Cruz Veliz (0) jumps to block a stick back effort from West Albany's Brysen Kachel
Cruz Veliz (0) jumps to block a stick back effort from West Albany's Brysen Kachel

MCMINNVILLE – It wasn’t enough for West Albany to lead conference rival Woodburn for almost 22 minutes, starting with two minutes gone by in the second quarter; at the 2024 OSAA / OnPoint Community Credit Union Boys 5A Basketball State Championships at Linfield University.

West Albany needed nine seconds more. The Bulldogs could not hold on.

Woodburn made memorable plays in the closing seconds to complete a remarkable comeback, 54-52, Wednesday afternoon. The improbable win, the third this season over West Albany, sent the No. 4 seed into the Friday semifinals to face top-seeded Summit, which won a squeaker, 50-48, over Mountain View in the tournament opener.

The game came down to the final 21 seconds. With West Albany hanging on to a three-point lead, Woodburn was trying to drive and kick for a three-point look. West Albany senior Brysen Kachel, who played a brilliant all-around game; stepped in to take the charge from Woodburn star Cruz Veliz.

That should have been the game, but West Albany could not protect the ball on its final two possessions. The first time the Bulldogs tried to pass ahead, Woodburn’s 6-9 post Liam Slattum hustled back and got his hands on the ball while enduring hard contact from a West Albany player. He hit both free throws to draw Woodburn within one with 15 ticks left on the game clock.

West Albany called time out to set up what it hoped would be a game-winning inbounds play. Woodburn decided to put Slattum on the man taking the ball out. It proved to be the right move, as Slattum must have obstructed the view of the West Albany player, who saw a teammate streak downcourt seemingly with no one around him.

He did not see Dylon Renteria playing free safety. Renteria stole the ball away and passed it forward. It eventually found Veliz streaking towards the basket. He scored the assisted layup and was fouled with nine seconds left, giving Woodburn the long-elusive lead. Veliz completed the “and 1,” which gave him 26 points on the afternoon; and corralled the rebound after an Austin Metzker miss as time ran out to put the wraps on Woodburn’s stunning win.

“Sometimes we have to make plays,” said Woodburn coach Raul Veliz. “We’ve been in that position before against the same team, so we knew we always had an opportunity to win even when the game was kind of close towards the end.”


Woodburn came out strong to start the first quarter. Veliz scored 10 in a 17-11 Woodburn lead in a game that more resembled the first meeting between the teams, an eight-point Woodburn win; than the second, a 61-60 nail biter.

West Albany turned the tables to start the second quarter. The team scored 11 straight points and took the lead, 18-17, on a Kachel 3-ball. Kachel scored inside and out and also did the dirty work defensively for the Bulldogs, who held Woodburn to five second-quarter points, all by Veliz.

West Albany kept the pressure on into the third quarter and built a lead that got as large as 12, 43-31, thanks to an effort sequence from Kachel. The burly 6-3 senior wasn’t able to score in deep but created a loose ball situation with hustle and eventually drifted to the top of the key to bury a long three.

Woodburn, however, did not give up and scored the period’s final seven points, as Renteria’s three sandwiched two Fernando Del Rio lay ins to end the quarter down just five points.

A cold-blooded three pointer from West Albany’s Owen Hopkins started the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs twice led by eight points. Woodburn, with sticky fingers, clawed within 50-49 on a steal and score from Cruz with a little more than three minutes remaining. Tyson Walker reciprocated with a West Albany steal and score, but he missed the ensuing foul shot to keep it a one-possession game as time wound down to the incredible finish.


With 13 seconds left and West Albany nursing a one-point lead, the Bulldogs inbounded the ball right in front of Woodburn’s bench. Coach Veliz described what he saw.

“We made a switch and put our tallest guy on the ball, which forced their guy to have to lob it a little bit more,” Veliz said. “I don’t think he saw our guy there. He thought he had his guy pretty much wide open. We were able to get it. I told the team, ‘If we get a steal, let’s not call time out; let’s go win the game.’”

Cruz Veliz’ big afternoon was complemented by Slattum, who had nine points and five rebounds while playing the entire game. Renteria also scored nine, with three assists. Brody Hawley scored six points and had eight rebounds.

Kachel had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead West Albany. He hit his head on the floor while taking that charge from Veliz in the final seconds and had to come out. He did not re-enter, leaving it to Metzger to try to win or tie the game.

“They made a helluva run in the second and third quarter,” Coach Veliz said. “They had us defensively. All we knew is if we kept pounding the paint good things would happen.”

In other Wednesday boys quarterfinals…

No. 1 Summit 50, No. 9 Mountain View 48

Jakob Hansen hit two free throws with 13.9 seconds remaining, which gave Summit just enough margin to survive a last-second triple from Mason Chambers in the 50-48 win.

Chambers also scored at the end of the first half for Mountain View, a banked three-pointer from 35 feet while being fouled. The four-point play put a damper on a strong second quarter for the Storm, who rallied from a nine-point deficit in the first quarter to lead by as many as nine in the second.

Summit, scoring eight baskets all at the rim, most assisted; opened up a double-digit margin after three quarters, then lost its aggressiveness trying to run out the clock. Mountain View played superbly and strategically in the end game but fell just a few seconds short of tying the game or perhaps pulling off the shocking upset over a team that had beaten it three times this season by more than 20 points each time.

Three Summit players scored 10 points each to pace the Storm, but the key points came from the lefty Hansen, who hit a wing three to help Summit open up a 48-40 lead late and then those free throws with the game on the line.

Quincy Townsend had 12 points to lead Mountain View. Kole Hendricks and Chambers scored 10 each.

No. 6 Putnam 61, No. 3 North Eugene 57, O.T.

Putnam stormed from 17 points down early in the second quarter to knock off higher-seeded North Eugene. The Kingsmen withstood a perfect first quarter from North Eugene – 10-for-10 from the field, 4-for 4 from long range, 3-for-3 from the line, just one turnover – and a pretty good first couple of minutes in the second, before using long range shooting from Tyler Adams and elevated energy that started with a befuddling three-quarter court press to take the play to the Highlanders.

Putnam’s comeback began in earnest early in the third quarter, when an 8-3 run sliced North Eugene’s margin to single digits.

North Eugene, which beat Putnam by five during the regular season, opened the final period with a nine-point lead, but that evaporated under a torrent of turnovers, Adams’ third 3-ball of the quarter finally knotted the score at 49-49. Jaiden Pickett then gave Putnam its first lead OF THE GAME, spinning inside for a lefty lay in as the shot clock wound down. North Eugene was able to make two of four free throws in the waning seconds to send the game to overtime, but Putnam’s players, and crowd, had too much energy and could not be held down. Lennon Greenleaf’s top of the key three under pressure gave Putnam the lead in overtime and a huge boost, but the Kingsmen put the game away when Greenleaf finished at the rim to extend Putnam’s lead to three, and Chase McDonald followed with a steal and immediate bucket to make the lead five with 48 seconds remaining. There was no coming back from that for North Eugene.

The story of the game was this: North Eugene shot 100 percent in the first quarter, from everywhere, and 29 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free throw line the rest of the game, with 15 turnovers.

Adams and Greenleaf had 15 points each to lead four Putnam players in double figures. India Mohiuddin scored 14, all in the first quarter, to take scoring honors for North Eugene.

No. 2 Wilsonville 56, No. 7 Redmond 51

Tied at 43-43 after three quarters, two-time defending champion Wilsonville scored the last six points of the game to come from a point down to defeat a Panther team the Wildcats routed by 25 early in December.

Wilsonville jumped out to a strong first-quarter lead and appeared poised to buck the trend of close games in the 5A semifinals. But Redmond, paced by Wyatt Horner and Jack Snyder, rallied in the second period and played point for point with the champions until the very end. A three pointer by Horner put Redmond on top with 3:37 remaining, but the Panthers could not complete the monumental upset. Buckets by Kal Gutridge, who had a game-high 27 points; and Kyle Counts put the Wildcats up three with 37 seconds left. Free throws supplied the final margin.