COOS BAY — Playing 16 hours after a taxing loss in the semifinals, Harrisburg’s boys found enough energy in the fourth quarter to beat Cascade Christian 55-45 in the third-place game at the Class 3A state basketball tournament on Saturday.
“It was tough,” said Harrisburg’s Stephen Parmenter of the fourth quarter. “We dug deep. We turned it up a notch and gave everything we had.”
The teams battled back and forth for three quarters, trading the lead through a series of momentum swings.
When Cascade Christian’s Ben Dunn hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth, the Challengers were in front 43-42.
But Alonzo Ranch had a rebound hoop for the Eagles and then Parmenter hit a 3-pointer.
Then the sophomore, the only non-senior in the starting lineup, came up with several huge defensive plays to help seal the win.
First, with Cascade Christian down two and threatening to tie, Parmenter stole a pass and got a breakaway layin. Moments later he picked off another pass and dished the ball to Hunter Knox for another easy score and a six-point lead.
Parmenter then blocked two shots as Cascade Christian failed to score the final four minutes.
Parmenter said it wasn’t hard to find incentive to finish the game strong, primarily because of Harrisburg’s senior group.
“It’s the last game of their high school careers,” he said. “Me and a couple of the other younger kids wanted to send them out on a positive note.”
Parmenter finished with 10 points and seven assists. Joey Knox led the way with 12 points — 10 in the first half — helping the Eagles keep up with the Challengers early. Hunter Knox scoed 11 and Tel Jones added nine.
Harrisburg coach Tim Yokum praised his squad, noting that in the third game of a tournament, results are not so much a matter of coaching schemes, but how the players perform.
“The kids played really well,” he said. “All the credit goes to them.”
Harrisburg outscored the Challengers 13-7 in the final quarter.
“It’s hard to do that when you don’t have any legs left,” Yokum said.
The Eagles had a few more legs than the Challengers.
“We ran out of energy a little bit there in the end,” Cascade Christian coach Brian Morse said, adding that he asked a lot of his team for three days, especially with star Carson Cochran home after having his appendix removed.
“I’m proud of their effort,” Morse said. “They played well and got a trophy without our best player.”
Morse gave credit to the Eagles.
“They hit some big shots down the stretch,” he said. “They deserved to win.”
Joel McLemore led Cascade Christian with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
For Harrisburg, the third-place finish was its best since 1989 and followed the school’s first football title in 50 years, won with many of the same players.
“It’s been quite a year for Harrisburg,” Parmenter said.