Mac boys clinch state playoff berth
The Grizzlies (12-10, 8-5) won their third straight game and seventh in their last nine. They are three games up on Forest Grove for the fourth — and final — automatic berth to the state tournament from the conference, and Mac plays the Vikings at 7:15 p.m. today at The Furnace.
“This point in the season,” McMinnville coach Willie Graham said, “every win is great.
“We’ve been in playoff mode for the three weeks.”
McMinnville held Newberg to five points in the first half Friday. McMinnville led 27-5 at halftime but only scored 12 points in the second half.
“That second half set basketball back a bit,” Graham said jokingly.
Gage Gubrud scored 15 points for the Grizzlies. Blaine Parker added 12. Nicholas Autencio scored five points, and so did Taylor Vicknair. Alex Israel scored two points.
Mac girls play Vikings on Senior Night
The McMinnville girls basketball team prepares for the last game of the regular season against Forest Grove at 5:45 p.m. tonight at home.
A loss against Forest Grove (3-10, 11-2) would not affect McMinnville’s (5-8, 11-11) fifth-place spot in the Pacific Conference. A defeat could possibly lower McMinnville’s OSAA RPI ranking, in turn affecting which seed it will receive for the 6A play-in round. The rankings freeze Thursday, and the Grizzlies will play a play-in game either Friday or Saturday. The Grizzlies are ranked No. 23 in the latest RPI standings, meaning they are on the bubble to receive a home game in the play-in.
McMinnville’s coach Sean Coste thinks his team will have success as it continues into the postseason.
“We still have a good chance, we have a good team,” Coste said about securing a first-round playoff game. “We just have to come out with a lot of intensity and a lot of fire.”
Tonight’s game is Senior Night, celebrating McMinnville’s two seniors: Hailey Lundmark and Grace McMillan.
The Grizzlies are coming off a 60-43 loss Friday vs. Newberg.
McMillan led McMinnville with 18 points, and Audrey McMillan contributed nine points. Newberg’s high scorers were Julia Hamilton with 13 points and Alex Green with 12 points.
McMinnville shot 4-of-21 from the field and trailed Newberg 26-11 at the end of the first half.
“They started a big lineup,” Coste said, “and we just didn’t come out with the energy we can have.”
Newberg made their biggest run vs. the Grizzlies in the third quarter, outscoring Mac 21-11. Grace McMillan scored all of her 18 points in the second half. She made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but they weren’t enough to push Mac within reach of a win.
“Tonight we played with a little caution,” Coste said. “And if we’re going to run and push the ball and get good easy shots, we really have to play with a kind of sense of fearlessness and passion.”