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Event Recap: OSAA 6A State Tournament



In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Michael Visenberg recaps the OSAA 6A State Tournament and highlights some top performers, after spending four days on the ground covering the event in Portland, Oregon:

Almost exactly two full years had gone by since the 6A State Tournament in Oregon had last taken place. It had been canceled on March 12, 2020 and last year in the middle of COVID, OSAA had a number of different pods that served as mini tournaments of sorts, though not the typical final eight-team tournament that has been held at the University of Portland’s Chiles Center since 2015. Since Oregon moved to 6A as its highest level, only five different schools had won the State Championship, South Medford (2007), Grant (2008, 2018), Jesuit (2009-12, 2019), West Linn (2013-16) and Jefferson (2017).

In the tournament’s long-awaited return, number-one seed Tualatin met undefeated number-two seed Summit in the final, as a new champion would finally join the ranks of past 6A title-winners. In the end, Tualatin had an impressive run and took home the championship with a 66-49 victory over Summit. Tualatin boasted senior guard leadership, depth up front and an impressive team defense that held every team they faced at Chiles under 50 points. Pro Insight caught all of the action from the front row and decided to highlight some of the top players and upcoming prospects who played at Chiles from March 9-12.

Tualatin


After putting on the best performance of any Oregon team at the Les Schwab Invitational to wind down the 2021 calendar year, Tualatin held onto the top spot in state for a majority of the season in the 6A rankings. Their lone in-state loss this season was to Lake Oswego, whom they defeated 45-44 to secure their spot at Chiles.


To start off their week, Tualatin dominated the first half in their quarterfinal match-up with Beaverton, claiming a 54-43 win. They faced a familiar foe in West Linn next, in a game where they found themselves playing from behind after the first half. A 22-12 point fourth quarter margin helped Tualatin to a 56-49 victory, as they held West Linn to just 15-47 (31.9%) shooting. In fact, Tualatin held every team they played under 36% from the field in their three state final games at Chiles Center, sparked by great front-line defense and communication.

One of the keys in the final tilt with Summit was senior Peter Burke, who showed some inside-outside game and was among four Timberwolves to score in double figures. Tualatin led the entire way against Summit, in part due to a massive 43-24 rebounding advantage. With that, let’s dive into some of the Tualatin personnel:


Tualatin High School, 2022 OSAA 6A State Champions. Credit: SS Visual Works

Malik Ross | 2022 | Guard

Oregon’s 6A football player of the year as a running back, Ross is 6’0” with broad shoulders, straight line speed and a physical playing style. The heart of Tualatin’s defense, he provides great effort, has good hands and was imposing for other guards in the tournament to try to get around. He plays below the rim, though did a good job at getting into the paint. Another thing Ross does very well is get to the free throw line, where he made 15 of his 20 attempts in three games. He displayed some shooting ability, even though that was really not his go-to in terms of offensive creation. Ross and Jackson Shelstad were the only two unanimous selections for 1st Team All-Tournament, and it was based on his consistent production and defensive presence, along with his positive attitude and leadership. A tremendous senior season for one of Oregon’s premier high school athletes.

Josiah Lake | 2023 | Guard

Often taking on more of a complementary role during the season behind his two senior guard teammates, Lake really blossomed in front of everyone’s eyes during the state title run. Lake uses his quick leaping ability and body control to score around the hoop, not to mention keeping plenty of possessions’ alive on the glass. At 6’1”, Lake averaged a tournament-leading 10.7 rebounds per game at Chiles. He saved his best for last with a 15-rebound performance against Summit and was named 1st Team All-Tournament after three strong games. Lake was also very confident as a spot-up shooter, finding success from range throughout the tournament. He’s able to make difficult shots in traffic and through contact even with his slighter frame. He functioned as more of a wing in this setting than a playmaker, yet still displayed some ball skills and passing ability, in addition to a developing handle. With chants of “MVP” coming from the Tualatin student section, Lake was the Timberwolves most consistent performer in their state title run and should be set for a big senior season which should lead to NCAA interest.

Noah Ogoli | 2022 | Guard

Ogoli was Tualatin’s unquestioned leader and top performer during the Les Schwab Invitational on his way to making All-Tournament at the even last December. At Chiles Center, Ogoli certainly saved his best performance of the week for the championship game. Held under double figures in his first two games, Ogoli had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists, with plenty of steals/deflections and an aggressive streak that was great to see. Ogoli has a legit pull-up game, an aesthetically-pleasing shot and has the requisite strength to finish inside. He is also quite good at playing the passing lanes. At 6’1”, he was at his best while playing off the ball and getting into the paint. He was named 2nd Team All-Tournament, though he was named the player of the game in the championship game thanks to his great state line against Summit.

Jaden Steppe | 2024 | Forward

With Tualatin starting four seniors and a junior, Steppe still played a major role for his team during their title quest. He won games for them this season with his footwork in the post, soft touch, and court awareness on the offensive end at 6’7”. During the state tournament, he provided an offensive option off the bench, displayed his passing ability and chipped in on the glass on both sides of the floor. There were times this season where Tualatin leaned on Steppe and even though he received limited minutes in the state tournament, he should be in line for a major role expansion as a junior. He has legit size and has clearly been working on his perimeter skill, showing flashes of expanded range.

Summit


Coming into the tournament undefeated, Summit boasted a dynamic duo as well as some skilled complementary pieces who all shoot the ball at a high level. The last game of the first day turned out to be the tournament’s best, with Summit playing a Roosevelt team that was much more talented than their #7 ranking. In a back-and-forth ending that saw several lead changes, Summit’s Julian Mora was fouled with Roosevelt up 64-63. Mora missed both free throws, then chaos ensued. A few seconds later, an offensive rebound by Summit went to Mora, who tipped the ball in at the buzzer to give Summit a 65-64 win.

Summit then went on to beat #11 Mountainside, who had upset Cleveland in the quarterfinals. The game started out slowly, with Summit taking an 11-point lead into half time. The Storm ended up winning the game 73-61. In the title game, Tualatin was too much for Summit, who struggled with the Timberwolves’ physicality and size advantage across multiple positions. Below, we touch on two seniors and a very intriguing 2024 prospect who proved he is worth tracking, moving forward.

Caden Harris | 2022 | Wing | Chico State commit

Blessed with a strong 6’4” frame with soft touch out to long range, Harris is a multi-level scorer who’s able to get his shot off consistently. Despite being one of the tallest players on the court for long stretches, he showed some ball skills, some passing ability and a physical build that should help his transition to the college level. Throughout the tournament, Harris was an active cutter, displayed ability as a secondary creator and showed ability sealing in the paint in addition to finding success operating out of the high post. He was Summit’s leading scorer and rebounder in the state tournament and was rewarded by being named 1st Team All-Tournament.

Summit's dynamic duo: Julian Mora (left) and Caden Harris (right). Credit: SS Visual Works

Julian Mora | 2022 | Guard | Seattle Pacific commit

The primary initiator for Summit, Mora is quick with the ball and can be a blur for the opposition. Beyond his late-game heroics against Roosevelt, he showed reckless abandon as a driver and aggression as an on-ball defender over the course of three games. The Seattle Pacific commit also led the tournament in assists. His shot was not falling consistently but he was able to create space and get decent looks off quite often. Mora also showed to be proficient at creating first contact to get his shot around the basket, and he showed some change of speed that helped him gain advantages. Mora was Summit’s offensive engine, and was also named 1st Team All-Tournament.

Pearson Carmichael | 2024 | Wing

Carmichael immediately stood out at Chiles due to his solid positional size on the wing, already standing 6’6”. Beyond that, his ability to shoot out to three-point range and his activity as a defender are also very positive building blocks. He’s a fluid mover, runs the floor well and has the ability to finish with good body control in the paint. He looks the part of a future 3-and-D type wing and it seems local schools are already taking notice (Carmichael picked up an offer from Portland mid-tournament). He was only 15-years-old at the time of the tournament with a lot of growth ahead of him, but it looks like he will be in line for a big role at Summit these next two years.

Tournament Standouts


Jackson Shelstad | West Linn | 2023 | Guard | Oregon commit

The recently-named Gatorade Player of the Year for Oregon, Shelstad was a unanimous 1st Team All-Tournament selection while leading the tournament in scoring and West Linn to a 3rd place finish. In the third-place game against Mountainside, Shelstad had the best quarter any player had in the tournament, going off for 23 points and six three-pointers, mostly off self-creation. He is adept at using his body to create and his explosive ability generates openings to help open opportunities for himself and teammates. In the semifinals against Tualatin, he struggled scoring inside the arc, showing that he still has some growth areas. His scoring ability, handle and athleticism still made him the top player in the tournament and those traits will all help him on the Nike EYBL Circuit this coming summer, where he will look to climb the 2023 national rankings.

Boden Howell | South Medford | 2025 | Guard

Off the top, the 6’3”+ Howell plays with great confidence and poise for a high school freshman. Throughout South Medford’s three games at Chiles, he displayed an advanced offensive skill set. He was comfortable playing on or off the ball, with deep range and soft touch. Using an effective one-footed fadeaway, Howell proved he could make many different types of shots, shoot off movement and make pull-ups from different spots along the three-point arc. He helped lead South Medford to a 4th place finish as they won the consolation bracket in a 79-75 bout over Roosevelt. Howell finished the game with 32 points (11-20 FG, 4-8 3PT, 6-7 FT), 9 rebounds and 4 assists, against possibly the most athletic team in the tournament. He was one of the tournament’s elite players regardless of class and will undoubtedly attract attention from a number of college programs over time.

Terrence Hill, Jr. | Roosevelt | 2024 | Guard

The leading scorer at the 2021 Les Schwab Invitational, Hill showed his impressive microwave scoring ability, pull-up game and creative finishing throughout his team’s three games. He’s also flashed an uptick in functional athleticism since the beginning of his freshman season. As a distributor, Hill has an ability to make skip passes, kick outs and look-ahead reads in transition. In one of the most impressive performances of the event,