PORTLAND – It is advertised as a goodwill all-star basketball game between the best high school seniors from Washington and Oregon – a showcase of Northwest talent.
And the 18th Northwest Shootout ended up being a scratch-claw-and-grab affair for a victory.
Twice, the Washington boys’ squad was down big – and both times they came back. But their chance to win at the buzzer on Dominic Robinson’s corner 3-pointer was deflected, and Oregon snapped a five-game losing streak with a 113-111 victory at the Chiles Center on Saturday night.
Calvin Hermanson, a 6-foot-6 guard from Lake Oswego High School who is headed to Saint Mary’s College, shared game-high scoring honors with Washington’s Tucker Haymond with 26 points. He tallied seven of his team’s final eight points, and was named the game’s most valuable player.
“Guys were getting a little chippy, but that is what you get when you compete,” said Hermanson, the state’s two-time Gatorade state player of the year. “There was definitely a lot of bragging rights – an Oregon-Washington kind of thing – and nobody wanted to be at the losing end of this game. It made it a lot of fun.”
The Washington boys treated the first half like it was an all-star game – and nearly got ran out of the building as Oregon got easy baskets in transition to build a 57-43 halftime lead.
As Lincoln’s Tre’Shaun Fletcher put it, “We got punched in the mouth, and it got us going.”
Indeed, it did.
Led by Haymond, out of Garfield High, and University’s Brett Bailey, who added 25 points, started the second half on a 16-3 run over the first 3 minutes, 48 seconds to get back into it.
The biggest issue became Oregon’s hot shooting, especially from long range (10 3-pointers made). And whenever the team needed a lift, Hermanson provided it.
Washington rallied to take a 106-105 on Fletcher’s two free throws with 1:52 remaining, but Hermanson answered with a pair of free throws on the other end – then canned a tough 13-foot from the left corner to give Oregon a 109-106 lead.
Bailey’s long straightaway 3-pointer cut it to 1112-111 with 7.1 seconds. Washington immediately fouled Zach Gengler, who split two free throws, and Washington had a chance to tie – or win.
Fletcher got into the lane, and kicked to Robinson in the right corner. But his 3-pointer attempt was deflected by Gengler as the buzzer went off.
“We had to play catch-up so much, and exerted energy,” Washington coach Nalin Sood said. “When it was done, I was proud of the way these kids battled. They could have folded the tent when things weren’t going well. They came back twice.”
Fletcher led the Tacoma-area players with 17 points. Foss High’s Dez Trent added 16, and Robinson, the most valuable player of the Class 4A basketball tournament from Curtis, had six points. Also, Bellarmine Prep’s Lucas Meikle played but did not score.