BEAVERTON – Host Mountainside used a third-quarter flurry to rout two-time reigning 6A champion Tualatin 64-46 as the teams entered the shot-clock era in Oregon boys basketball with a nonleague game Thursday night.
The Mavericks outscored the Timberwolves 26-4 to start the second half, opening a 51-27 lead early in the fourth quarter. They hit five three-pointers during the span, four coming from sophomore guard Eli Vizconde, who scored a game-high 18 points.
“Once we calmed down and relaxed, I thought we handled the second half a lot better offensively,” Mountainside coach Dustin Hewitt said.
Tualatin, No. 1 in the OSAAtoday preseason 6A coaches poll, was missing three key players. Senior wing Jayden Fortier (torn ACL) and junior wing Nolan Keeney (broken collarbone) were injured in the state football final last week, and senior wing Jaden Steppe, the team's leading scorer last season (19.6 points), sat out after receiving two technical fouls in a jamboree Wednesday.
Fortier is expected to miss the season. Keeney could return near the end of January.
“We've just got to have the next-man-up mentality,” Timberwolves senior guard AJ Noland said. “It's going to be a fun season. I'm looking forward to it.”
Tualatin hung with No. 7 Mountainside in the first half but didn't have the weapons to keep pace in the second half. The Mavericks found a rhythm behind junior point guard Brayden Boe, who finished with 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
Hewitt praised the 6-foot-5 Boe, the Metro League player of the year and a 6A first-team selection last season. Boe has college offers from Portland, Boise State and Seattle University.
“There are a lot of kids that are very talented that want their stats. Brayden just wants to win,” Hewitt said. “Sometimes that's him taking over a game by scoring points, sometimes it's been getting other guys involved. It's awesome having a kid of his caliber that just wants to win and doesn't necessarily care about his stats.”
Boe found Vizconde and junior guard Peyton Reyes for open shots on the perimeter. For the game, Vizconde hit five three pointers and Reyes added three triples, accounting for his nine points.
“Peyton's really improved his jumper over this last offseason,” Boe said. “And having a guy like Eli, who really shoots the clip like that, it just opens my game up.”
Hewitt said Vizconde has taken his game to another level since last season, when he started for Mountainside's state quarterfinal team as a freshman. He added four assists and four rebounds Thursday.
“That kid's got more game than people know,” Hewitt said. “I probably held him back last year. He's got game. He's good. He's savvy, he's calm. He's the whole package.”
Vizconde is improved at attacking off the dribble, according to Boe.
“He's really starting to create his own shot a lot better than he did last year,” Boe said. “Last year he was a lot more of just a corner guy.”
Vizconde said he has built chemistry with Boe. And the 35-second shot clock presents him “a bigger green light” as a shooter.
“I like it because it puts pressure on both teams,” Vizconde said. “We've been practicing a lot every day with the shot clock. So it's kind of building our game so far.”
Boe is enjoying the rule change, too.
“I like it a lot better, especially in the Metro League,” Boe said. “It changes a lot of stuff in the Metro League. It's more like basketball. It's more fun.”
The Mavericks also were missing a key player Thursday. Senior wing Quinn Haveman, who dislocated his ankle in the sixth game last season and missed the rest of the year, is recovering from a knee injury in the summer.
Hewitt said he isn't sure when Havemen will come back, but guessed it could be “a month or two.” Haveman's tenacity would be a much-needed ingredient for Mountainside, according to the coach.
“He's got that toughness that we didn't really have in the first half tonight,” Hewitt said. “He brings that in spades. We're patiently waiting for him. We're not going to push it because he's had a couple setbacks. … I told him that his goal is to walk off the court his last senior game, with a jersey on.”
Noland said that once Tualatin gets its key players back, “we're going to be a team to look out for.” Keeney, a transfer from Westview, will give the team a new element.
“Keeney is a big body, and he's a distributor at 6-5,” Noland said. “So having him back would be great. And obviously we'll get Jaden back next game, and Jaden's the best player in the state.”
As for Fortier, the Timberwolves will miss his 6-5, 225-pound frame and relentless energy.
“It's tough. He's a key piece, on the football field and on the basketball court,” Noland said of Fortier, committed to Arizona State for football. “We're going to go out and play every single game for him. All love to him. I hope he has amazing recovery progress. I know he's going to be out here supporting us.”
Senior guard Zach Zuckerman scored a team-high 17 points for Tualatin, making four three-pointers. Noland added 11 points.