Central Catholic junior Isaac Carr goes up for two of his game-high 26 points in Saturday's 6A final. (Photo by Jon Olson)
Central Catholic junior Isaac Carr goes up for two of his game-high 26 points in Saturday's 6A final. (Photo by Jon Olson)

PORTLAND – As it turns out, Central Catholic isn't just a football school.

The top-seeded Rams put the final touch on a dominant boys basketball season Saturday by coming from behind to defeat No. 3 Roosevelt 85-76 in the final of the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A tournament before a packed house at the Chiles Center.

In winning its first title since 1994, Central Catholic becomes the first school in the state's highest classification to win championships in football and boys basketball in the same school year since Corvallis in 1983-84.

Rams coach David Blue will have a blue trophy to show football coach Steve Pyne, who led the Rams to their fifth state title since 2013 last fall before resigning to take the job at Union of Vancouver.

“I'm sure I got a text message from him already,” Blue said. “We support each other. Definitely he's laid the groundwork for what it means to win state titles, and hopefully we can continue to do the same.”

Oregon-bound junior guard Isaac Carr led the way for Central Catholic (27-3) with 26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals. The 6-foot-4 Carr shot 7 of 10 from the field, hitting both of his three-point attempts, and made 10 of 12 free throws.

Sophomore point guard Zamir Paschal had 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal and Pepperdine-bound senior guard Marley Zeller added 11 points for the Rams, who shot 55.6 percent, including 8 of 15 from three-point range.

“All the work that we put in behind closed doors, we just got to show it,” Paschal said. “We just kept our heads down. We didn't think we were too good, we just kept working. It just all came together.”

The way things started against Roosevelt (26-3), it appeared the Rams would get run out of the building by the hot-shooting Roughriders, who made eight of their first nine three-point attempts and built a 40-27 lead in the second quarter.

“Shout out to them, they were making all their shots,” Carr said. “But we were able to stay together as a team, stay composed and come back, and we got it done.”

Just like in the semifinals, when Central Catholic rallied from a nine-point deficit in the third quarter to knock out two-time reigning champion Tualatin, the Rams pushed through the adversity.

“After yesterday's game, we were like, same thing,” Zeller said. “We just keep the same energy we just never give up. We just keep fighting. We were hitting our shots, we just knew it was defense. We stuck with it, locked up.”

The Rams made adjustments at halftime – going to a zone defense – and outscored Roosevelt 30-8 in the third quarter to take a 66-51 lead. Blue said the game was fitting of Central Catholic's theme for the season: “Champions find a way.”

“Our biggest opponent was ourselves in the first half,” Blue said. “We were a little excited, a little anxious, took some shots that we didn't need to.

“At halftime, we just settled down. Everybody looked at each other and we just said we're going to come out here, play together, figure out a way to get a win.”

Down 40-27, Central Catholic stemmed Roosevelt's momentum with a five-point possession that signaled the start of a 42-11 run.

Carr was fouled on a drive, and after a technical foul on Roughriders junior Owen Nathan, Carr made three of four free throws. The Rams kept possession, and Carr was fouled and added two more free throws.

“That was big, for sure,” Carr said.

Carr got into a zone in the third quarter, scoring 10 consecutive points to turn a 48-40 deficit into a 50-48 lead. He drilled two three-pointers to complete the surge.

“My teammates were finding me when I was open and I was able to knock down shots,” Carr said. “We wanted it so bad, and I wanted it so bad, that we were just able to get it done.”

Blue said it was just a matter of Carr relaxing and getting into the flow of the game.

“Isaac came out, he was a little anxious, wanted to make some things happen, got a little overzealous early in the game,” Blue said. “Settled him down a little bit and just said, 'Hey, be patient, your time is going to come. Pick your spots and don't rush it. Trust your teammates, trust your coaches.'

“And as soon as he did that, the game settled down for him.”

Zeller had five points in a 13-0 run that opened a 63-50 lead. When senior guard Tony Angelo bombed in a three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer, the Rams were up 66-51 and the Roughriders were reeling.

“We came out a little slow. Once we got in that zone, it was over,” Central Catholic junior guard Duce Paschal said. “They're a great team, we're just better.”

The 6-0 Zamir Paschal was sensational, displaying poise beyond his years. He showed a feel for when to attack and when to find his teammates, and wasn't afraid to mix it up inside, too.

“I'm a dog, so I got that dog in me,” Zamir Paschal said. “I'm not ducking no smoke. I'm not fearing nothing.”

Blue has come to lean on his sophomore guard.

“He told me, 'Coach, I've got you.' That's all I needed,” Blue said.

Central Catholic did not lose to an Oregon team this season. Considering that Carr and the Paschals are eligible to return next season, the future looks bright for the Rams

“I feel like next year we're going undefeated, too,” Duce Paschal said. “We're coming for another one, for sure.”

It was a crushing defeat for Roosevelt, which played in its first final since finishing as the 5A runner-up in 2007. The Roughriders' overwhelmed Central Catholic with their intensity for much of the first half, but were unable to adjust once the Rams stole away the momentum.

“Everything just changed once they went on a run,” Nathan said. “We became selfish. In the first half, we were playing great team basketball. We were hyping each other up. And we just stopped playing for each other in the second half.”

Utah State-bound senior guard Terrence Hill Jr. had 23 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Roughriders, making 5 of 10 three-point attempts. Senior guard Utrillo Morris had 14 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals and Nathan had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Roosevelt shot 50.9 percent for the game, including 13 of 23 on three-pointers.