(1) College of Idaho 87, (8) Bushnell 70
(2) Eastern Oregon 82, (7) Oregon Tech 76 (OT)
(3) Southern Oregon 77, (6) Lewis-Clark State 75
(5) Corban 73, (4) Warner Pacific 63
6:30 p.m. – Bushnell at College of Idaho
7:30 p.m. – Southern Oregon at Eastern Oregon
7:30 p.m. – Lowest Remaining Seed at Highest Remaining Seed

ASHLAND – In contrast to last year’s theatrical buzzer-beater at Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), Southern Oregon had to finish the job on the defensive end this time around to eliminate the Warriors in the Cascade Conference Championships presented by U.S. Bank.

The No. 3-seeded Raiders forced two turnovers in the final 31 seconds to hang on for a 77-75 victory in Tuesday night’s quarterfinal round at Lithia Motors Pavilion, advancing to play at No. 2 seed Eastern Oregon in Friday’s semifinals. After seven ties and eight lead changes, they boosted their record to 20-9 and ended the No. 6-seeded Warriors’ season at 14-15.

Tez Allen and Dominic McGarvey scored 16 points apiece within an offense that hit at 51 percent from the field, but it was the Raiders’ defense that saved their season.

LCSC took possession trailing 74-73 after an SOU turnover with 44 seconds left to play. Warriors freshman guard John Lustig – one of the main culprits in his team’s effort with 19 points off the bench and a bucket on the previous possession – drove to the basket out of a timeout, but forward Khalil Chatman was there waiting to take the charge.

After SOU guard Atmar Mundu extended the lead with a pair of free throws, Allen – the man who hit last year’s game-winning 3 to stun LCSC in the semis – foiled the Warriors’ chance to tie by plucking the ball away from Silas Bennion with eight seconds remaining.

Allen, who hit his first five shots with a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, then split a pair of free throws to seal the victory.

The Warriors didn’t go away without a fight, as in SOU’s 84-50 win 11 days ago in which the Raiders led by a point at the end of one half before dominating the second. LCSC shot 52 percent from the field, as opposed to 33 percent that night, while getting 21 points on 10-of-15 accuracy and eight rebounds from forward Oreon Courtney.

The Raiders trailed 60-58 at the eight-minute mark before starting an 10-2 run with two Tre Carlisle free throws. After his makes, Cole McAninch hit a 3-pointer, Carlisle got to the basket for a three-point play, and Allen got loose in transition for a layup on successive possessions.

Bennion kept the back-and-forth alive with a 3 of his own, enabling the Warriors to stay in it until the final seconds.

Atmar Mundu scored 10 points and Will Graves had eight in the Raiders’ eighth’ win in their last nine games. Carlisle went for seven points and two steals in the second half off the bench.

The Raiders swept the season series against LCSC and will now turn to a Mountaineers squad with whom they split during the regular season. EOU – which defeated Oregon Tech in overtime in its quarterfinal game – got its win against SOU in overtime on Dec. 3. The Raiders answered with an 88-63 thumping on Jan. 20 in Ashland.

SOU is attempting to return to the CCC title game for the third time in four postseasons. No. 5-seeded Corban will visit top-ranked College of Idaho in the other semifinal.


Content used with permission, compliments of SOU Sports
Photo by Al Case, Ashland Daily Photo.


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