Ryan Peerboom and Josh Kirshanboom
Forty-six teams from Washington and Oregon played in Cowlitz County.
Although Oregon won the battle with a total record of 51-47, a familiar face left the biggest impression on the competition.
RA long star guard Kevin Holden made a brilliant offensive performance, breaking the record in the 28th edition of War of the Borders as he went through a junior campaign that helped him lead Jax to the state semifinals. Now moving on to his senior campaign, Holden’s already big role on the RA Long offense is only getting bigger as three of RAL’s top four scorers walk into the graduation stage last weekend.
“On different teams, he will have to change his game a bit, but the thing about him is that how he runs like him, it’s very easy,” said RAL coach Jere Key.
Holden found it easier over the weekend. After dropping 33 points in an 82-52 win over Rosberg (Ore.), Holden broke the tournament’s single-game scoring record with 58 points in a 90-58 win over Sentinel on Saturday in which he hit 11 shots beyond the arch.
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“It’s really nice,” Holden said. “Trying to get my name out a bit and knowing that two NBA players played in it and I broke their record.”
Holden broke Gig Harbor’s Matthias Ward’s record of 50 in 2011.
Holden’s scoring extravaganza didn’t end the record-setting game as he scored 41 points in a 98-46 win over Milwaukee (Ore.) Where he was pulled in the third quarter with two minutes left.
Holden also broke former Mark Morris standout and current Tomwater head coach Josh Wilson’s record of 139 points, the highest in the tournament. And of course, he made the most 3-pointers for a single contest. After the all-state campaign, Holden is still working on his craft.
“I’m getting stronger, not just physically, but mentally,” he said.
Overall, for the Jax, they will beat Sheldon (Ore.) 63-43 in the Saturday night cap and Proser (Wash.) 59-58 in their last-second putback in their only game on Sunday.
“We wanted to win that game,” he said. “At the end of the day we were the best team … we spun the ball three or four times in a row, dropped five points in one minute and we were 58-53 and we lost six laps for the game.”
The War of the Borders serves as a mid-off-season litmus test for teams to see what they have for the upcoming season. Jacques has a lot to gain in that regard as he seeks to replace the key players in Aaron Offston, Jemmond Harris II and Stephen Rooklis. While trying to fill the vacancies, some sophomores made their name in wars between states.
“Payton Thil played very well for us this weekend. I think all our youngsters played well, “said Key. “(TraMayne) Jenkins played really well for us this weekend.”
Loni Brown Jr., who hit a few clutch shots in RAL’s playoff run last season, also had success with his smooth shooting stroke, and newcomer London Irwin saw time on the ground at the boundary, averaging about five points per game over the weekend.
“The thing about us is we have a lot of room and that’s going to make it difficult for us,” he said. “We’re deeper this year than last.”
To help replicate next year’s success, Holden knows it’s going to take a lot more than floor chemistry with some added team bonding.
“There’s a lot going on outside the court, not just on the court … not just the basketball season, from here to the basketball season,” he said.
Monarchs go 1-4 on weekends
Playing without two starters, Mark Morris’s team will once again have to deal with the little things, having a hard time dropping four of his five games.
“Some of us are shy, but it just gives other kids a chance,” said coach Bill Bacams. “Summer is here; if anyone can’t be there, it’s an opportunity for someone and kids should be aware of this and take advantage of it.”
The Monarchs’ only win against Gladstone (Ore.) On Saturday morning was a 90-76 victory. Earlier, they lost 51-47 in overtime to Grants Pass (Ore.) In one of the closest matches of the tournament.
The Monarchs lost 77-72 to South Eugene (Ore.) And 60-56 to Silverton (Ore.) Andes on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, the Monarchs played 4A Union in an all-Washington matchup. The game was close to half but the Titans hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter and drew 74-59 in the final. Kobe Parlin and Malakai Gray shared the team’s lead with 13 points, while Carson Bogner added 10.
Union’s post-pair pair of Janis Fascilos (6-4) and Evan Manville (6-6) scored 25 points with less dominance.
“It’s not that we’re really short, we just don’t have long lengths and we don’t have strong interior players,” said coach Bill Bacams. “But I think together, we can continue to improve and get tougher as a team and move on from there.”
Highlanders feel positive after Winless Weekend
Some of Kelsey’s key pieces were missing and there was a small bench over the weekend, but the Highlanders are looking at their fight in the Border Games as a positive way to cap the summer ball-producing month.
Kelsey coach Joe Kinch said: “I think we’re really excited about the pieces we’re going to play in June. “And playing a lot of games and still looking for ways to reach them all – our kids’ attitudes and willingness to do all of that have been affected.”
Kelso fell 83-50 to Barlow (Or.) On Friday night and lost to Rosberg, 76-58, and Lakers (Ore.), 65-51 on Saturday, and 76-61 to Westview (Ore) on Saturday and Sunday. Had to be caught. ) Sunday.
“It’s kind of like a resume,” Kinch said. “For the first time in three years we’ve done this (tournament), so it’s kind of a learning curve, but I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made.”
Towering center Payton Stewart caught the attention of opponents most of the weekend with the doubles team, which is what he expects this winter and for which the Highlanders need to be ready.
“We’re able to find a way to touch him and we’ll try to eliminate as many doubles teams as possible,” Kinch said. “We’re able to work out how to get out of it when it doubles.”
Senior to be Michael Henderson missed the tournament due to injury and may have turned his attention to Stewart because the guard’s offseason was strong.
“He’s asserted himself as a man that we think winter can really help us, which is important,” Kinch said.
Hayden Yours, a university-experienced returnee, was also absent from the competition, forcing the Highlanders to look deeper into their benches to fill the roster, and was also impressed by Gunnar Burt, Dawson Green and Kai Channy.
Nicero Lucas is another returnee who will see his role increased in the winter and showed some promising signs of offense, including a 23-point outing against Westview on Kelso’s weekend.
“He played a few university minutes, but that’s a really important part of what we’re doing now, and he had a great weekend,” Kinch said.