Skip to main content

10 storylines entering Oregon (OSAA) 6A, 5A, 4A boys basketball state tournaments

Tualatin, Wilsonville, Cascade look to extend their dynasties; rivalries galore in quarterfinals

The Oregon (OSAA) 6A, 5A and 4A boys basketball state tournaments will be held this week. Here are 10 storylines entering the quarterfinals. 

6A preview | Players to watch | Bracket

5A preview | Players to watch | Bracket

4A preview | Players to watch | Bracket


1. Dynasty watch

Three programs will be looking to extend their dynasties this week. Tualatin (6A) and Cascade (4A) are going for three-peats, and Wilsonville is trying to win its sixth 5A title in the past seven tournaments. There are strong challengers at each tournament, but overlooking any of these reigning champions would be foolish. 

2. Is this finally Summit’s year?

Two seasons ago, Summit won its first 27 games before falling to Tualatin in the 6A final. The Storm reached last year’s championship game at the 5A level but lost to Wilsonville, 43-36. Summit is once again the No. 1 seed and has arguably the state’s best player in 6-foot-7 Boise State signee Pearson Carmichael. It’s all stacked up for the Storm to break through, but Wilsonville won’t give up its crown without a fight.

3. Top-seeded Central Catholic on a mission

Central Catholic has been the undisputed best team in Oregon this season, and the Rams are looking to send out their four seniors on a high note. Central Catholic went two-and-out at last year’s 6A state tournament and hasn’t won a state title since 1994. With senior Marley Zeller (Pepperdine), junior Isaac Carr (Oregon) and sophomore Zamir Paschal (uncommitted) destined for Division I basketball, the Rams are the favorite to claim state championship No. 2. 

Isaac Carr of Central Catholic (photo by Leon Neuschwander) 

Isaac Carr of Central Catholic (photo by Leon Neuschwander) 

4. A new Lake for Tualatin

Tualatin will lean on a different Lake at this year’s state tournament. Josiah Lake started on the Timberwolves’ past two 6A championship teams and is now playing for Oregon State. His younger brother, Jemai, has filled Josiah’s spot in the starting lineup and is averaging 16.2 points per game as a sophomore. Colorado State signee Jaden Steppe is the team’s go-player, but Tualatin will need plenty of production from Jemai to make another title run. 

5. Can Counts hold up?

Oregon State football signee Kallen Gutridge is Wilsonville’s best player, but 6-foot-7 St. Thomas (Minnesota) signee Kyle Counts is a valuable contributor. Counts underwent offseason knee surgery and hasn’t been 100 percent all winter. He’s averaged 19 minutes per game this season and — barring two surprises — will need to play three games in four days at Linfield. If Counts’ body can hold up, Wilsonville will be very difficult to beat in 5A.

6. Sharp-shooting Southridge looking to stay hot

Metro League champion Southridge is the best shooting team at the 6A state tournament with six players above 30 percent from beyond the arc. The Skyhawks average eight made 3-pointers per game and shoot 35 percent from deep. Shooting doesn’t always travel to college-sized arenas, but Southridge has the offense to make a deep run if the 3-pointers are falling. 

7. Behind Hill Jr., Roosevelt a top contender

Roosevelt, the PIL champion, has the horses to make some noise at Chiles Center. The Roughriders’ eight-man senior class is headlined by star guard Terrence Hill Jr., a Utah State signee. Hill Jr. helped lead Roosevelt to the 6A state tournament in 2022 and returned for a state championship push after a year at prep school in Arizona. The Roughriders haven’t won a state title since 1949, and these players believe they can end the streak. 

Terrence Hill Jr. (Roosevelt) photo by Taylor Balkom 

Terrence Hill Jr. (Roosevelt) photo by Taylor Balkom 

8. Rothenberger to Rothenberger at Junction City

Junction City wasn’t expected to be a 4A title contender this season, but the Tigers haven’t skipped a beat after legendary head coach Craig Rothenberger handed off the program to his son, Bart. Craig won 615 games in 43 years at Junction City before stepping down after last year’s state tournament. With just one returning starter, the Tigers sizzled all season and are the No. 2 seed opposite top-seeded Cascade. The two powers could meet again in a rematch of the 2022 state final. 

9. Putnam chasing more history

Putnam picked up its first postseason win in the past 22 years in the round-of-16 against South Albany and enters the 5A tournament with plenty of confidence. The Kingsmen are a balanced team with five players averaging double-figures in scoring, led by Jaiden Pickett’s 16.7 points per game. Putnam played a couple of competitive games with Wilsonville during the regular season, a potential opponent down the road for a team looking to secure its first trophy since a third-place finish in 1984. 

10. Rivalry matchups galore in the quarterfinals

There is no shortage of interesting matchups in the 6A and 5A quarterfinals. The 6A level features two intraconference games (Grant vs. Roosevelt and Beaverton vs. Southridge) and the season’s second Holy War between Central Catholic and Jesuit. Barlow and Tualatin also have plenty of recent history, including a meeting in last year’s semifinals. In 5A, there are two more intraconference showdowns with West Albany/Woodburn and Summit/Mountain View. Expect some fireworks in these games between familiar opponents.