By Jeremy McDonald
This week I decided to put the Bold Prediction Sleeper Picks towards the top (I have two this week). Last week I went 5-6 of my 12 games, one of the 12 didn’t play out.
Bold prediction: Blanchet over Salem Academy Girls 56-45. This game was the only game that really stuck out as the game outside of Dayton-Amity Boys on the slate (that game is on this list though). I just know a little more of these two teams that’s why I went with it haha. The Basketball IQ of Ben Brown from SA will keep the Crusaders in the game early and with Kristen Konehke’s Field General ability to control the pace of the game. But Blanchet’s defense has shown to slow down even the best offenses, i.e. Kennedy and against their rival should be no different as they’ll pull away in the second half for the big win at home as long as the Cavs don’t get into foul trouble with their aggressive defense. If they get into foul trouble, Salem Academy could steal the game.
Sleeper Pick: Cascade over Sweet Home 45-28. The youthful Cascade gets their first league win of the year on the road after finishing strong against Newport at home Tuesday night to build some momentum entering Woodburn on Tuesday and then rival-Stayton next Friday. It’s a sleeper pick because the Cougars have shown signs of greatness with their current class of Freshman who are at the Varsity-level.
Sleeper Pick Part 2: Chemawa Boys over Gervais 70-45. The Cougars have shown improvement this year and the Braves and Gervais Boys seem to have a rivalry going in recent years, but with how on fire Devonte Beach is for Chemawa the past few games the guard should have another big game with the Braves 4-3 in league at the moment. This one is a sleeper because the Braves features kids from all over the country coming to Salem and are playing well and four of the kids on the team were on the State Qualifying-Cross Country team at the school.
Girls- McNary over McKay 56-50 in OT. The Scots finally got that clutch win with their comeback win against Sprague and will be ready to go against McNary. Both squads are pretty even personally, but the Celtics have a tad more experience compared to a much improved McKay Girls team.
Boys- South Salem over West Salem 75-63. The Saxons should come out firing from the get go, but the Titans will have an early run in the first half to make things interesting entering the second half. With South’s shooters though, the Saxons probably will pull away for good late.
Girls- North Salem over South Albany 52-40.
Boys- Central over Corvallis 57-53.
Boys- Woodburn over Newport 65-54. The Bulldogs bounce back from their tough loss to Stayton Wednesday.
Boys- Amity over Dayton 65-62.
Girls- Kennedy over Western Christian 60-48.
Boys- Crosshill Christian over Falls City 61-43.
Girls- St. Paul over Willamette Valley Christian 65-39.