HILLSBORO, Ore. — For one last time, Washington’s high-school basketball stars were in action Saturday night as the top girls and boys seniors competed against Oregon’s best in the Merritt Truax Memorial Northwest Shootout.
The girls took care of business, but the boys fell in the nightcap at Liberty High School.On the girls side, it was Washington Gatorade Player of the Year and Stanford commit Lexie Hull who stole the show, leading Washington to a 97-74 victory.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Central Valley in Spokane Valley racked up 27 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in 25 minutes.
Skyline’s Jade Loville, a Boise State commit, also impressed. She shot 5 of 12 from three-point range to finish with 23 points.
“It’s so much fun to play in a game like this. We have talent on both teams, and just to play with each other in something that is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it’s just so much fun,” Loville said.
For the ninth time in 11 years, the Evergreen State came up victorious.
The annual game places one-time competitors on the same team.“It’s definitely a different attitude towards everyone because you want to play together, you’re not competing against them. It was amazing just to see how much we grew together as friends the past few days,” Hull said.
Earlier this month, Hull and her twin sister Lacie won the GEICO High School Nationals championship
, a first for a Washington team. Lexie Hull added more hardware Saturday, taking home the game’s MVP honors.
With several Division I players, the Washington boys appeared to be favored against an Oregon team with just one D-I player, but they weren’t able to stop an onslaught of three-point shooting.Oregon hit 16 of 37 three-point attempts (46 percent) and won 105-98, its fifth victory in the last six years.
“We knew we had to play defense against a good Oregon team that can shoot it. They showed that tonight,” said Wichita State commit Erik Stevenson, a senior at Timberline in Lacey. “The big thing tonight was our transition defense wasn’t very good.”Oregon led at halftime, but Washington took an early second-half lead, 62-60. Oregon used an 11-0 run to take a lead it would not relinquish.
Rainier Beach’s Kevin Porter Jr., who spent his Thursday impressing NBA scouts in a scrimmage at the Nike Hoop Summit, finished with 19 points (including five dunks), three steals and three blocks. His high-school teammate, Tre Anderon, who committed
to the University of San Francisco on Friday, led the
team with seven assists.
Jake Estep of Beaverton and Kyle Greeley of West Salem earned co-MVP honors with 24 points each. Greeley also had 10 rebounds.
“We were considered the underdog coming into this game,” Greeley said. “They got probably six D-I guys, we got one D-I guy, but we took the underdog mentality and took it as a challenge
and took it right to them, I think.”
“They said this was maybe the most talented Washington team and they said it would be an embarrassment if they lost,” Estep said. “So, it looks like it’s kind of an embarrassment for them. But give them credit; they played hard and shots weren’t falling for them.”