WOODBURN – No. 4 Stayton clinched at least a share of the 4A Oregon West Conference boys basketball title Friday with a 64-49 win at No. 5 Woodburn.
The Eagles (17-3, 10-0) opened a gap over second-place Woodburn (17-4, 7-2) with the win. Stayton can wrap up the outright title with a win in one of its two remaining conference games against Sisters (11-10, 4-5) and Cascade (11-9, 3-6).
“First thing I said in the locker room is that we’ve got to keep level heads,” Stayton senior forward Riley Nichol said. “It’s a great win, feels good. But we have two more league games and we will have a playoff game after that, so we got to be ready.”
Senior guard Jordan Butler scored 16 points for Stayton, including eight in a decisive third quarter. The Eagles led 29-24 at half but extended the edge as high as 52-31 midway through the fourth quarter.
“We just really focused up during halftime, and we knew we had to come out and lock down on the defensive end and execute on offense, and that’s what we did,” Butler said.
Woodburn senior guard RJ Veliz scored 20 points to reach the 2,000-point mark for his career.
“I mean it’s an awesome record. Coming into the game I didn’t have it in mind,” Veliz said. “I was trying to do anything we could to get the win. We were right there, but we didn’t shoot the ball well in the third quarter and that was kind of the difference-maker.
“But 2,000 is incredible, I mean, being put on a list with Kevin Love and Payton Pritchard and great players in Oregon.”