In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Michael Visenberg is back again (check out the 2022 recap, here) to summarize the OSAA 6A State Tournament by highlighting some top performers, after spending three days on the ground covering the event Chiles Center in Portland, Oregon:
It was another memorable year of the Oregon 6A State Tournament, and while we saw all four top seeds advance to the semifinals, the fashion in which it happened embodies just how tight knit this year’s race truly was. There were big time performances from both upperclassmen and underclassmen, with the major story being the state title defense of the Tualatin Timberwolves. After losing to nationally-ranked West Linn three times during the regular season, they controlled the state tournament’s final game from the jump, successfully defending their crown by a score of 60-47.
Tualatin finished the year at 24-5, keying in on defense throughout the state tournament where they allowed just 52 points per game in three games at Chiles Center. West Linn finished the season at 28-2, winning two holiday tournaments with some impressive out-of-state victories. Interestingly enough, West Linn was the last team to win consecutive OSAA 6A state titles as they ran off four straight with Payton Pritchard at the helm from 2013-16. This was one of the most anticipated state tournament finals in recent history and based on the amount of talent on the floor throughout the week, the Oregon pipeline remains strong.
Surprisingly, Tualatin’s first game against Beaverton ended up being the game that pushed them closest to the edge. After taking a 33-23 lead into halftime, Beaverton brought it down to a single point with 2:23 remaining in the fourth quarter. A timely jumper from Jaden Steppe managed to give them a one possession lead, and clutch free throw shooting helped them finish the game off 63-54.
In their match-up with Barlow, who was the 2-seed in the tournament, defense was a primary factor once again, as Tualatin held a 32-20 edge heading into halftime. Barlow staged a fourth quarter comeback by cutting the lead to three with 5:03 left in the game, before Tualatin managed to build it back to double-digits for good with 1:33 remaining. They got a huge 27-point outing from senior Josiah Lake, and double figures from juniors Jaden Steppe and AJ Noland.
The final against West Linn was a masterful defensive performance as well, aided by uncharacteristic cold outside shooting from the Lions. Tualatin built a 12-1 lead after the first quarter, and while West Linn scored a quick six points to start the second, Tualatin managed to balloon the score to 30-16 at half. The margin got as wide as 39-20 with 4:56 left in the third quarter. West Linn managed to get it to 47-40 with 4:01 in the fourth, with Jackson Shelstad at the line. Shelstad missed both free throws and shortly thereafter Adrian Mosley fouled out of the game, enabling Tualatin to take control down the stretch.
Josiah Lake | 2023 | Guard
The argument could have easily been made that Josiah Lake was Tualatin’s best player during last year’s championship run — after all, this was the second year in a row he got the “MVP!” chant from the T-Wolves’ student section. He averaged 25 points per game on 60.6/40/86.1 shooting splits in the state tournament, shooting 36 free throws compared to only 33 field goal attempts. Tasked with more on-ball responsibility this season, Lake showed his comfort on higher volume in terms of pull-up shooting and self-creation. He added more touch shooting to his bag over the past year and still possesses the combination of burst and functional athleticism that makes him so dangerous in transition.
Beyond what he does offensively, Lake is a strong rebounding guard with a great nose for the ball, shows court vision, and while his defense can experience lapses, he certainly manages to generate events and blow plays up with regularity. He was without a doubt the tournament MVP this season and the fact he does not have a D1 offer is flat out puzzling. Players who can contribute to winning in March are valuable at any level, and Lake personifies plenty of those winning qualities — whichever team lands him will be very fortunate. He astonishingly did not play varsity basketball until his junior season and what he’s accomplished during this two-year run has been remarkable.
Jaden Steppe | 2024 | Forward
It was only a matter of time before Steppe walked from the periphery into the spotlight after encouraging flashes throughout his sophomore season as a key reserve on the 2022 title team. The advanced footwork and natural acumen as a post scorer has long been evident.
This season we saw an increase in usage, along with a much higher comfort level shooting from range, passing out of the high post, better overall awareness, and lateral quickness as a defender. Even with his efficiency at a less-than-ideal level in this year’s state tournament run, he hit big shots, was a factor on the offensive glass and his aggressive play made him a player every team had to gameplan around. He easily has enough size to translate as a college four and while the three-point shot was not falling at Chiles, Steppe knocked down shots at a strong rate during the regular season. He had told us at the Les Schwab Invitational he was going to win state, then announce his college choice after a strong EYBL season. He followed through on the first half of his proclamation and we’ll be following along intently while the second half unfolds, as his recruitment is still open.
Jayden Fortier | 2024 | Big
The team may not have received a ton of floor spacing from Fortier, but the boost they got everywhere else was undoubtedly crucial. At 6’5”, but playing much larger than that, Fortier brings a lot of energy, is a big out of area rebounder and a total momentum-shifter on defense. With only five cumulative points in the quarters and semis prior to the state title game, Fortier poured in 9 points, 15 rebounds as well as one massive block at the rim on Saturday night. He is also a willing passer who can make some quick decisions and keeps tons of possessions alive. A highly-touted tight end prospect in football, Fortier was the x-factor this year on the basketball court as a glue guy and will be a key component as Tualatin goes for a three-peat next season.
To say this season was a memorable one for West Linn is a major understatement. No Oregon team in recent memory has experienced as much success against major out-of-state teams as this year’s Lions team, with wins over nationally-renowned programs such as St. John Bosco (CA), Modesto Christian (CA), Sierra Canyon (CA), and Duncanville (TX). They took home both the Capitol City Classic and Les Schwab Invitational trophies, and Jackson Shelstad was rewarded with his second-straight Gatorade Player of the Year, along with being selected to participate in the Nike Hoop Summit and the Iverson 24K Classic.
West Linn was immediately challenged at Chiles with 8-seed Central Catholic claiming the lead with 1:37 left in the first quarter and not giving it up until 4:17 to go in the third. Central Catholic remained within striking distance, but nine straight fourth-quarter points by Adrian Mosley helped to close them out, with a final score of 49-45.
In the semifinals vs. Lincoln, West Linn took an early lead and spent a majority of the game ahead by double figures. In a game in which Jackson Shelstad finished with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists, West Linn also shot 12-26 from behind the arc and won the rebound battle against a much taller Lincoln team. The next day’s championship game was a reversal of fortune, as West Linn shot 2-19 from 3 and was outrebounded 37-23.
Jackson Shelstad | 2023 | Guard *Oregon commit
It’s rare to say that a player who averages 18.7 FGA/game isn’t shooting enough, though that was the case in this year’s state tournament for Shelstad. The point guard averaged 24.3 points per game on 55% FG and 34.8% 3FG, along with a very uncharacteristic 7-13 showing (53.9%) at the free throw line over the three tournament games. Opponents game-planned to trap and double team him while Shelstad played distributor often, waiting for the game to come to him as opposed to forcing the issue. At times, he leveraged his top-notch burst and was able to get through traps and still manage to find good space for shots, but it was a tall task.
This was an incredible season of accomplishment for Shelstad and he did manage to go an astounding 11-13 on two-point field goals in the final game, though his outside shot was not falling and he went 0-7 from three-point land. His ability to get to the paint, finish at the basket, jump from a standstill, and create space for his pull-up are all calling cards of his. He also has tremendous lateral quickness and covers plenty of ground as a defender, plus manages to make his presence felt on the boards. Added strength has been so key to his dominance this season and it was really a tremendous one for him, even with it not ending the way he and West Linn fans ultimately hoped.
Adrian Mosley | 2023 | Wing
All year, Adrian Mosley has been a key player for West Linn, with his ability to guard the perimeter and post with equal capability. He plates with a sneaky-high level of vertical pop that makes him a dangerous cutter, transition finisher, and an undersized rim protector. Mosley also has tremendous hands as a defender, pokes the ball a lot and has football-level strength. Offensively, he does have some ball handling ability, though is much better when he is off the ball, getting a head of steam toward the basket. He was a tremendous catalyst in West Linn’s success, despite a rough ending in the final game, with 6 points on 3-10 FG, 5 rebounds before fouling out. Mosley brings functional athletic capability and adds a ton defensively, with his offensive role and skill level being the areas of focus, moving forward.
Additional Tournament Standouts
Jalen Atkins | Barlow | 2025 | Guard
He experienced some streakiness during the OSAA 6A tournament, but Atkins also produced some of his classic scoring sprees, showing what makes him special as a self-creator. A true multi-level scorer with touch at the rim, on his floater, from mid-range and from deep, the sophomore guard is one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier bucket-getters. Standing around 6’3”, Atkins is more than just a scorer, having flashed two-way playmaking ability at Chiles Center. He even had seven steals in a game, displaying his mature instincts and quick defensive hands, in Barlow’s quarterfinal double-overtime win against Mountainsde. Atkins helped Barlow finish the year 25-5, with an early-season win over Tualatin as well as impressive showing in victories over Gresham and Central Catholic. Atkins earned First Team All-Tournament and as long as he’s around, Barlow will be in the mix for a trophy.
Brayden Boe | Mountainside | 2025 | Guard
Boe may have walked away winless in two games at Chiles, but he was deservedly named First Team All-Tournament after a “Herculean”-like effort, finishing with averages of 27.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 5.5 APG. The 6’4.5” Boe is capable of overwhelming opponents with his physicality and footwork near the hoop, and has slowly but surely become a deadly outside shooter. His ability to call his own number or set his teammates up for success as a passer makes Mountainside a tough matchup. If this week was any indication, Boe should be in the running for Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year next season, and we fully expect his recruitment to pick up as word continues to spread.
Moroni Seely-Roberts | Lincoln | 2023 | Forward
The tournament's leading scorer this season, Moroni strongly warranted some First Team votes despite ultimately ending up being named Second All-Tournament. The 6’6” Seely-Roberts is an inside-outside threat, who averaged 27.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG and a tournament-leading (tied with his twin brother, Malachi) 5 APG. Moroni is adept at creating deflections on D, finishing at tough angles on O and is someone you simply have to account for on both ends of the floor. He’s an active rebounder with good instincts and a strong half court distributor out of the high post. He was a stat sheet stuffer all week who competed on defense, too, leading Lincoln to a third-place finish with a win over Barlow, and a 25-5 final record on the season.
Malachi Seely-Roberts | Lincoln | 2023 | Wing
At 6’8” with a slender frame, Malachi was more of the initiator at Chiles, though is at his best as a spot-up shooter. He has shown ability off movement on a high volume of attempts, finishing 10-27 (37%) from beyond the arc in the three games. He moves and passes well for his size, plus is not averse to contact. He was tasked with a lot of on-ball reps for Lincoln, but has done very well when given the opportunity to play alongside more of a primary initiator. Malachi has some scalable skills and after he and Moroni go on their two-year mission, they will have a chance to make an impact at the next level.
A look ahead to 2024
With Jaden Steppe back next season, it appears the road to the 6A state title will still go through Tualatin. Barlow should remain a factor thanks to their dynamic 2025 duo in Jalen Atkins and Mason Bierbrauer, a talented forward with shooting touch and some around-the-hoop ability.
Another team that should have a chance to contend: Central Catholic, who boasts 2025 sharp-shooter Isaac Carr, high-level athlete 2024 Marley Zeller and one of the top 2026 prospects in the state in shifty guard Zamir “Bam” Paschal. It will be difficult to maintain this year’s level of drama and excitement, but rest assured that Oregon has the upcoming personnel to keep things interesting for years to come.