SALEM, OR - Tuesday, 12-21-21 - For the first time in Capitol City Classic history, an Oregon team is going to win the Capitol City Classic.
The only question is whether it will be West Salem or Wilsonville who walks away with the Johnny Leonard Trophy.
In two epic semifinal games that offered Mid-Willamette Valley basketball fans scintillating basketball action, Wilsonville and West Salem both gutted out tough, come-from-behind victories over quality opponents to reach the all-Oregon championship finale.
Wilsonville played first, taking on the 4th ranked 6A Roosevelt Roughriders. Roosevelt jumped out to an early lead, dominating the first half of play with pressure defense that disrupted nearly everything Wilsonville tried to do offensively. At the half, it was Roosevelt up 29-19.
The Roughriders, led by talented sophomores Terrence Hill and Utrilio Morris and athletic Donatello Tupper, built their lead to 12 in the third quarter before Wilsonville clawed back into it.
Led by sophomores Kallen Gutridge and Kyle Counts, the Wildcats somehow found a rhythm on offense in the second half and came storming back. With under a minute to play, Roosevelt missed a free throw up only one, 52-51.
An acrobatic Gutridge bucket, rebound and free throw later, combined with a couple of late Roughrider misses, and the Wildcats had somehow punched their ticket to the championship game for the third consecutive CCC event with a thrilling 54-52 win..
West Salem followed in the final game of the night, playing a Beaverton team who was fresh off a masterful 10-point win over the #1 seed in the CCC, the Cane Ridge (TN) Ravens.
Beaverton came out firing on all cylinders and led 27-7 early.
But West Salem under Coach Travis Myers did not panic. The Titans, who have a beautiful blend of big inside players and athletic perimeter guards and wings, fought their way back and trailed by only 3 at 52-49 with moments to go in regulation.
That's when Titans' senior Jon Breyman rose up and hit a tough 3-point jump shot to tie the game at 52-52 and send it to overtime.
After seemingly never-ending twists, turns and lead changes throughout the final minutes and two overtime periods, West escaped for a hard-fought and much deserved 65-62 victory over the Beavers.
It might be fitting that one of West Salem or Wilsonville will become the first Oregon CCC champion. They are the only two programs to ever reach a CCC final. This will be Wilsonville's third such game, and West Salem's second. West Salem lost in 2015 to Mater Dei (CA) 53-50 on a 35-foot buzzer beater by freshman Beon Riley; while Wilsonville lost to two nationally-ranked teams: Corona Centennial (CA) in 2018 and Rancho Christian (CA) with 7'0 Evan Mobley, the #1 rated player in the country, 70-63 in 2019.
This time, West or Wilsonville is going home a winner.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE
8:30pm - West Salem Titans vs Wilsonville Wildcats
3rd Place Game
7:00pm - Beaverton Beavers vs Roosevelt Roughriders
4th Place Game
5:30pm - Cane Ridge (TN) Ravens vs Mountainside Mavericks
5th Place Game
4:00pm - Cascade Cougars vs *Salem Academy Crusaders
2:30pm - Silverton Foxes vs Rancho Christian (CA) Eagles
1:00pm - Lincoln Cardinals vs Crescent Valley Raiders
11:30am - South Salem Saxons vs *Corvallis Spartans
10:00am - Jefferson Democrats vs *McNary Celtics
SEMIFINAL TUESDAY RESULTS
West Salem Titans 65, Beaverton Beavers 62 (2OT)
Wilsonville Wildcats 54, Roosevelt Roughriders 52
4th Place Semifinals
Cane Ridge (TN) Ravens 57, Silverton Foxes 49
Mountainside Mavericks 63, Rancho Christian (CA) Eagles 38
Cascade Cougars 78, Lincoln Cardinals 76
*Salem Academy 59, Crescent Valley Raiders 57 (2OT)
South Salem Saxons 79, Jefferson Democrats 71
McNary Celtics 48, * Corvallis Spartans 42
* Team has been moved off their earned line in tournament bracket to avoid inter-league game.
West Salem senior Jon Breyman came up huge for West Salem in the CCC semifinals