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Basketball

LANGLOIS — Pacific’s dreams of repeating as Class 1A boys state basketball champions came to an end Wednesday when the Pirates fell to visiting North Douglas 52-31 in the Skyline League playoffs.

The Pirates never got going on offense and the Warriors used a big second quarter to build a lead Pacific couldn’t overcome.

“They executed better than we did,” Pacific coach Ben Stallard said, passing on credit to the Warriors. “They definitely earned it.”

North Douglas advanced to this weekend’s league tournament at Marshfield High School and will play North Division champion Days Creek on Friday.

Caleb Parks scored 16 points and Killian Bond added nine for North Douglas, which shot just 2-for-9 in the first quarter before shooting 20-for-37 the rest of the way.

Pacific, meanwhile, shot just 12-for-38 for the game and also was out-rebounded by a nearly 2-1 margin by the athletic and taller Warriors.

“They’re probably the most athletic team in the league,” said Colton Morrill-Keeler, who led the Pirates with nine points, but struggled to get easy looks inside all game.

Sean White added eight points, seven rebounds and three steals for Pacific.

North Douglas turned the game in its favor with a 19-4 run that lasted most of the second quarter.

The Warriors led 28-13 after the first basket of the third quarter before Pacific started a comeback. Sean White had a three-point play inside to start a run that also included points by Morrill-Keeler and Steven White. When Steven White hit a 3-pointer from the wing, Pacific was within 32-26 with a minute to go in the third.

But In a flash, North Douglas was back in control again.

Parks had a three-point play and then the Warriors scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, essentially putting the game out of reach.

After Pacific forced 11 turnovers in the third quarter, the Pirates were able to force just two in the fourth while giving away the ball eight times.

And after not getting to the line in the first half, Pacific didn’t take advantage of its chances there in the second, hitting just 4 of 10 free throws (though North Douglas was just 7-for-18).

The loss ended an up-and-down season in which the Pirates overcame the challenges of injuries and Steven White’s cancer diagnosis to still finish second in the South Division.

While White played extensively Wednesday, hitting two 3-pointers and scoring seven points, he missed all of many games and wasn’t able to play to his top level in others as he went through the beginning of his cancer treatment.

“People don’t comprehend what that means,” Stallard said of White’s limited time with the team for the final two months. “He scored 35 points in some summer league games. Then there’s the talking on defense and the intensity in practice — you can’t put a value on that.”

Morill-Keeler said Wednesday’s loss wouldn’t define the season.

“It’s not the ending we want, but I’m proud of everyone,” he said. “We went through adversity — probably the most adversity you could get — and we played hard and became a better team.”

White agreed.

“The people stepped up over the season,” he said. “I feel that we could have went further.

“But everyone gave effort. I’m happy with that.”

North Douglas and Days Creek meet at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Marshfield. 

In Friday’s other boys game at the district tournament, South Division champion Riddle faces Umpqua Valley Christian at 6:30 p.m.

Pacific’s girls, who won the South Division, face Days Creek at 5 p.m. North Division champion North Douglas faces Elkton in the other girls game at 2 p.m. Friday.

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Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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