Life In LC

Prep Hoops Roundup: 1-26-2012

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— Alex Shoemaker, EDN

Miller Drills Buzzer Beater For An Irish Win Over Lancers
Two of the state’s top teams went at it last Thursday evening. Churchill and Sheldon faced off and this one looked like it had all the makings of an OSAA  classic. It certainly met, if not exceeded, those expectations.
Churchill’s Malik Morgan put in an uncontested shot under the basket with less than five seconds remaining in the game to give the Lancers a 61-59 lead.  But that left Sheldon’s Dillon Miller plenty of time for a play of his own. He drove the ball down the court, and sunk a 35-foot 3-point basket as time expired to give the now 11-5 (7-1) Irish a 62-61 victory.

“It was something special,” said Miller after the game. “I wanted to drive the ball and get as close as I could – I’m glad it went in. This was a great game.” Miller had one the best performances of his career with 22 points, 15 of which came in the second half of the game.The Sheldon student section stormed the court and swarmed Miller in exuberance that you can only find in prep basketball.

“I was trying to make sure I didn’t get pushed up against the railings,” said Miller, who could have easily been injured in the post-game celebrations. “Luckily there were people between me and the wall and I didn’t get squished.

On the other side, Churchill’s Morgan made his last shot on a pass from his brother Emmanuel.  The latter finished the game with a team high 21 points, 18 of which came from the three point line.The game settled down after a rough start. There were three technical fouls in the second quarter by Churchill’s David Shedrick and Aaron Ingram, as well as the ejection of Sheldon’s Connor Strahm.  He was on fire while he was in the game, scoring 11 points in less than a full half of play. When asked about the ejection, Sheldon head coach Ron Lampe said he didn’t see why his star player got tossed.

“I didn’t see what Connor did,” said Lampe. “From what I heard, he just grabbed the ball from him (Ingram). We’ll take a look at the tape and go from there.”

It initially appeared that the absence of Strahm would play a big role in the game. After his ejection,  the Lancers scored six of the next eight points and all came from under the basket. However, Sheldon’s interior defense began to force multiple blocks and finished in a strong way.The Lancers were able to bounce back quickly, though.  After smashing South Eugene 78-50 on Tuesday night, they’re now 14-3 on the season. Moreover,  they’re still in a great position to compete for the OSAA 5A State Championship. Churchill’s next game is on January 31st at Marshfield.

After a sluggish start to their season, the win over Churchill moved Sheldon into first place in their division.  The Irish kept their momentum on Tuesday by edging Marshfield 49-40.  They’ll next play at Willamette on Friday.

But if you liked the action of last Thursday’s game, the rematch might interest you. The Irish and Lancers will meet again in the season finale on February 17th at Churchill.

Around the Rim: What’s happening with the other teams

North Eugene:

The Highlanders are on the outside looking in at playing in the state tournament after two frustrating losses.  North lost 76-70 at Willamette on Thursday night.  They followed that up with a 62-51 defeat at Thurston this past Tuesday. With a 6-10 record and eight games remaining , the Highlanders practically need to run the table if the wish to compete for the state championship.

North’s next game is at Marist on Friday evening. Tip-off is set for 7pm.

South Eugene:

Besides Springfield (more on them momentarily), the 2-13  Axemen have been the most disappointing team in Eugene prep basketball. There is no chance of post season action, so South can begin working on a run in the 2012-13 season.

South’s next game is at Marshfield on Friday.

Springfield:

Speaking of those Millers,  they weren’t very happy last Friday. They lost 62-56 at home against Marshfield that evening.  But they did show a glimmer of future hope on Monday, when they squeaked out a 73-70 win over Willamette. Now 3-12 on the season, they have no hope of any postseason action.  Still, with three juniors, a sophomore and a freshman starting, this team has plenty to look forward to next year.  Their next game is at Thurston on Friday.

Thurston:

The 5-11 Colts are struggling to find an identity. Thurston started the season at 0-5, then went on a nice 3-game winning streak to show some life. Unfortunately, they followed that up with a four game skid.

The fourth loss was a hard fought 52-46 affair against Marist last Thursday with Cameron Cook leading the team with 18 points.  That defeat essentially ended any shot of getting into the playoffs for the Colts.

But they may still be a dangerous team down the stretch. Thurston got back in the winning column after beating North Eugene 62-51 on Tuesday night.The Colts’ next game is on Friday at home against Springfield.

Marist:

As mentioned above, the 10-5 Spartans defeated Thurston 52-46 last Thursday night. Marist will likely enter the 5A tournament and compete with Churchill for that state title.

Their next game is on Friday when North Eugene pays a visit.

Willamette:

The Wolverines are now 7-9 after a 76-70 victory over North Eugene. Their next game is on the 27th against Sheldon.

Special Notice:

The Sheldon at Willamette game will mark a first for the EDN sports section.  We’ll be doing a live blog with photos and analysis beginning at 7pm.  Should be an interesting experiment, so head over to our website on Friday evening to check it out under the LIVE! link in the top right area.

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