Season ends for basketball teams
Columbia County high school basketball teams came up empty when it came to making the state playoffs this year.
Only one of the four teams — the St. Helens girls — was in the running. But it was not to be for the Lions, who started strong but couldn't sustain that pace in the second half of the season.
The Lions, under new coach Michael Fendall, were of playoff caliber much of the way, and especially when healthy and with all hands on deck.
Other teams in the Northwest Oregon Conference came on late, though, notably Hillsboro and Milwaukie, and that contributed to St. Helens coming up just short of an Oregon School Activities Association postseason berth.
The St. Helens girls wrapped up their 2018-19 season on Tuesday with a 81-29 loss at La Salle Prep. That gave the Lions an overall record of 11-12 and a NWOC mark of 5-8 (sixth out of eight teams).
The Lions were deprived of an almost certain victory when a second game with Parkrose, to be played at Parkrose, was called off in mid-February. St. Helens defeated the Broncos 61-35 at St. Helens on Jan. 12.
The Lions' record was an improvement from 2017-18, when the team took a big step forward and went 9-16 overall, 5-9 in league play.
The St. Helens boys, also under a new coach (Zach Waldher), posted three conference victories, going 3-10 (sixth) in the NWOC and 5-17 overall.
The Lions also didn't get a chance to play their second game with Parkrose.
St. Helens closed its boys season on Tuesday with a 100-51 loss at home to La Salle Prep.
The NWOC boys race belonged to No. 2-ranked Wilsonville, which went 14-0 in league. Parkrose, La Salle Prep and Putnam all made the state playoffs as well, and all are ranked among the top 10 in 5A by the OSAA.
New to 5A this season, Scappoose struggled in both boys and girls basketball under its new coaches, Matt Humphreys (boys) and Sarah Mann (girls).
From the start, both programs faced rebuilding jobs and inexperience issues, and the results showed how tough both tasks were in the formidable NWOC.
The Scappoose boys dropped their final game on Tuesday, 59-42 on the road against Putnam, to finish 2-21 overall and 0-14 in the conference. The Indian boys managed two preseason wins, topping Astoria 48-43 and Scio 54-41. They dropped their final 18 games.
The Scappoose girls fell in their finale, 79-50 Tuesday at home to Putnam, and wound up at 1-13 in league and 2-21 overall.
The Scappoose girls' one league win came over rival St. Helens, 37-30, albeit with Lions star Maddie Holm sidelined by a concussion. The Indians' only other girls win this year was 38-32 over Tillamook in a Dec. 20 holiday tournament game at North Marion.
Lack of scoring punch was a problem for all four Columbia County teams, although Holm supplied the St. Helens girls with big numbers most nights.
The Lions girls averaged 46.7 points per game. The Lions boys scored 47.0 points per game. Scappoose's teams averaged 40.4 (boys) and 36.2 (girls).
Of the four teams, only the St. Helens girls ended the season ranked in the top 28 by the OSAA. The Lions girls finished No. 22 in 5A.