the intermission.

Sherwood junior post Alex Jones scored on a follow-up shot to start the third quarter, making the score 35-28. But the Bowmen wouldn't be able to get any closer the rest of the way.

Century answered Jones' basket with a 12-0 run, pushing its lead to 47-28 with 4:40 left in the period.

The Bowmen ended the run with a four-foot jumper by senior post Mason Kurahara. Sherwood then tried to come back, getting a foul-line jumper by senior wing Chris Jackson and a pair free throws each from sophomore post Jordan Kurahara and Crabtree to make the score 53-37 going into the fourth quarter.

But the Jaguars quickly upped their led to 59-37 after sophomore Jamel Liggins, junior Austin Sminia and junior Austin Flues each had a basket in the first two minutes of the final stanza.

Riddle hit a three-pointer later in the quarter and Flues had three baskets in the period to help Century close out its 74-44 victory.

'It felt like we had no energy in the second half,' Skoubo said. 'We're going to come out excited and go all out next time.'

Skoubo had a big game for the Bowmen in the setback. He scored 21 of his game-high 24 points in the first half and made five of his seven three-point attempts in the contest.

'Jordan had his best night shooting threes,' Merrill said. 'He played a great game.'

Crabtree added six points and six rebounds for the Bowmen. Jones had five points and five rebounds.

Sherwood, as a team, made 15 of 52 shots from the field.

Senior Andrew Queener led Century with 16 points. Riddle added 13 points.

Sherwood was scheduled to face Franklin in a tournament game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.

The Bowmen will finish play at the tournament today (Thursday) against an opponent to be determined.

Today's contest will be the final game for Sherwood before it starts Northwest Oregon Conference play.

'We've played some good teams,' Skoubo said. 'We're a young team and we're still learning. We've got a lot of talent. We just need to keep our heads up.'

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