The Reynolds High junior starts at center during last weekend's Rose City Showcase summer all-star tournament

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Reynolds junior Drew Eubanks pulls down a rebound during a first-round win at the Rose City Showcase. PORTLAND — Reynolds High junior Drew Eubanks had one basket Friday night, but his timing couldn’t have been more perfect, helping the Northwest Xpress to a 62-52 win over the I-5 Elite in the opening round of the Rose City Showcase summer basketball tournament.

The Xpress squad carried a slim lead most of the way, stretching the gap to eight points early in the second half only to see the I-5 Elite rush back to within a single point after Jake Spurgeon of Lakeridge sank a deep 3 with 6:28 to play.

The Xpress found itself in further trouble when a layin attempt rolled off the iron, but Eubanks was first off his feet and lifted the putback over the front of the rim.

After an I-5 miss at the other end, action quickly flowed the other way. Eubanks filled the center lane on the fastbreak and corralled a pass at the front of the rim once again. This time, the Elite wouldn’t give up any easy points, hacking Eubanks and sending him to the free-throw line. He rattled home both attempts to give the Xpress a 54-49 cushion heading down the stretch.

“We needed points, and I was just doing what was needed to keep the lead,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks finished with four points and a pair of blocked shots in the first half.

The Xpress extended to a 58-51 margin with 2:31 to play after DeJonunte Murray of Rainier Beach scored on an isolation play down the middle. Eubanks pulled down a couple Elite misses to put the game away in the final minutes.

Express guard Kadeem Strickland from Jefferson led all scorers with 25 points, while Scott Hastings out of Lynden, Wash., added 13.

The Xpress went on to beat No. 1 seed Team Fast 63-61 in Saturday’s semifinals to earn a berth in the championship game where they fell 68-55 to Superior Athletics out of California. Eubanks got in early foul trouble, which limited his time on the court in the finale.

View a photo gallery from the tournament at

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