MILWAUKIE – This time, Wilsonville didn't need any last-second heroics from Riley Scanlan to beat La Salle Prep.
In the rematch between the 5A Northwest Oregon Conference boys basketball powers Friday, Scanlan came through for the full 32 minutes.
The 6-foot-5 senior wing – who hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat the Falcons by one point May 24 – erupted for a career-high 33 points as the Wildcats remained unbeaten with a 48-35 road win. With six minutes left in the game, Scanlan had outscored La Salle Prep 31-30.
“Something about La Salle gets me going, I guess,” said Scanlan, who entered averaging 18 points per game.
After Wilsonville (13-0, 9-0) shook off a seven-point deficit in the second quarter to take a 21-19 lead at half, Scanlan scored the Wildcats' first 13 points of the second half as they took control. Scanlan finished 14 of 22 from the field, including 2 of 5 from three-point range.
“He was fantastic,” Wilsonville coach Chris Roche said of Scanlan, who had 21 points after the break. “He was poised and in control. They're a good team, but he was borderline dominant. If you can do that against a good team like that, it's pretty impressive.”
Scanlan is the only starter back from last season, when Wilsonville won the conference and reached the 5A semifinals before the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the other four starters moving on to college programs, it was left to Scanlan to show the way this season.
“It's been a whole different experience, at least for me,” Scanlan said. “Definitely stepping into a new role, more of a leadership and facilitator role, whereas last year it was more of a help other guys score type of thing.”
The rebuilt Wildcats have been able to live up to Wilsonville's high standards, extending their conference winning streak to 76 on Friday. They haven't lost a conference game since Jan. 2016.
“Our past history has definitely motivated us to be the best that we can be, and to uphold winning streaks and stuff like that,” Scanlan said. “I think we've definitely turned out better than I thought it would be. It would be a fun matchup to see this year's team vs. last year's team.”
This season appears to mark the end of the line for Scanlan's basketball career, though. He plans to attend Brigham Young strictly as a student.
“He could definitely play at some level,” Roche said. “He's so unknown just from last year. He's probably one of the most underrated players in the state. He's had a great year for us.”
La Salle Prep (8-3, 6-3) led 18-11 in the second quarter on a three-pointer by senior point guard Nicolas Boyd, who led his team with 12 points. But Wilsonville went on a 10-1 run to close the half, getting a big steal and three-point play from freshman guard Kallen Gutridge with 0.3 seconds left.
“It was pretty good coming into the locker room knowing we had a lead,” Gutridge said. “I thought once we caught up, it was pretty much our game.”
Roche liked how his team countered the Falcons, who were playing on senior night and coming off a disappointing 50-40 loss at Parkrose.
“One thing that our team has done a great job of is just responding to whatever is in front of us,” Roche said. “They had the lead on their court, and it was kind of, look it in the eye and get better, or we're going to get beat. They chose to look it in the eye and get better.”
La Salle Prep was still within 36-30 early in the fourth quarter, but Scanlan scored three consecutive baskets to make it 42-30 with 5:39 left.
“He's just a tremendous player,” first-year La Salle Prep coach Sean Kelly said. “He plays so confidently and with so much poise. He just never seems rattled, and that's the sign of a great player.”
Wilsonville's big frontline of Scanlan, 6-10 junior Logan Thebiay and 6-6 junior Cason Dougall was too much at times for the smaller Falcons.
“It's tough to rebound with our size,” Kelly said. “That was the big thing tonight. I thought their size inside was the difference.”
Wilsonville plays host to Stayton (4-8) on Saturday before meeting David Douglas (7-5) on Tuesday at Tigard in the Green bracket of the Portland-area culminating week tournament.
“We're just going to try to finish the season undefeated, play our best to finish out the season, especially for our seniors,” Gutridge said. “We only have so many more games, so we just need to give it our all.”
La Salle Prep's next game is Tuesday against Jefferson (11-3) in the Blue bracket of the culminating week tournament at Milwaukie.