AFTER MONUMENTAL PERFORMANCE BY JACKSON SHELSTAD AND WEST LINN, THE LIONS TRY TO BRING HOME THE 2022 CCC JOHNNY LEONARD TROPHY TONIGHT, BUT ELZIE HARRINGTON AND UNDEFEATED ST JOHN BOSCO STAND IN THE WAY
SALEM (OR) - Tuesday, 12/20/22 - Every now and again, the greatest athletes rise to the occasion and do something truly spectacular in the biggest moments of athletic competition.
That was certainly the case in the final game of the day on semifinal Tuesday in the Oregon Army National Guard Boys Bracket at the 2022 Capitol City Classic presented by Northwestern Mutual.
For nearly 28 minutes, mighty Modesto Christian (CA) d Adrian Mosley, the PIL Player of the Year at Grant a year ago. Beaverton (4-1), meanwhile, is balanced and loaded, with a starting five that is talented and skilled as any in the state perhaps.
But everything changed late in the game. Lion star Jackson Shelstad made scintillating play after scintillating play, and the Oregon Duck commit and his cast of tough and perhaps unappreciated teammates started chipping away at the lead.
It was as gritty as it was incredible.
By the time the dust settled, West Linn had manufactured an incredible 17-0 run to end the game and win going away in overtime.
In overtime, it was West Linn 12, Modesto Christian 0.
And Shelstad - who routinely posts monster numbers and fills a stat sheet but rarely forces anything - had poured in 35 points, including a preposterous 31 in the second half and overtime.
Again, this was against Modesto Christian, the 2022 runners-up in the California Open Division with more than 30 wins a year ago.
For the fans who attend the game, it was one for the ages and an unforgettable performance by a determined team with a spectacular player.
The Crusaders, playing without injured 5-star guard Jamari Phillips, got 25 points from senior guard BJ Davis and 16 more from guard Jalen Brown. Davis, a San Diego State commit, was coming off a record-setting 49-point performance in Modesto's quarterfinal win on Monday.
West Linn will face another California super-power in the Championship game tonight at 8:30pm in St. John Bosco. The Braves ran their record to 12-0, as they cruised to an 81-60 victory over West Salem. In a balanced fashion that is typical of Bosco, five guys scored in double figures to lead the way to victory.
It will be a fascinating matchup of two very different teams. Both have a superstar high school player ranked in the top 50 in their class in the country, but one is a five-star, top 10 sophomore (Elzie Harrington) while the other (Shelstad) is a four-star who might have a chip on his shoulder in that regard. Bosco is big and deep; West Linn is not as big nor as deep comparatively speaking. West Linn wants to push the pace, and while Bosco certainly can and will go, they can pound teams in the half-court with their size and athleticism.
With a West Linn win over Bosco, Oregon would win back-to-back CCC titles after winning none before West Salem's magical run in the 2021 CCC a year ago.
In other games, Kallen Gutridge led Wilsonville (6-1) with 31 points in a 57-39 victory over Cascade (5-2) in a game that featured two defending state champion teams in the Wildcats (5A) and the Cougars (4A)... Beaverton (5-2), the #2 team in OSAA 6A at the start of the season, was impressive in beating Texas power John Paul II, 76-68, behind the scoring of Max Elmgren (25), Brady Rice (17), and Jalen Childs (16).
West Salem will face Modesto Christian in the 3rd place game on Wednesday at 7:00pm, while Beaverton and Wilsonville will square off for fourth place at 5:30pm. Central and Gresham will play for 5th at 4:00pm.
On the girls side, the Oregon City Pioneers will face the Silverton Foxes for the Biz Rainie Trophy and Capitol Toyota Girls Bracket championship at 8:30pm at Corban University.
West Linn's Jackson Shelstad
St John Bosco's Elzie Harrington