The Vernonia Loggers are the OSAA 2A boys basketball state champions!
The Loggers defeated the #1 ranked Regis Rams 57-49 on Saturday, March 5, 2016 to bring home their first state championship in almost 40 years.
The Loggers were led in the championship game by Player of the Game, senior Robert Conner, who scored 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field. Conner also hit 7 of 10 free throws, including 4 of 6 in the final :33 of the game to help secure the win. Conner added 7 rebounds, 6 of them defensive, to his big night for the Loggers.
Junior Tristan Adams scored 14 points for the Loggers, hitting 6 of 9 shots from the field, including 2 of 3 3 point shots. Senior Arne Scheimann scored 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds and senior Francesco Mian scored 10 points. Sophomore point guard Clay Sullivan, the Player of the Game in the tournament opener on Thursday, scored 2 points and added 6 rebounds and was named First Team All Tournament. Junior Brett Elliot scored 4 points and grabbed 5 rebounds and was named Second Team All Tournament.
The State Championship was truly a team effort by head coach David Weller’s Loggers, who had three different leading scoring in the three game tournament, and three different individuals named Player of the Game. Weller used 9 players in each of the three match ups.
Regis jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead to start the championship game but the Loggers battled back on a jump shot by Scheimann, a couple of baskets by Conner, a 3 point bucket by Adams, and a basket by Mian. The Loggers trailed 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Adams took over in the second quarter. After hitting a 3 pointer to tie the game at 14, the teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter with Adams hitting 3 more buckets to go along with a dunk by Conner. A jumper by Scheimann with 2:48 to go in the half gave Vernonia their first lead of the game and a 3 point shot by Elliot with 12 seconds left gave the Loggers a 27-24 lead at the half.
The Loggers kept control of the game throughout the second half, as the Loggers worked the ball inside with Conner hitting a layup and Conner and Elliot drawing several fouls. Conner hit 3 of 4 free throws while Elliot made 1 of 2. Mian then took over, hitting a jumper, then a layup and the Loggers led 39-33 at the end of three quarters.
Mian opened the fourth quarter with another jumper, Sullivan extended the Logger lead to 10 points with a jumper of his own, before Main hit another shot to keep the Loggers lead at 10. Scheimann hit a pair of jumpers and Conner and Adams each added one, before Conner headed to the free throw line and iced the game by hitting 4 of his final 6 free throws.