Levi Dalzell dominates inside to power Knights to tournament title

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Columbia Christian's Josiah Heiner blocks out Damascus Christians Ben Shields for a rebound.

Columbia Christian won a clash of top-10 teams 53-48 to claim the Valley 10 boys basketball tournament title Saturday night at Multnomah University.

The teams traded the lead five times in the third quarter, with the Knights moving ahead 38-33 when Levi Dalzell got loose along the baseline and beat the horn with a layup.

Columbia relied on quick ball movement to feed Dalzell with repeated baskets in the paint to expand the margin to 46-35 as the clock slipped under five minutes.

Damascus Christian's Ryan Patrick hit a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, sparking a flurry of points from the Eagles. Seth Murphy knocked down another long ball from the right side, and in little more than a minute, Damascus had made it a one-possession game.

The Eagles turned up the defensive intensity down the stretch, forcing turnovers to climb back into contention.

Patrick looked harmless enough when he took a couple dribbles out of the corner of the court, appearing as if he was going to pass to a teammate out top. Instead, he shifted his feet and swished a 3 over the top of his defender to tie the game with less than two minutes left.

The crowd rose to its feet and wouldn't sit down until the game was finished.

Hunter Endresen got free near the basket to return the Knights to the lead, but Columbia struggled at the free-throw line down the stretch, keeping the door open for the Eagles to complete their comeback.

In the final 20 seconds, Damascus saw a layup slide off the rim and a 3-pointer to tie from the corner draw only iron.

Endresen swished a pair of free throws to close out the win.

Dalzell finished with a game-high 19 points, while Endresen scored 17. Patrick made five 3s to lead Damascus with 17 points, while Hunter Straub scored 10.

No. 3-ranked Damascus (22-3) hosts Horizon Christian out of Hood River in the first round of the Oregon School Activities Association Class 1A playoffs at 6 p.m. Wednesday, while No. 5 Columbia Christian (17-6) has earned a bye and will host a game in Saturday's second round.

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