Corbett's Ally Schimel, who had 45 points in a playoff win, is averaging 25.6 points and 6.5 rebounds. (Photo by John Gunther)
Corbett's Ally Schimel, who had 45 points in a playoff win, is averaging 25.6 points and 6.5 rebounds. (Photo by John Gunther)


Corbett’s girls are one of only three unbeaten basketball teams in the state at any level (the others are Portland Christian’s boys in 2A and Crane’s girls in 1A).

As the Cardinals seek an elusive state crown, they have rolled to this week’s OSAA/On Point Community Credit Union 3A tournament with a 24-0 record spurred by a dynamic offense that has scored at least 50 points in all but two games this season. If anyone is to stop top-ranked Corbett, it will take a squad with a dynamic defense.

Several teams fit that bill heading into the three-day tournament that begins Thursday at Marshfield and North Bend high schools on Oregon’s South Coast.

The girls quarterfinals will be played at Marshfield while the boys will be in North Bend on Thursday. All the semifinal and trophy games will be at Marshfield’s Pirate Palace in Coos Bay.

Corbett lost in the 4A championship game in 2022 and fell to Coastal Range League rival Banks in the title game last year. Both were played at Marshfield, and getting back to Coos Bay has been a goal for the squad all year, coach Bill Schimel said.

“They love the state tourney and since losing in the finals last year, they have wanted nothing more than to get another shot at it,” Schimel said. “Coos Bay has turned into Corbett’s home away from home these last few years, and we believe it’s the greatest tournament of the year, with amazing local support and the coolest gym in the state (the Pirate Palace).”

Corbett played a tough preseason that included twice beating Astoria, the top team in 4A, and winning five other games against 4A teams. The Cardinals escaped that schedule unscathed and three times beat Banks, including in the league championship game.

In the first round of the playoffs, Corbett beat Burns 72-44, with Ally Schimel scoring 45 points and Lilly Schimel 20.

The sisters and Ella Holwedge have been starters on the teams that reached the championship round the past two years and all earned first-team all-league honors, with the senior Ally Schimel the player of the year after averaging 25.6 points and 6.5 rebounds for the season.

Corbett faces Lewis & Clark League champion Westside Christian in the opening quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. If they get through the Eagles, Corbett will face one of those outstanding defensive squads in the semifinals, either defending champion Banks or Eastern Oregon League champion Vale.

Both look at defense as a key to their success.

“We pride ourselves on playing defense,” Banks coach Nick Rizzo said. “Our kids are scrappy and we hope to make it tough on teams to score against us.”

Banks only returned one starter from last year’s championship squad — senior Jocelyn Janecek, who can play every position and is described by Rizzo as the team’s “glue player.”

Freshman point guard Nylah Vanthom was the Valley Coast League’s defensive player of the year and also leads the Braves on offense, averaging 11 points a game. Banks beat Cascade Christian 35-27 to get to the final eight with Vanthom scoring 13 points and Janecek eight.

Banks plays a Vale squad that gave up only 27.6 points a contest, best among the tournament field, and has just two losses on the season, each by one point (to Weiser, Idaho, and 4A La Grande).

 “From the very beginning of the season we have really focused on trying to be great defensively,” coach Randy Seals said.

The Vikings thrive on depth, playing 10 girls “which allows us to keep pressure on the whole game,” Seals said.

The other side of the bracket features more defense-minded squads, including No. 2 seed Sutherlin, which allowed just 28.8 points per contest while winning its fourth straight Far West League title

Sutherlin meets Creswell in an all-Bulldogs matchup Thursday. Creswell surged defensively late in the season while winning its past eight games, including beating regular-season league champion Pleasant Hill 32-22 in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game to earn a home playoff game. In that contest, the Bulldogs beat Coquille 61-41, limiting the Red Devils to just four points in the first quarter to build a lead they extended while avenging a season-opening defeat.

“This group prides itself on playing hard and being aggressive defensively,” coach Tyler Hollingsworth said. “We hope to keep it rolling.”

The only girls team that won on the road to reach the tournament was Nyssa, which beat Pleasant Hill 33-22 while holding Billies star Clair Crawford to two points.

“We pride ourselves on our defense,” coach Jeremy Chamberlain said. “It has kept us in many games.”

The Nyssa Bulldogs face No. 3 seed Amity, a team with a somewhat different take on its defense.

“Our goal is to speed opponents up with our athleticism and pressure and get out into transition,” coach Jed McMullen said.

All five of his team’s starters average close to 10 points a game, spurred by the transition from that defense.

Like the other contenders, if Amity gets a shot at the Cardinals McMullen is hoping his defensive scheme is good enough to deny the Cardinals the title.

3A girls quarterfinals, Thursday, Marshfield HS

No. 8 Westside Christian (20-5) vs. No. 1 Corbett (24-0), 1:30 pm.: Corbett is making its fourth straight trip to the final eight behind senior captains Holwege and Ally Schimel, who helped turn the program around from a spot in the bottom of the league standings before their arrival. Ally Schimel averages more than 25 points a game, along with 6.5 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 3 assists. Holweg adds 15.6 points and 7.5 rebounds and Lilly Schimel averages 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds. Ava Blatchford, another senior, was an honorable mention all-league pick and senior Carly Hardy rounds out the starting lineup. Westside Christian hasn’t been to the final site in more than 15 years, but won the Lewis & Clark League and held off Jefferson at home 63-55 to advance to the tournament. Senior Nyla Cabine was the league’s player of the year and junior Ava Mai also was on the first team, while junior Lilian Jordan was on the second team and both senior Bobbie-Skyy Ragsdale and sophomore Omri Brown received honorable mention. Westside Christian got first-hand experience on the court late in the season in a nonleague game at Marshfield. Losses to the Pirates and the next day to 4A Philomath are the team’s only setbacks in their final 11 games.

No. 5 Banks (19-6) vs. No. 4 Vale (23-2), 3:15 p.m.: Banks has a diverse offense led by Vanthom and can score from outside or inside. Jordyn Maller was the backup point guard on last year’s team, but now the junior is the team’s primary post and averaged 8 points while earning second-team all-league honors. Sophomore Emily Graham is a team captain who earned honorable mention honors and can play inside or outside. Junior McKenna King provides both scoring (7.3 points) and rebounding (8.9 boards) for the squad. Janecek was an honorable mention pick for all-league honors for the Braves, whose only losses aside from Corbett were to Amity and 4A Henley. Vale has a rich history, but not recently in terms of the tournament. “In the past Vale girls basketball has had some very good teams, but this is the first time anyone from this group has made it to Coos Bay, so I’m really happy and excited for them,” coach Seals said. Haylee Cleaver, Halle Peterson and Kesley Stepleton all were first-team all-league picks for the league and any of five or six different players might lead the team in scoring on a given night, though Cleaver scored 29 and Stepleton 19 in a 57-29 win over Sisters that clinched Vale’s trip back across the state. Senior Kacie Jacobs and junior Bella Johnson were honorable mention picks.

No. 11 Nyssa (18-9) vs. No. 3 Amity (22-3), 6:30 p.m.: A number of Nyssa’s players were role players on the school’s 2022 championship squad and Nyssa won 16 of its last 19 games, the three losses all coming to Vale. Twin seniors Clarita and Clarissa Arizmendi and junior Brynlee Hartley lead the squad and all received first- or second-team all-league honors. Hartley averages 9.1 points, Clarita Arizmendi averages 8.5 points and 8.7 rebounds and Clarissa Arizmendi averages 6.9 points and 6.5 rebounds. The Bulldogs suffered a loss when Morgan Johns, another senior and returning starter, suffered a torn meniscus late in the year, an injury that ended her season. Johns also was a second-team pick and senior Ambrie Draper received honorable mention recognition. Amity’s only losses this year came by four points to Corbett, one point to 4A Philomath and four points to league foe Jefferson — the latter setback avenged in the regular-season finale and the PacWest Conference championship game. The Warriors topped Horizon Christian 65-37 to reach the state tournament. Sophomores Alyssa McMullen (14 points per game) and Eliza Nisley (11 points) were first-team picks in the PacWest Conference. Juniors Saralynn Grove (10 points) and Mya Haarsma (8 points) and sophomore Adie Nisley (11 points) all were second-team picks.

No. 7 Creswell (20-7) vs. No. 2 Sutherlin (24-2), 8:15 p.m.: Creswell is led by senior captains Dakota Carson and Lauren Bailey, who both earned first-team honors in the Mountain Valley Conference. Carson averages 15 points and Bailey contributes 10 points and 6 rebounds. Sophomore Elliette Kinney (8 points and 6 rebounds) and Kylie Leonard (6 points) were both honorable mention picks. Most of the team’s losses came early, with the only setbacks since New Year’s Day coming to Pleasant Hill. Sutherlin’s squad includes four first-team all-league players — MVP Addyson Clark, Madison Huntley, Madison Wagner and Josie Vermillion — along with second-teamer Paige Edmonson. Sutherlin has the tallest squad in the long tenure of coach Josh Grotting, with both Clark and Huntley at least 6 feet tall. Clark had 26 points and Huntley had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 61-47 win over Valley Catholic that earned Sutherlin the trip to Coos Bay. The team’s losses were by six points to Amity the second game of the season and four points to 2A power Western Christian late in the season. “This is one of the most well-rounded teams that we have had the past few years, and we are excited to be making a return trip to Coos Bay,” Grotting said. “There will be some great games this year, with some great matchups on day 1. Our goal is to compete to the best of our ability and hopefully make it to one of the trophy games on Saturday.”

3A boys quarterfinals, Thursday, North Bend HS

No. 13 Burns (19-9) vs. No. 5 Harrisburg (21-5), 1:30 p.m.: Burns had an impressive run just to reach the playoffs, much less the tournament. The Hilanders were fifth in the final Eastern Oregon League standings, but won three games in five days in the league playoffs to reach the postseason. Burns topped Coquille 69-45 in the first round of the playoffs and then beat league-champion Vale 75-67 in overtime to become the only team to have to win two playoff games to reach the tournament and the only boys team to win on the road in the round of 16. Harrisburg is in the tournament for the first time since placing third in 2017, having lost to Westside Christian in the playoff round the past two seasons. The Eagles shared the Mountain Valley League title with Pleasant Hill and beat the Billies in the league championship game before topping Umatilla 56-50 to reach the tournament. Junior Terren Crabb and senior Jack Lidbech both were first-team all-league picks while averaging 12 and 15 points, respectively. Junior Jayden Bellinger (8 points and 14 rebounds) was an honorable mention pick and senior Jackson Davis adds 8.5 points a game. The Eagles have won 13 of their last 14 games.

No. 8 Neah-Kah-Nie (19-5) vs. No. 1 Westside Christian (21-5), 3:15 p.m.: Neah-Kah-Nie won the Coastal Range League and then beat Pleasant Hill 66-61 in the playoffs to reach the state tournament for the first time since 1966. “I think I’m as excited as the players to get this opportunity,” said coach Erick White. He and assistant Corey Douma both are Neah-Kah-Nie graduates and have been working with most of the current players since their earliest days of youth basketball. “It’s easy to get attached to a group like this that works so hard to improve year after year,” White said. Ivan Dante was the league’s player of the year and defensive player of the year and had two triple-doubles during the season with points, rebounds and blocks. Anthony Allen also was a first-team selection. Junior Ethan Hanson (14.5 points) was on the all-league second team and senior Jonathan Dana was an honorable mention pick. Sophomore Jordan Lewis averages 9.1 points. Westside Christian has won nine games in a row since Lewis & Clark League losses to Valley Catholic and De La Salle North Catholic and ran away from St. Mary’s 74-38 in the round of 16 as Will Flicker had 19 points and Dax Hanzlik 16. Hanzlik was the league’s player of the year and Flicker a first-team selection. “Our team is not as deep as in past years, but the boys are playing well at the right time,” coach David Henry said. “We have a mixture of kids that have played in the tournament in previous years, kids that we’ve brought to experience the tournament but haven’t dressed, and also some that are coming for the first time period.” Senior Kahlid Hodge was a second-team pick in the Lewis & Clark League and junior Jack Leland sparks the defense.

No. 6 Cascade Christian (21-6) vs. No. 3 De La Salle North Catholic (18-7), 6:30 p.m.: The game of the day Thursday features the two-time defending champion Challengers and De La Salle in a rematch of a semifinal game that Cascade Christian won by a single point last year. They met for the title in 2022. Cascade Christian has topped the coaches poll all year, but been lower in the power rankings after a preseason that included two showcase tournaments against top 5A and 6A schools. In all, the Challengers went 3-5 against the 5A and 6A schools at the start of the year and 18-1 against everybody else the rest of the way, the loss coming late in the year against top-ranked 4A squad Baker on a neutral court. The Challengers are led by 7-foot senior Austin Maurer, the Far West League’s MVP, and sophomore Derek Farmer, the defensive player of the year, as well as first-team picks freshman Avery Huston and junior Jaren Franckowiak. Maurer’s twin brother Peyton was a second-team pick. Cascade Christian beat Riverside 73-30 in the team’s playoff game to get back to the Bay Area. Austin Maurer had 29 points (matching his season average), 14 rebounds and six assists in the win while Kleker had five 3-pointers and 18 points and Huston scored 13 points. De La Salle found its groove in the middle of the season after a slow start to win nine games in a row before falling to Westside Christian in the league title game. The Knights and Eagles shared the league title with Valley Catholic. De La Salle has a senior-heavy roster with nine seniors on the squad, while junior Jaylen Hill is one of the more dynamic players. He was on the all-tournament first-team last winter while senior Quincy Aranda was on the second team. The Knights have reached at least the semifinals eight of the past nine years, including titles in 2018 and 2019.

No. 7 Dayton (20-6) vs. No. 2 Valley Catholic (20-6), 8:15 p.m.: Dayton is another tournament regular and overcame a slow start that included a 6-6 preseason to run the tables in the PacWest Conference behind player of the year Boston Hodges, a senior and fellow first-team all-league pick junior Clyde Rosenberg. Junior Lane Garrison was on the second team and Senior Morgan Gallagher and junior Austin Bodenhamer were honorable mention picks. Dayton topped Douglas 66-50 in the round of 16, the Pirates’ 14th win in a row. Valley Catholic has a rich tradition, but is making its first trip to the 3A quarterfinals since a championship run in 2014 (the Valiants did lose the 4A championship game to Seaside in 2018). “Our message to the boys is to enjoy the moment,” assistant coach John Efstathiou said. “We know we are the new kids on our side of the bracket. The other three teams make it to the elite eight annually. Since 2014, one of those three teams, if not two, have been in every finals and all three coaches have won state titles.” The Valiants held off Amity 55-50 to reach the tournament. Senior Noah Holub was a first-team all-league pick while junior Jackson Farris was on the second team and juniors Zach PippinJustin Han, and Luke Jarussi and senior Grant Heyworth all received honorable mention.

Saturday schedule change

The early trophy games Saturday will be compressed on the time schedule to make room for Marshfield’s girls to host a 4A playoff game against Stayton at 4 p.m. for a spot in that classification’s state tournament.

The boys consolation final is at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by the girls at 9:45, the boys third-place game at 11:30 and the girls third-place game at 1:15 p.m. The boys championship game is at 6:30 and the girls title game is at 8:45