Sherwood moves to 3-0 with 57-40 win over West Salem

by: DAN BROOD - FLOATING -- Sherwood High School senior Cortland Hutchison goes up high to take a shot during Tuesday's game. The Bowmen downed West Salem 57-40 to stay unbeaten on the season. SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School boys basketball team sure seems to have plenty of talent.

The Bowmen also look to be loaded with athleticism.

But, they say, there’s been another key factor to their win over West Salem, and to their 3-0 start to the season.


Team chemistry, that is.

“We have real good team chemistry,” Sherwood senior forward Lucas Johnson said following the Bowmen’s 57-40 win over the Titans in a non-league game played Tuesday at Sherwood High School. “We’re all friends, and that helps a lot.”

“We have great team chemistry,” Sherwood senior post Jordan Kurahara said. “This year, we’re really making it fun.”

And, along with the fun, the wins are also adding up.

“That’s real big for us,” Kurahara said of the Bowmen’s 3-0 start to the season. “I think we can go far.”

“We’re excited about that,” Johnson said. “We’re just playing together and taking it game by game.”

And, sparked by its swarming man-to-man defense, Sherwood got off to a running start in Tuesday’s game.

After spotting West Salem a 5-4 lead, the Bowmen took off.

Sherwood senior guard Cortland Hutchison scored on a drive to the basket to ignite a 7-0 run. Kurahara followed with a layup off an assist from senior guard Alex Castaneda, who then drilled a three-pointer from the left corner to give the Bowmen an 11-5 lead with 2 minutes and 35 seconds left in the first DAN BROOD - UP FOR TWO -- Sherwood High School senior Lucas Johnson (left) shoots over a West Salem defender in Tuesday's game. Johnson scored 12 points for the Bowmen in their 57-40 victory.

Sherwood went on to hold a 14-11 lead at the end of the period. The Bowmen defense allowed West Salem to take just six shots from the field in the first quarter, while forcing six turnovers in the period.

“We play good team defense,” Johnson said.

“We try to turn our defense into offense,” Kurahara said.

Sherwood’s defense, and its offense, kept rolling in the second quarter.

Johnson scored three points in a 7-0 Sherwood run, which also included baskets by Castaneda and junior Ben Milligan, to give the Bowmen a 25-13 advantage with 3:38 remaining in the first half.

Soon after, Johnson sank a three-pointer from the top of the circle to give Sherwood its biggest lead of the game to that point, at 28-15, with 3:00 remaining in the quarter.

West Salem was able to trim the margin to 28-18 at the intermission.

The Titans got a bit closer, at 30-22, after getting a basket from sophomore Andy Armstrong with 6:33 left in the third quarter.

But Sherwood quickly took away any thoughts West Salem had of a rally, as the Bowmen answered with a 10-0 run.

Johnson started the Sherwood scoring spree with a pair of free throws.

Hutchison followed with a layup off an assist from Castaneda.

Kurahara and junior guard Evan Kitto each sank a free throw, junior Tommy Paul had a follow-up basket and Kurahara had a short-range bank shot to finish the run and give the Bowmen a 40-22 lead with 2:02 left in the period.

Sherwood opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back baskets from Kurahara and a layup by Paul. Then, after West Salem got a pair of free throws from sophomore Hunter Johnson, Milligan swished a three-pointer to give Sherwood its largest lead of the contest, at 51-26, with 5:34 remaining in the game.

From there, the Bowmen cruised to the 57-40 victory.

“The kids play real hard,” Sherwood coach Tony Merrill said. “They play hard all the time. We just need to keep getting better. This is a special group. The team chemistry is really good.”

The 6-foot-9 Kurahara had a strong overall performance for the Bowmen in the win with a game-high 18 points, on an 8-for-13 shooting night, along with eight rebounds.

“Jordan is already playing at the same level he was at the end of last year,” Merrill said.

Johnson also turned in a solid outing with 12 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists. Castaneda had seven points, three assists and three steals and Paul scored six points.

Sherwood, as a team, made 24 of 53 shots from the field while also outrebounding West Salem by a 30-21 margin.

Armstrong led the Titans with 11 points. West Salem, which fell to 1-4 on the season with the loss, made 16 of 39 shots from the field against the Sherwood defense.

The Bowmen will be back in action Friday when it plays at Canby in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m. at Canby HIgh School.

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