Big men Joshua Louka of Mannahouse Acad. (left) and Colby Getting of Portland Christian prepare to jump it up in an intense semi
Big men Joshua Louka of Mannahouse Acad. (left) and Colby Getting of Portland Christian prepare to jump it up in an intense semi

PENDLETON – Portland Christian scored 10 of the final 11 points to squeak past Northwest League rival Mannahouse Academy of Portland, 42-39, in a boys semifinal Friday afternoon at the 2024 OSAA / OnPoint Community Credit Union 2A Basketball State Championships in Pendleton.

The win was the fourth in as many attempts this year for the third-seeded Royals (28-0), who won by a point in a similar game just two weeks before.

“They’re just grinders,” Mannahouse head coach Ryan Bjornsgard said about the battles with Portland Christian. “We fell a little short.”

Portland Christian led in this one for less than three minutes all game long. The Royals’ largest lead, which they built with 11 seconds remaining, was their final margin of victory.

“I felt like we’ve been in enough close games that our guys have found ways to win close games,” said Portland Christian coach Erik Lyslo.

Indeed, a Mannahouse fan was not far wrong when overheard saying after the game, “I thought we had them like five times.” The Lions led, 9-2, after one quarter. They matched the seven-point advantage, at 25-18, with 2:55 remaining in the third. They led by five, 29-24, in the closing seconds of the third quarter. And they had their largest lead, 38-30, with just 4:30 to play in the game.

Portland Christian found a way back every time.

“It’s unfortunate that we put ourselves in these positions, but it’s good that we can always dig ourselves out,” said 6-9 junior center Colby Getting. “This is how determined we are.”

“These guys made plays at the end of the game,” Lyslo said. “It’s been like this all four times we’ve played Mannahouse this year, so that didn’t surprise me. Our guys showed a ton of heart tonight.”


The game started slowly for both teams, but it was especially slow for Portland Christian, which missed all nine of its field goal attempts in the first quarter. Seventh-seeded Mannahouse wasn’t much better, making just two first quarter field goals against a Royal defense that was equally tough playing man, in a 1-3-1 zone or trapping at half court. The Lions made their first shot, a corner three by senior guard Jadon Bjornsgard one minute in, but didn’t score again until three minutes later as they worked the shot clock and to get good looks.

“We felt if we got a little deeper in the shot clock that we could get what we wanted,” Coach Bjornsgard said.


Portland Christian had a much better second quarter. It started two minutes in, when Josiah Harris-Skidmore fed Sam Fundlak for a lay-up and a foul. The Royals kept the pressure on both on offense and defense. Getting did a terrific job of distributing on offense, finding Keylon Kittleson with a skip pass for a deep three and Harris-Skidmore inside for a bucket. Getting also was a standout rim protector on defense. Mannahouse scored only two baskets in the quarter, both on stick backs.

Tied at 13-13 at halftime, both teams came out with fire in the third quarter, which turned into eight minutes of parry and thrust. Joshua Louka, Mannahouse’s 6-9 junior post, scored two quick buckets to put the Lions back on top. A flurry of sensational scoring plays from burly forward Caleb Dickinson added to Mannahouse’s advantage five minutes into the second half.

Down by seven, Portland Christian scored a quick four on close range shot from Fundlak and Harris-Skidmore, which sandwiched a Mannahouse turnover. The Royals got to within one point after Getting found Jack Mazurowski down low for a deuce.

“He’s an unselfish player,” Lyslo said of Getting. “There’s a reason we put him at the high post. He commands so much attention and is willing to find guys and make the extra pass.”

“I trust my guys whether it’s someone in the corner or Jack down below,” Getting explained. “I trust that they can score.”

Down 25-24, Portland Christian had possession with a chance to score in the last 40 seconds to go ahead, when Kittleson, the Royals’ freshman point guard, threw a pass that Nolan Schweiss intercepted. Kittleson committed a frustration foul, his fourth, and Schweis made both free throws as part of a four-point Mannahouse run that put the Lions up by five heading to the fourth quarter.

Portland Christian went into the fourth quarter determined to get the ball down low to Getting.  The plan worked, because the Royals scored three baskets courtesy of Getting in the paint to take their first lead of the game, 30-29, with 6:55 remaining in the contest.

“We made some adjustments, went to the other side of the floor and he came through,” Lyslo said.

Getting’s second hoop in the sequence was notable because he was slapping at the ball trying for a rebound and the ball banged hard off the backboard and into the basket.

Down for the first time all game, Mannahouse responded with nine straight points, starting when Austin Snyder found Schweiss for a three-point play. Snyder and Bjornsgard followed with deep threes to complete the run and put the Lions up 38-30 with 4:30 to play.

Was Mannahouse’s fourth quarter run enough to finally put Portland Christian away? The answer was “No.”

“I never felt in control even when we were up 7-8 because they’re good,” Coach Bjornsgard said. “It was a battle to the end, which is all I can ask.”

Portland Christian’s final rally started with Graham Calhoun’s follow for two and continued, after a Mannahouse turnover, with Getting converting down low. Harris-Skidmore then hit a deep three to get the Royals within one. Portland Christian completed the 10-0 run when Getting found Calhoun for a corner three with just over 100 ticks remaining.

Mannahouse had its chances in the final sprint to the finish but could mount only one free throw the rest of the way. The Lions missed four shots, including a uncontested lay up, any one of which could have given them the lead again and re-written the outcome of this game. Alas, for Lions fans, it was not to be.

Portland Christian, which also survived a close quarterfinal with Willamina, now turns its attention to top-seeded Western Christian, which won earlier in the afternoon. Can the young Royals, without a senior on the roster, find the winning formula one more time?

“Everybody told us we were inexperienced coming into this tournament,” Lyslo said. “We found a way to get two games. I’m sure we’ll be the underdog tomorrow. We know how well Western is coached and how well they play. But I like our chances because I love this team.”

In the other boys’ semifinal…

No.1 Western Christian 60, No. 4 Oakland 36

Before the game, and several times during it, Western Christian’s players pounded the floor with their palms, a sign that the top-seeded Pioneers were unified and ready to be intense for 32 minutes in their semifinal matchup with Oakland.

They then proceeded to wipe the floor with the Oakers, an impressive dismantling of a scrappy team that played hard but didn’t have the offensive depth to play point for point with the Pioneers.

The first quarter was the most competitive. Joe Fusco lit up the scoreboard for 10 points for Oakland, which played fast and end-to-end with Western Christian.

The Oakers came out of the came out of the quarter down by only two, but couldn’t keep up without an offensive complement to Fusco, who finished the half with 15. Western Christian got terrific production from guards Lucas Snook, Gavin Hall and Kuga Matsumoto and owned the paint behind sophomore post Diggs Sladek.

The Pioneers also didn’t miss a beat when playing its second team. The tandem of Logan Hill and Caleb Hallgren had a special connection and helped Western widen its lead when they were on the floor.

Sladek, who had seven board in the first half, scored on a stick back as time ran out to give the Pioneers their largest lead of the game to that point, 31-22.

Western Christian repeated its strong second quarter performance in the third, and then some. The Pioneers controlled the glass and took advantage of run out opportunities for easy baskets that extended their lead to 22 after three. Hall, especially, stood out for his acrobatic moves to the rim and ability to finish on traffic with his off hand.

Fusco, who had 18 points through three quarters, sat for rest to start the fourth and never re-entered as coach Jeff Clark opted to get him fresh for Saturday’s third/fifth game with Western Christian’s advantage ballooning to 28 points before the Pioneers got deep into their bench midway through the fourth quarter.

Hall finished with 16, on 8-of-11 shooting, to lead the Western Christian onslaught.   Zook finished with 12 for the Pioneers, who shot 52 percent from the field and committed just six turnovers. That’s a winning formula any day of the week.

In girls’ semifinal action…

No.1 Western Christian 57, No. 4 Knappa 42

The scoreboard shows a 15-point win for top-seeded Western Christian in its semifinal with Knappa.

The scoreboard, however, does not begin to tell the tale of this game, which was really four to five tales in one.

The game started with Knappa, a small team especially compared to the giants it was up against leading 8-4, thanks to courageous drives and occasional finishes by the likes of Alondra Pina and Mylie Lempea. Western settled down and, despite a cold shooting start from superstar Runon Muroya, started to play its game. Freshman post Avery Herber scored four points for the Pioneers and Haley Ferry had three as part of a 13-1 run that gave Western a 17-9 lead late in the quarter.

Western Christian’s assault continued in the second quarter. Highlights included Muroya’s steal and sling the length of the court to a streaking Kalkidan Ellis for a lay in and a four-point sequence late, which included a Muroya bucket in deep, an Adelyn Slaughter steal and Ellis finish baseline at the buzzer; which made the Pioneer halftime lead 18, 32-14.

Western grew its advantage to 22 points, 43-21, on a Haley Miersma jumper with 3:40 to play in the third and this one should have been over. But the Pioneers did not account for Knappa’s fight. On Thursday, when the Loggers were down by seven to Nestucca entering the fourth quarter, the Loggers scored 16 straight points to turn the deficit around. Tonight, they scored 15 in a row to close the quarter. It was impressive, to say the least!

Knappa’s rally started with a Lempea runner for a conventional three-point play and continued with great hustle plays from Ariana Miller and Pina and a wing triple from Taylor Pass. The scintillating run put Knappa right back in the game heading to the fourth quarter.

“Work together and bring the energy.”

That was the message Western’s coaches delivered before the start of the fourth quarter. The message was received loud and clear, as Muroya came to life with two long-distance threes to break the Pioneer scoring drought and take the lead back into double digits. Ferry took over late, scoring in close, getting her hands on rebounds and touches on ball she could not corral. The fourth quarter lead eventually grew to 17 before Miller scored a late deuce to cut the margin to 15 at the horn.

“I knew Knappa was tough and they really wanted to win it,” Ferry said. “We pushed through, found that we really wanted to win and got that win.”

Muroya overcame a 5-for-16 shooting night to lead Western in points scored with 19. Avery Herber had 12 points and 12 rebounds and was especially effective in the first half. Ferry finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds and was especially effective in the second half.

Lempea and Miller combined for 27 points in the loss for Knappa, which was hopelessly behind until it wasn’t, a lesson Logger coaches will stress – never give up! – when the going gets tough in future games.

No. 2 Bandon 43, No. 3 Regis 21

Stifling defense and opportunistic offense carried Bandon to its first-ever championship game in the wire-to-wire win.

The Tigers, who played sluggishly for the entire first half in Thursday’s quarterfinal win over Oakridge; started sluggishly again tonight and led the Rams by just 6-3 six minutes into the first quarter.

The next seven minutes, however, affirmed why the 27-2 Tigers were favored to reach the championship game. They outscored Regis, 17-0, during that stretch, sparked by Katelyn Senn scoring from in close and Olivia Thompson burying shots from long range.

Regis, which needed overtime to win its quarterfinal, was hampered in its attempt to stay in the game by foul trouble for its star, Clara Persons, who was scoreless in 10 minutes of play; and 1-for-19 shooting from the field.

Bandon, which got a four-point play from Thompson, went into the locker room at halftime ahead by 24, 28-4, and maintained a lead of more than 20 points the rest of the way, even as Regis’ offense came to life.

Senn had a huge all-around game for Bandon. She scored a team-high 16 points and added six steals and five assists. Thompson added 15, including 4-of-7 shooting from long distance,

Foster had nine points and nine rebounds to lead Regis, which shot just 13 percent from the floor for the game.

Boys consolation semis

East Linn Christian Acad. 66, Stanfield 56 – A monster game from Blake Knurowski and a strong second spurred the Eagles to victory. Knurowski scored 12 of his game-high 25 points after the break for ELCA, which won the first game by one point by won the second by a healthy nine. Tanner Israel and Elliot Nofziger also scored in double figures for East Linn Christian, which forced 20 Stanfield turnovers. Michael O’Dell’s 14 led three Stanfield players in double figures.

Regis 65, Willamina 60 – Lucas Koehnke hit a three-pointer and Julius Pokorny went 4-4 from the line in the final 1:01 to help the Rams pull away in what had been a close game throughout. Isaiah Koehnke scored 18 to lead the victors, who also got 16 from Jude Pokorny and 15 from Julius Pokorny. Cohen Haller scored 26 in the losing effort.

Girls consolation semis

Enterprise 57, Nestucca 47 – Nevaeh James scored 26 points and Alex Rowley added 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Outlaws, who outscored Nestucca, 14-5, in the third quarter after trailing by one at the half. Hailee Knight and Makayla Webber teamed for 29 points in the loss for Nestucca.

Oakridge 57, Stanfield 48 – Sadie Snyder scored 33 points and Jade Snyder added 13 points, 19 rebounds and five assists for Oakridge, which stormed to a 22-8 lead after one quarter and was never seriously threatened. Mazie Reeser had 18 points and Kayla Monkus scored 14 in defeat for Stanfield.