The semifinals of the 1A tournament were Friday at Baker High School.
The semifinals of the 1A tournament were Friday at Baker High School.

Top-seeded Crane moved to the brink of an unprecedented third consecutive boys basketball state title in the small-school classification Friday afternoon.

The Mustangs (28-1) took the lead for good late in the second quarter and pulled away for a 56-41 victory over No. 4 Trinity Lutheran (24-5) in the semifinals of the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 1A tournament at Baker High School. The Mustangs will go for a three-peat Saturday night when they meet Nixyaawii in the final.

Crane defeated Nixyaawii in two nonleague games this season, prevailing 70-60 at Pilot Rock on Dec. 9 and 64-51 at Eastern Oregon University on Feb. 8.

Senior point guard Carter Nichols led the way for Crane on Friday with 26 points, five rebounds and three assists, shooting 8 of 14 from the field. Cody Siegner, a 6-foot-7 junior, made all three of his three-point attempts and finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs, who beat the Saints for the third time in three meetings this season.

Crane committed 18 turnovers to seven for the Saints, but owned a 44-21 edge in rebounds. The Mustangs shot 8 of 21 on three-pointers and Trinity Lutheran was 2 for 17.

The Saints, making their first semifinal appearance since finishing second in 2019, got 15 points from junior Andrew Imhoff and 14 points from junior Jack Foley. Imhoff, who scored 40 points in a quarterfinal win over Crosshill Christian, shot 7 of 17 from the field, including 1 of 8 on three-pointers.

The game was tied 14-14 late in the second quarter, but Crane's Casse Roozeboom made a three-pointer and Nichols hit a jumper to make it 19-14 at half. Siegner made all three of his three-pointers in the third quarter as the lead grew to 39-27, then made a jumper to open the fourth quarter for a 41-27 edge.

No. 2 Nixyaawii 74, No. 11 North Douglas 55: The Golden Eagles (23-4) opened a 10-2 lead and never looked back to earn a spot in the final. They will bid for their third title in six seasons Saturday.

Baron Moses had 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Symon Picard had 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists to lead Nixyaawii. Weptas Brockie scored 12 points, making 4 of 9 three-point attempts.

The Golden Eagles led 17-5 after one quarter and 33-18 at half, getting two three-pointers from Brockie in the last 20 seconds of the first half. They pushed the lead to 39-20 on two free throws by Rylen Bronson and North Douglas never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Hunter Vaughn had 29 points, six rebounds and three steals for the Warriors (24-6), who lost in the semifinals for the second year in a row. Tucker Kallinger made three three-pointers and added 11 points.