SALEM, OR - The Rancho Christian Eagles came in to Wednesday night's Capitol City Classic championship game nationally ranked and on a roll, having won their initial three games in the tournament by 40 over Thurston, 33 over Sherwood, and 25 over South Salem.
Stacking the deck even more for Rancho Christian was the return of 7'0 Evan Mobley, the #1-ranked prospect in the nation who is headed for USC next year and is a favorite to perhaps be the #1 pick in the NBA draft in 2021. Mobley had been sidelined by an ankle injury, but was in the starting lineup for the Eagles in the championship game.
Even so, Rancho Christian faced a slightly different animal in Wilsonville, who finished 2nd in the CCC one year ago to Centennial (Corona, CA). The Wildcats, led by 6'6 wing Dakota Reber, fought Rancho Christian tooth and nail from start to finish.
A big third quarter and 9 points from explosive 6'1 wing Jaden Byers extended a 31-30 Eagles lead to 58-46 after three quarters, but Wilsonville would not go away and cut the lead to as little as 5 in the final 1:30, but the Wildcats could get no closer than that.
Reber was dominant, scoring 38 points via an impressive combination of three-point shots and powerful inside play that kept the Wildcats within in striking range.
Mobley was impressive, and despite battling some foul trouble scored 12 points for Rancho Christian. His presence on the floor changed the game in the paint, and his ability to gracefully but powerfully attack the rim helped the Eagles on the only night in the tournament when they truly needed him.
Byers led Rancho Christian (11-2) with 17 points, while Gonzaga-commit Dominick Harris chipped in 15, and CCC slam dunk champion Bryson Stephens scored 12 to join Mobley in double figures. Senior guard Gabe Reichle scored 11 to join Reber in double figures for Wilsonville (3-2).
In the third place game, Lanier used a bucket from senior guard Sion James, a Tulane commit, to beat South Salem, 65-63. James led the Longhorns with 23 points, while sharp-shooting Andrew McConnell chipped in 13. The Saxons were led by B. Cole Hardy who scored a game-high 25.
The fourth place game was one for the ages. Tigard beat West Salem 86-80, but that was only part of the story. The other facet of the game was the show put on by Tigard junior Drew Carter and West Salem senior Justin Scoggins.
Scoggins led the Titans with 41 points, scoring from all over the court in a variety of ways. West Salem's senior wing showed why he is considered one of the state's premier shooters.
Yet, for as brilliant as Scoggins was, Carter was even more impressive. The Tigers' explosive dual-sport athlete poured in a tournament record and career-high 49 points. Carter was efficient, too, shooting 17/26 from the field, 6/11 from 3, and 9/11 at the line. "Unreal game," said legendary Tigard coach Shawn Alderman.
In the consolation championship, Silverton completed a strong CCC showing which demonstrated they are one of the best teams in Oregon's Class 5A by defeating Wilson, 73-45.
2019 Capitol City Classic Championship Monday Results
West Albany Bulldogs 63, Central Panthers 41
Thurston Colts 43, Scappoose Indians 21
Parkrose Broncos 57, Corvallis Spartans 53
Sherwood Bowmen 69, Sprague Olympians 52
5th Place/Consolation Championship:
Silverton Foxes 74, Wilson Trojans 45
4th Place Game:
Tigard Tigers 86, West Salem Titans 80
3rd Place Game:
Lanier Longhorns (Buford, GA) 65, South Salem Saxons 63
Rancho Christian Eagles (Temecula, CA) 70, Wilsonville Wildcats 63
Photos by Leon Neuschwander, for The Oregonian/OregonLive