Week six of 6A Portland high school basketball league play is in the books and there is just a little over a week left in the regular season. Here are five observations I had from last week’s action.
Boys: Clarity at the top.
We entered the week with ties at the top of the Mt. Hood Conference and PIL, and one-game leads for first place teams in the Metro League and Three Rivers League. With just three games left in the season for most teams, it appears we know who the four league champions will be.
First in the PIL, No. 4 Jefferson (14-4, 11-1) put together perhaps their best performance of the season in a 76-55 rout of Lincoln (14-7, 10-3). The Democrats led 65-28 at one point in the third quarter. The win put them in sole possession of first place in the PIL. That lead grew to two games in the loss column after Wilson (13-7, 8-4) knocked off the Cardinals 75-70 in overtime on Friday.
No. 2 Jesuit (17-4, 11-0) led the Metro League by just a game over No. 10 Southridge (17-4, 9-2) before Tuesday night’s showdown. The Crusaders swept the season series from the Skyhawks with an impressive 69-50 road win. Jesuit now leads the Metro League by two games over the Skyhawks.
No. 1 West Linn (17-4, 10-1) began the week just a game ahead of Lake Oswego (13-8, 8-3) for first place in the Three Rivers League. The Lakers suffered a tough a 53-50 loss to rival Lakeridge on Friday night to give the Lions a two-game lead in the conference.
The Mt. Hood Conference now has a single leader, but still could see some shuffle. No. 3 Central Catholic (17-4, 9-2) beat No. 5 David Douglas (18-3, 8-3) 53-42 on Tuesday to take sole possession at the top. The Rams still lead the Scots by just one game, but with a season sweep of David Douglas under their belts, it looks like Central Catholic will once again reign supreme of the Mt. Hood Conference.
Girls: St. Mary’s in control of the Three Rivers League.
No. 6 St. Mary’s (16-5, 12-1) is in prime shape to lock up the Three Rivers League title after a 65-59 win over No. 10 West Linn (13-8, 11-3) on Friday. While St. Mary’s was expected to win the league going into the season, the way they’ve done it has been impressive.
The Blues have overcome injuries all season. Post Kate Mrdjan suffered a knee injury during the opening weekend and didn’t return until February. Senior guard Tasia Billbrew sat out a handful of games after suffering a concussion. Guard Clara Ell was out for five games after having her appendix removed. Sophomore point guard Bendu Yeaney, a Division I prospect, has missed the Blues’ last five games as she recovers from an ankle injury. St. Mary’s has received consistent leadership from Martina McCowan and Tyschal Blake as they look to clinch the league title next week.
Boys/Girls: Lakeridge and Jesuit keep on winning.
Entering this season, it had been over a decade since the Pacers boys basketball team beat their rival. Not only did the Pacers end that streak, but they swept the season series with 53-50 win over the Lakers on Friday. Lakeridge extended their winning steak to six games, amazingly with their largest margin of victory being just four points. The Pacers are now tied with Lake Oswego for second place in the Three Rivers League. With West Linn still on Lake Oswego’s schedule, the Pacers are in a good spot to finish in second place alone if they continue to take care of business.
On the girls side, No. 5 Jesuit (17-4, 10-1) is on an eight-game winning streak after defeating Southridge (13-8, 9-2) and Aloha (3-18, 2-9) this week. The Crusaders avenged their last loss with a 36-33 home win over the Skyhawks, which also broke the three-way tie atop the Metro League. Jesuit has won 12 of their last 13 games and look to be heading for an epic showdown with No. 4 Beaverton (18-3, 10-1) in their final game of the regular season to decide the Metro League champion.
Boys/Girls: Automatic playoff berths taking shape.
With just a week and a half left in the regular season, the playoff landscape is beginning to take shape. The top four teams from each 6A league reach the postseason with an automatic berth. Here’s a list of teams that are in line to clinch automatic berths if the season ended today:
Boys: Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, Grant. Cleveland still in the hunt.
Girls: Grant, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt. Madison still in the hunt.
Boys: Jesuit, Southridge, Beaverton, Westview. Aloha still in the hunt.
Girls: Beaverton, Jesuit, Southridge, Glencoe. Sunset and Westview still in the hunt.
Three Rivers League
Boys: Central Catholic, David Douglas, Reynolds, Oregon City. Clackamas still in the hunt.
Girls: St. Mary’s, West Linn, Tigard, Canby. Newberg still in the hunt.
Mt. Hood Conference
Boys: West Linn, Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, Sherwood. Newberg, Tualatin, Tigard still in the hunt.
Girls: Oregon City, Central Catholic. Centennial, Clackamas and Gresham are in a three-way tie for final two automatic spots.
Boys/Girls: Three Rivers League well represented in postseason.
Speaking of postseason, there will be no shortage of Three Rivers League teams continuing their seasons on both the boys and girls side.
As mentioned earlier, automatic berths make up 24 of the 36-team field. The four highest ranked non-automatic berth teams, according to the OSAA rankings, earn at-large berths to the playoffs. The next eight highest ranked teams compete in four play-in games to set the field of 32.
With that in mind, all eight teams on the boys side of the Three Rivers League would reach the playoffs if the season ended today. The league appears it will receive a guaranteed seven berths with Canby (7-14, 1-10) being the only team on the bubble.
The league looks like it will also get eight teams in the playoffs on the girls side, with Lakeridge (4-16, 0-14) being the only team left out. Similarly to the boys, it appears the league is guaranteed seven teams in the playoffs with Lake Oswego (8-13, 5-8) being the only team on the edge.