Regis' Rylan Bischoff (5) drives against Western Christian's Diggs Sladek (23) on Friday. (Photo by Jeremy McDonald)
Regis' Rylan Bischoff (5) drives against Western Christian's Diggs Sladek (23) on Friday. (Photo by Jeremy McDonald)

Regis struck an early blow in what promises to be a hotly contested race in 2A Tri-River Conference boys basketball Friday.

The second-ranked Rams (11-0, 2-0) won 63-58 at No. 1 Western Christian (9-1, 1-1) in a battle of unbeaten teams. Junior guard Isaiah Koehnke and senior wing Julius Pokorny scored 23 and 22 points, respectively, to lead Regis.

"We gave everything we had,” Koehnke said. “It was loud. We couldn't hear each other. You have to be mentally strong to play in this gym, and even if you can't hear anything, you have to play smart.”

The Rams, state quarterfinalists last season, seem to have the number of Western Christian, last season's state runner-up. A season ago, Regis beat the Pioneers 59-58 in a conference game and 59-57 in a league playoff.

This season, the teams are part of a loaded Tri-River that also includes No. 5 Willamina (10-1, 1-1), No. 7 Kennedy (8-3, 1-1), Colton (10-1, 2-0) and Gervais (7-0, 2-0).

In Friday's game, Western Christian build a 28-18 lead in the second quarter behind the shot-making of juniors Lucas Zook and Gavin Hall and the interior defense and rebounding of 6-foot-3 sophomore Diggs Sladek.

Regis drew within 33-27 at half and pulled ahead 39-36 in the third quarter. Western Christian answered with a 6-0 run and led 46-45 heading into the fourth quarter.

A three-pointer by Koehnke and a basket by junior Roman Gould gave Regis a 59-55 lead with 1:53 left. Pioneers senior Kuga Matsumoto converted a three-point play to make it 59-58 with 1:29 to go.

But Pokorny and Koehnke each made two free throws in the final 15 seconds as the Rams held on for the victory.

“It's a matter of defense. That's what it is,” Pokorny said. “We score the ball well, we just have to defend. Defend and rebound. We can't be scared of going into anything. Even if we're in their house, we have to come from the start. We can't battle back from halftime.”

Hall scored 22 points and Sladek added 12 points for the Pioneers, who will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they visit Santiam Christian (1-10) on Saturday night.

"I think it's just executing. Executing and playing as a team," Sladek said. “I think we're going to learn from it, get better and just move the ball a little bit more."

– Jeremy McDonald contributed to this report

Top-ranked Rams escape

No. 1 Central Catholic was pushed to the limit by unranked South Medford before escaping with a 71-68 overtime home win in a 6A nonleague game Friday night.

The Panthers (6-6) went on a 17-6 run at the end of regulation to tie at 61-61. They nearly got the go-ahead basket in the final seconds when senior point guard Jackson Weiland narrowly missed a layup.

“We let them off the hook,” South Medford coach James Wightman told the Rogue Valley Times. “Jackson gets to the basket and the ball hits every part of the rim. … I just don’t know how it didn’t go in.”

Central Catholic (7-3) took control early in overtime, going 10 for 12 on free throws to account for all of its offense in the extra session. Junior Duce Paschal went 6 for 6 from the line in overtime and finished with a team-high 22 points for the Rams. Senior Marley Zeller and junior Isaac Carr added 11 and nine points, respectively.

Senior Ty Dahlin scored 27 points to lead South Medford, with 18 coming in the first half. Weiland added 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Panthers.

It was the second consecutive overtime loss for South Medford, which lost to visiting West Salem 81-79 in double overtime in the final of the Abby's Tournament on Dec. 29.

“The game is cruel at times,” Wightman said.

South Wasco's Hull out for year

South Wasco County sophomore guard Jason Hull, who set a state freshman record last season with a 54-point game, will miss his entire sophomore year.

The 6-3 Hull, who had knee surgery Oct. 2, was hoping to return to the 1A Redsides in January. But his doctor determined this week that Hull needs at least another six months to recover.

“We're shutting him down until summer ball in June,” said South Wasco County coach Jim Hull, his father. “Better that he have a future than to be injured all the time.

“The good news is the doctor says he has never had a re-injury after doing this procedure if they wait until it is fully healed.”

Hull was averaging 28.7 points per game last season when he suffered a non-contact knee dislocation in the team's 20th game. He did not have surgery before returning for summer ball, opting to recover by immobilizing the knee, but dislocated the kneecap again at the Linfield Prospect Camp in late September.


Lincoln senior Tanner Overby's 42 points pushed his scoring average to 30.4, but it wasn't enough as the Cardinals (6-7) fell to Grant 76-73 in overtime in a Portland Interscholastic League game Saturday. Grant (5-5) got 20 points from Mekhi Muhammed and 14 points from Zhalei Van, who scored the go-ahead basket late in overtime. … Jesuit junior guard Pat Kilfoil continued his hot streak Friday as the No. 7 Crusaders beat No. 5 Barlow 73-71 at home Friday. Kilfoil made six three-pointers and scored 23 points, giving him 21 three-pointers in his last four games, during which he is averaging 24.0 points. … Scappoose (7-4) handed 4A No. 3 Astoria (10-1) is first loss Friday, going on the road for a 73-70 win. Colton Sprenger's three-pointer with nine seconds left was the difference. … Aidan Rice scored 31 points as No. 4 Beaverton (8-4) posted a 67-63 home win over West Linn (4-8) on Friday. Rice is averaging 23.3 points. … Portland Christian, ranked third in 2A, improved to 12-0 by beating No. 6 Mannahouse Academy 35-31 in a Northwest League game at Warner Pacific University on Friday.