Jacob Johnson hits a pair of pressure free throws for the win

by: ESTACADA NEWS: DAVID BALL - The Estacada girls run through practice drills last week. The team is off to a 2-3 start heading into Christmas Break.The Estacada boys basketball team is off to a solid start, splitting its first four games heading into Christmas Break.

The highlight came in Thursday’s season opener, which wasn’t decided until the last ball went into the air. The Rangers trailed Toledo 50-49 with 3.3 seconds on the clock, needing to go the length of the court for a winning shot. Estacada put the ball into Kyle Beguelin, who dribbled down the middle of the court and fired a shot that glanced off the rim. Point guard Jacob Johnson was in position under the basket for the offensive rebound and was fouled with .3 tenths remaining.

Johnson converted both foul shots to provide the Rangers with the winning margin.

Alec Barstad and Josh Shannon each converted three-point plays to push the Rangers to a 13-8 first-quarter lead — a margin the team would maintain most of the way.

The Rangers also picked up a 37-32 win over Scio on Saturday behind an 18-point fourth quarter. Shannon led the charge with nine points.

The Loggers made it a one-possession game in the final minutes, but Estacada sealed the victory on a trey by Johnson and four free throws by Chris Smith.

Estacada’s jayvee team is 2-0 after beating Scio 50-37, led by 19 points from Andy Avants.

The Rangers host Portland Adventist at 7 p.m. tonight and have a game at the Moda Center against Banks on Friday, Dec. 27.

• The Estacada girls are 2-3 on the season, highlighted by an 85-19 win over Horizon Christian out of Hood River in the third-place game of the Country Christian Classic on Saturday.

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