Union, Battle Ground win key games in 4A GSHL tiebreakers
The Prairie Falcons got all they could have asked for Friday night in Class 3A Greater St. Helens League boys basketball.
First, they beat Kelso to claim a share of the league title, and then the Falcons won the coin flip to earn the top seed from the league heading into next week’s bi-district tournament.
Kameron Osborn scored 27 points, the Prairie defense slowed down one of the top players in the league, and the Falcons never trailed in the final three quarters of a 64-55 victory.
“It means the world,” Osborn said. “Kelso got the first one. We didn’t want Kelso to get the outright league championship. We had to spoil it for them.”
That left both teams at 9-1 in league play. Because the first and second seeds have home games to open the bi-district tournament, there was no need to play a tiebreaker. Both programs elected for a coin toss.
Prairie will host Bonney Lake at 7 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the 16-team tournament that will eventually qualify six teams to state.
It was one of several key basketball games Friday night in Clark County.
- In the 4A GSHL, Union beat Skyview 66-54 in a tiebreaker for the top seed. Only the top seed from the 4A GSHL earned a home game in its bi-district. Union will host Mount Rainier at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Skyview will be on the road Wednesday.
- And in a loser-out 4A GSHL tiebreaker, Battle Ground bested Camas 55-40 to take the third seed. Battle Ground will travel Monday to Capital High School to face Auburn Mountainview in a bi-district play-in game.
- Back in the 3A GSHL, Evergreen secured the No. 3 seed, while Hudson’s Bay topped Fort Vancouver in a thriller, leaving both of those teams tied for fourth. The Eagles and Trappers will play again Saturday to break that tie.
- The 2A GSHL has one more night of action next week. Columbia River completed an 11-1 record. Mark Morris is 10-1 and hopes to join River at 11-1. Ridgefield, meanwhile, clinched third place with a win Friday.
The marquee game of the night in the 3A GSHL was over at Prairie High School.
There were five lead changes in a fast-paced first quarter, and then there were no more. The game remained close, but the Falcons never relinquished their advantage.
“Shaw had 29 on us in the first game,” Osborn recalled, referring to Kelso’s Shaw Anderson. “Our main emphasis was to stop him. I don’t know how many he had, but he didn’t have 29.”
True. Shaw scored his team’s first six points of the game and did not score again until the fourth quarter. He finished with 12.
“We had a really good team effort, helping off other guys and getting to him,” Prairie coach Kyle Brooks said. “We thought if we held him to 15 points, we’d win. He had 12. I’m really proud of that.”
Braiden Broadbent had five blocked shots for the Falcon. He had two and Logan Reed had another in the closing minutes as Kelso was trying to draw closer.
“We just had to switch up the defenses as much as we could,” Broadbent said. “We tried changing it up and keeping them on their toes.”
Osborn scored 20 of his points in the first half, helping Prairie to a 41-36 advantage. Kelso changed its defense, too, in an effort to slow Osborn. Broadbent had eight of his 14 points in the second half. Dante Heitschmidt added 12 points for the Falcons.
Kelso cut the deficit to one point early in the third quarter but the Falcons extended the advantage to eight heading into the final period. It was a four-point game with just more than two minutes remaining, but Heitschmidt and Broadbent each made two free throws to seal the deal.
“This is so big,” Broadbent said. “Senior Night. Senior year, winning a league title. It’s awesome. Something I’ll remember forever.”