The Pioneers put up a big second half to down St. Helens 69-50 on Tuesday night.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOHN BREWINGTON - Sandy center Justin Adams goes above a crowd to pull down a rebound during Tuesday nights win at St. Helens.


The Sandy boys basketball team took a big step toward wrapping up a first-round bye in the 5A playoffs with Tuesday night’s 69-50 win at St. Helens.

The Pioneers erased a slim first-quarter deficit and took a six-point lead into the locker room before breaking the game open with 39 points in the second half. Sandy connected on 11 3-pointers for the game, led by Jacob Groom with five bombs and 17 points.

The win boosted Sandy almost eight points in the RPI list, expanding its gap over No. 9 Eagle Point to a seemingly insurmountable 30 points. The top eight teams in the final rankings gain a first-round bye in the 5A playoffs and a home date in the second round.

Sandy moved to 11-2 in the Northwest Oregon Conference and will play for a share of the league title when it hosts Milwaukie (12-1) on Friday night. With a win, the Pioneers would likely overtake the Mustangs for the No. 7 spot in the RPI.

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