Crusaders launched themselves into the Oregon 4A State Tournament Final Four with
a 74-67 win over Keizer (OR) McNary HS.
It was basically a game where Jesuit set the pace and controlled the action
with their trademark defensive pressure and offensive rebounding, while the
younger Tarver brothers - Josh (right) and Seth - put the pressure on McNary with their
Jesuit got going early in the first half. While McNary stayed close thanks to
some key three-point shooting, the Tarver brothers took turns doing damage.
While Zach crashed the offensive glass, Josh and Seth spotted up outside for
open shots. Seth scored six points in the first quarter, and Josh tossed in
six in the second as the Crusaders built a solid five point lead. The Tarver
trio combined for 23 of Jesuit's 26 points at the half. While Jesuit didn't
shoot a high percentage at only 32.3 percent, their work on the offensive glass
allowed them 31 field goal attempts in comparison to McNary's 17.
In the second half, Jesuit continued to keep their distance from the Celtics,
as the Crusaders started to find their shooting eye (shooting 64 percent in the
half). Senior guard Chris Peerboom caught fire with nine points, and Seth
Tarver hit two late three pointers, allowing Jesuit to build an eight point
lead entering the fourth. However, like all teams have had in this year's
tournament, McNary had one final run left in them. After buckets by Seth and
Zach Tarver extended Jesuit's lead to 12 in the fourth, the Celtics got going.
Although they were cold from the field, they used their proficiency at the free
throw line to catch up. When McNary senior forward Ryan Rufener hit a three
with 2:45 remaining, the Celtics were within four.
But Jesuit immediately responded with a dunk by Seth Tarver which emotionally
killed the Celtic rally. The Crusaders hit their free throws down the stretch
to seal the win.
As noted earlier, it was the night of the Tarvers. Sophomore point guard Josh
led the way with 23 points (including 6-for-9 from three-point range), while
younger brother freshman Seth scored 21. Junior forward Zach scored 10 and
grabbed five rebounds. McNary placed four players in double figures, with
Rufener leading the way with 18 points. For the game McNary outshot Jesuit
from the field (53.8 to 46.4), from three-point range (54.5 to 50.0) and from
the line (82.6 to 68.2), but it couldn't offset their 17 shot differential in
field goal attempts and their 18 turnovers.
Jesuit will face Hillsboro (OR) in the semifinals on Friday, a team they swept
during regular season Metro League play.
Jed Tai is a Senior Writer with Hoopville.com