Milwaukie girls make it 12 in a row with a 55-44 win over Parkrose

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie senior Lorissa Martine (3) drives the baseline in Fridays 55-44 win over Parkrose.The Milwaukie Mustangs continued tough in Northwest Oregon Conference basketball last week.

Ranked fifth in the state in the OSAA power rankings, Milwaukie girls on Friday upped their NWOC record to 6-0 (13-2 overall), cruising to a 55-44 win over Parkrose (6-8, 3-3). Friday’s win was the 12th straight victory for the Mustang girls, whose only losses this season came in preseason games with Class 6A Oregon City and Jesuit.

Ranked 10th in the state, Milwaukie boys on Friday also upped their league mark to 6-0 (10-5 overall), with a 95-74 trouncing of the Broncos. Friday’s win was the seventh straight for Milwaukie boys, whose losses are to Class 6A teams from Central Catholic, Jesuit, Grant and Canby, and to Silverton, which entered play this week ranked third in the state in 5A.

Milwaukie boys face perhaps their stiffest test so far this season this Friday, when they conclude the first half of the NWOC season hosting Sandy (13-3, 6-0), which is ranked sixth in 5A.

Milwaukie girls, who entered play this week all alone atop the NWOC standings, play league cellar-dweller Sandy (3-12, 1-5) for the first time this season on Friday, at Sandy.

While Milwaukie boys find themselves in a relatively tough league, with Sandy, Wilsonville (11-5, 3-3) and themselves all ranked in the top 11 in the state, Milwaukie girls are expected to have a cakewalk through the league, unless they are overcome by complacency and lose a game that they shouldn’t lose.

Liberty (5-1), which entered play this week second in the NWOC girls standings, was only ranked 20th in the 5A power rankings, sporting an overall record of 7-9. The Mustangs were the only girls team in the league with a season record better than .500 and the only girls team ranked higher than 20th.

“[Playing in a weak league] can hurt us, but only if we let it hurt us,” said Milwaukie senior Lorissa Martine. “Sometimes we play down to other people’s level, and we can’t afford to do that. We’ve got to win all our league games so we can finish top eight in the rankings [and earn top seeding in the state playoffs].”

“We’ve got to become stronger mentally,” said Milwaukie senior Alexis Noren. “We can’t play down to other teams’ levels, because for teams like [second-ranked] Willamette and [third-ranked] Springfield, they have competition in their league. They have to battle every night. We’ve got to bring our game in every league game to get ready for those teams....

“When we play our game and share the ball, I believe we’re just as good as those teams.”

The Mustangs were in charge all the way in Friday’s game with Parkrose, but the Broncs kept within striking distance until the final horn.

Milwaukie held its biggest lead of the night, at 39-21, when Martine cashed in from downtown five minutes into the second half. But the never-say-die Broncs continued to battle, and they closed the gap to eight points, at 53-44, with 35 seconds to play.

Martine had a huge night for the Mustangs, scoring a game-high 19 points.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie coach Kevin McElroy gives Taylor Cunningham (24) the high five as Cunningham exits the floor during last Fridays game with Parkrose. Riding a 12-game win string, the Mustangs are fast proving themselves among the top Class 5A high school girls basketball teams in the state.April Meads added 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers.

Noren, the Mustangs’ leading scorer (15 ppg) on the season, struggled, scoring just seven points. She went without a field goal in the first half.

“We have a lot of talent,” Noren said. “When one of us has an off-night, we always have other players who step up....

“If I’m able to draw a defender to me and kick the ball out to create a shot for someone else, that’s just as good as scoring myself. It doesn’t matter who does the scoring, as long as we win.”

The Mustangs had too many horses for the Bowgirls to keep track of in a Jan. 22 game at Sherwood, as Milwaukie had five players score nine or more points in a 58-43 win.

Noren had a big night, scoring 16 points, hauling down 12 rebounds, dishing out six assists and stealing the ball six times.

Meads added 12 points, hitting two 3-pointers.

Taylor Cunningham had 11 points and six rebounds. Emily Downs scored 10 points and she headed the defensive effort with four steals. Martine scored nine points.

The Mustangs led 30-22 at halftime, and they outscored the Bowgirls in every period.

Milwaukie guys

light them up

Everything was clicking for Milwaukie’s boys basketball team in Friday’s 95-74 win at Parkrose, as the Mustangs put 40 field goals in the basket en route to their highest scoring game of the year.

Jazz Johnson headed the onslaught, scoring 28 points on 13-for-18 shooting. Johnson played a strong game all around, stealing the sphere seven times and assisting on four baskets.

Tre’Shann Stone (23 points), C.J. Hubbard (12 points) and Richard Ramsey (11 points) joined Johnson in double figures in scoring. Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd had six assists and Tyler Spencer claimed nine rebounds.

The Mustangs were 40-of-79 from the field.

Milwaukie boys had a tougher time of it on Jan. 22. They had to turn up the defensive intensity in the second half to rally from a first-half deficit to a 59-46 win over Sherwood.

Nursing a 36-35 advantage, the Mustangs outscored their guests 23-11 in the fourth period, led by Johnson (5 points), Daschel-Lloyd (4 points), Stone (4 points) and Ramsey (4 points).

“We started trapping a lot more and it lead to some steals that we turned into lay-ins,” Milwaukie coach Kyle Bracy said of the Mustangs’ tough play down the stretch. “And we did a good job of keeping their big guys off the boards.”

Led by Spencer (9 rebounds), Johnson (6 rebounds), Stone (6 rebounds), Ramsey (6 rebounds) and Hubbard (6 rebounds), the Mustangs corralled 42 rebounds on the night.

Hubbard also rejected three shots.

Johnson (15 points, 5 assists), Stone (15 points, 3 assists) and Trevontae Anderson (10 points) headed the offense.

Bourne (3 steals), Johnson (3 steals) and Daschel-Lloyd (3 steals) led the defensive assault.

It was one of the lowest scoring games of the season for the Bowmen, who entered the contest averaging 59.4 points an outing. Jordan Skoubo, a 6-0 senior guard, and 6-10 junior post Jordan Kurahara led the Bowmen offensively, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.

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