PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time in four years, there will be a new state champion in the OSAA 6A tournament.
No. 3 Clackamas dethroned four-time defending state champion No. 2 West Linn 78-71 in a semifinal Friday afternoon at the Chiles Center in Portland.
Clackamas’ win was keyed by senior point guard Elijah Gonzales, who scored 40 points and made baskets at critical points in the game. None were more important than when the Cavaliers were down 69-68 with 36 seconds remaining. Clackamas’ leader rose up to the occasion, hitting five consecutive free throws and coming up with a steal to put the Cavaliers in the lead for good.
Gonzales’ 40 points were two shy of the single-game 6A state tournament record, set by McKay’s Jordan Carter in 2010.
Clackamas will play for the school’s first boys state basketball championship against top-ranked Jefferson, who knocked off No. 4 Beaverton 63-54 in the other semifinal on Friday.
After a slow start in the opening minutes, Jefferson led for the rest of the game. The Beavers pulled within 42-39 early in the fourth quarter but the Democrats responded with a 12-3 run to put the game out of reach. Senior guard Geno West led Jefferson with 18 points. Kamaka Hepa added 15 points and Marcus Tsohonis finished with 13 points. Jake Estep had 15 points to lead the Beavers, who shot just 4 of 20 from the 3-point line.
Highlights: Jefferson tops Beaverton 63-54 in semifinals
The Cavaliers and Democrats will play for the state championship Saturday at 3:15 p.m. at the Chiles Center.
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