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Alex Shoemaker

Area teams brace for OSAA State Basketball Tournament

OSAA State Basketball Tournament

OSAA State Basketball Tournament

Basketball season is starting to get good in the Beaver State, and down in the Willamette Valley multiple area prep teams are still in the hunt for a state title.

Tomorrow night, 19th-seeded South Eugene and 27th-seeded Sheldon are the only area representatives in the OSAA State Basketball Tournament, both in the C bracket.

The Axemen (14-8) square off with the No. 14 seed David Douglas Scots (15-8) at 7 p.m.

After a tumultuous 1-5 start to the season, South Eugene has roared back and is playing sound basketball. Winners of their last six and nine of their last ten, the Axemen aren’t to be overlooked despite being the lower seed.

David Douglas enters the game on a loss, falling by nine last week to Clackamas, the tournament’s No. 3 seed.

The Irish (12-10) could meet South Eugene in the C bracket championship, the OSAA State Basketball Tournament quarterfinals if both teams advance through. That road won’t be easy, though.

Sheldon has a daunting first round opponent in the No. 6 seed West Salem Titans at 7 p.m. The Titans (19-5) have one the state’s premiere scoring offenses. They’ve scored 95 or more points three times this season.

The Irish, meanwhile, are a little more balanced with offensive and defensive prowess. They haven’t topped 90 points, but they haven’t allowed more than 80 this year.

In the girl’s side, Sheldon is the only area team locked into a tournament spot.

The No. 9 seed Irish (18-6) unfortunately find themselves in the hardest bracket of the 6A tournament.

Atop the A bracket is No. 1 Southridge (22-2), which hasn’t lost since the turn of the new year.

Before Sheldon can start looking ahead, it has to take care of Wednesday night’s game. The Irish host No. 25 seed St. Mary’s Academy (11-11) at 7.

The Blues are a go-big go home kind of team with a knack of winding up in blowouts either – both wins and losses.

Four of their last five losses have been by double-digits. Before their 22-point regular season finale win against Newberg, St. Mary’s Academy lost its previous two games by a combined 24 points.

Expect a blowout, like in the Irish’s favor.

The 5A brackets are still being decided with games starting later in the week.

Churchill boys (20-4) have already ensured the No. 2 seed.

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