CVC Basketball

 

What has 14 games, includes no less than 70 Salem-Keizer high school athletes and is played over 10 days?

Give up? It's the third annual Central Valley Conference basketball tournament and it's underway right now.

Still vying for a spot in the boys championship game, North Salem heads to West Salem tonight, and McKay plays at Sprague. Both games have a 7 p.m. tip off.

On Friday, the girls return to semifinal action with McNary at South Salem and West Salem welcoming North.

West Salem will host the final two nights of action, with the boys games on Tuesday and girls playing the following night. Both nights will feature triple-headers with the fifth-place game starting at 4 p.m.

The Titans won the right to hold the finals by winning the CVC's regular season championships. The girls were co-champions with South and the boys team won outright.

After stepping away from sports coverage for a few years, I have to say I was a little confused at first about the reasoning behind holding a CVC tournament.

Bryan Sutherland, the Titans' athletic director, said the tournament is special because the CVC is composed of only six teams. Other conferences in Oregon have more teams and have an easier time coming up with a full schedule of games.

As it is, each CVC team already plays every conference opponent twice during the regular season. The tournament adds an extra level of competition while ensuring that teams play as many games as possible.

"We had to do something." Sutherland said of introducing the tournament format three years ago. "Coaches were against playing a triple round-robin schedule to fill out the season, and the only other options included playing some kind of shorter season. No one wanted to do that."

Sutherland is enthusiastic about hosting the first- through fifth-place games next week and expects large crowds and an electric atmosphere.

"It is still a big deal to win the tournament," he said. "And we won't have to turn people away like some smaller facilities might."

In the first round on Monday, the North Salem boys put an end to a three-game losing streak and took out South 74-61. The Vikings were led by Malik Leaks' 22 points and Tyler Jones came off the bench to score 15.

With the win, the Vikings improved to 7-17 overall and punched their ticket to a semifinal meeting with West Salem tonight.

Also on Monday, McKay advanced with a 53-47 win against McNary. The Scots' Dillon James and Jacob Brustad each scored 13 points as they held off the visiting Celtics.

The Royal Scots have come a long way since finishing 4-20 last season.

Through 21 games this year, McKay went 12-9 (7-3 CVC) and put themselves on the cusp of a second-place finish before falling to Sprague in the regular-season finale.

McKay coach Dean Sanderson said the credit rightly belongs to the players. The Scots will play at Sprague tonight. The winner advances to the championship game against either North or West.

"It shows the commitment our kids have made to getting better," Sanderson said. "This is a tough game for us. Sprague's AJ Lapray is back, and their big man Tanner Morgan can create matchup problems in the post."

In the girls tournament on Tuesday, McNary's Teresa Peterson and Lauren Hudgins each scored 13 points as the Celtics won their first-round playoff game against the visiting Olympians.

North Salem's frontcourt of Stacey Woods and Sabrina Pedersen combined for 17 points as the Vikings defeated McKay 39-34. Woods had 11 points and Pedersen added six.

On Friday, South Salem will host McNary, and West Salem will host North. The winners return to West on Tuesday to play for the tournament championship.

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  • Created By Carter McQuigg -- 5/31/2017

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