The Sherwood High School boys basketball team definitely took some steps up during the 2017-2018 season.
And the Bowmen saw that season come to a close on Feb. 28 with a 70-46 loss to McNary in a Class 6A state playoff first-round game played at McNary High School in Keizer.
"They are a very good team and executed well, and on top of that shot a very high percentage," Sherwood coach Rahim Tufts said. "We had a tough time getting into a rhythm on offense. We shared the ball and got some good looks, but our outside shots weren't falling, which made it tough to stay close at that level."
With the win, McNary, the Greater Valley Conference champion, and the No. 5 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 20-5 on the season to that point. The Celtics also advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Sherwood, the No. 5 team out of the Three Rivers League, and the No. 28 team in the power rankings, finished its season at 13-12. That's quite an improvement from the year before, when Sherwood went 5-19.
"This season was an absolute blast," Tufts said. "Our guys grew as individuals both on and off the basketball court and in turn, we grew as a team and a program. As the season progressed we knew we had a special group based on the character and competitive spirit of our players. They truly bought into the concept of playing for each other rather than with each other."
Senior Owen Grubbe led the way for the Bowmen in the game at McNary with 13 points. He also grabbed six rebounds. Sophomore guard Jamison Guerra scored 10 points and junior wing Braden Thorn had six points and six rebounds.
McNary's Chandler Cavell led all scorers with 24 points.
The loss at McNary marked the final high school game for Sherwood seniors Billy Hale, Tyler Thiebes, Nic Koronko, Wyatt Zettlemoyer, Grubbe, Carter Bahns, Jordan Gregory and Jace Sucher.
"It was a special group and the seniors will truly be missed," Tufts said. "They laid the foundation for what our program is about and how we will continue to move forward. High character, team players, selfless and competitive."
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