This Year's Tournament

The 16 high school basketball quintets here this week for the 20th annual Oregon High School Basketball tournament have been ordained as tops in their respective sections through elimination play.

This annual court classic, conducted by Willamette University under the auspices of the Oregon High School Athletic Association, will run for four consecutive days and nights, until a champion is named late Saturday.

As usual, certain teams have been rated as favorites to reach the championship game, and, as usual, choice of pre-tourney prognosticators is varying.

Generally, however, Salem and Baker are linked in the upper bracket. In the lower half of the pairings, Tillamook, Oregon City and Medford draw favor.

Salem, the host school, tackles Astoria in the opening round, a tough assignment for any entry. Baker draws Corvallis, and the defending champions hit their stride for the first time in district play-offs.

Tillamook, champion of the "No-Name" loop, and is tall and capable. Medford, loser in only three of 16 games this year, was an easy winner in Southern Oregon.

But watch out for Oakridge high!

Not since the days of the sensational Bells of Bellfountain has there been such a serious threat for state championship honors offered by a "B" school.

Why Oakridge? Look at this record - won 25 games, lost only two. Defeats were both by Lowell high, 28 to 29 and 30 to 33, later avenged with two victories, 38 to 29 and 22 to 21.

Further, a win over the University of Oregon frosh, 38 to 36, and two over University of Eugene, the district seven "A" champs, by 25 to 21 and 38 to 33 scores. All told, 1015 points scored for, only 597 points against.

The Warriors, should they win the "B" title, would automatically gain a place in the tournament semi-finals. So look out for Oakridge!

Here's the way the teams qualified this year:

District 1 - Baker, 45 to 18, over Union, after earlier wins over Nyssa, 43 to 16 and Vale, 42 to 37. La Grande, the favorite, was upset in the first round by Ontario, 28 to 25.

District 2 - Pendleton really won two play-offs over Mac-Hi and Hood River, each time after losing the first game. Scores over the Macs were 41 to 12 and 33 to 13, over Hood River, 48 to 26 and 32 to 28.

District 3 - Klamath Falls, over Bend, in three sets, 24 to 35, 28 to 24 and 29 to 21. Burns, the early district title favorite, was eliminated by Bend.

District 4 - Oregon City, as expected, with wins over Hill Military, 26 to 13, and Gresham, 52 to 33. Molalla, Willamette Valley league co-champ, was the biggest surprise, bowing to Columbia Prep in the opening round, 20 to 17. It was a major upset.

District 5 - Astoria, with two-point wins over St. Helens, 21 to 19 and 27 to 25, plus wins over Scappoose, 34 to 28, and its own seconds, 45 to 31.

District 6 - Tillamook came through as expected, downing Tigard, 43 to 30, Silverton, 36 to 22, and McMinnville in the finals, 24 to 19.

District 7 - Corvallis didn't go places in the "No-Name" league, but took two out of three from Lebanon for this district award, 23 to 19, 22 to 28, 26 to 18.

District 8 - North Bend, winner over Marshfield, 33 to 19, and Roseburg, in a major upset, 30 to 29. Marshfield had eliminated Coquille, 18 to 11.

District 9 - Medford was the first to win a tournament berth, clearly showing its class with three straight league wins over Grants Pass and Ashland.

District 10 - This is Salem, host team, and a strong entry. The Vikings won 18 of 23 games, finishing second in the "No-Name" loop.

District 11 - McMinnville, despite its defeat by Tillamook in the district six final. The Macs turned in a pair of major upsets in district play, 41 to 26 over Chemewa and 25 to 24 over Dallas.

District 12 - University of Eugene, for the second straight year, by virtue of an easy win in the district's southern division league race.

District 13 - Arlington, winning its first district championship, with a 26 to 23 win over Helix in the finals.

District 14 - Butte Falls, also a tourney "neo-phyte", with wins over favored St. Mary's of Medford, 23 to 19, and Coos river, 43 to 26.

District 15 - Westport, a classy little "B" team according to reports. The Clatsop county hoopsters beat Falls City, 38-20, Mt. Angel 26-20, and Carlton, 39-20.

District 16 - Oakridge won out over Brownsville, 29 to 14, Lowell, 22 to 21, and Monroe, 33 to 28, to reach the Salem court classic.

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