Tiger boys, Viking girls win Clash titles

Riverside's Evan Keefer tries to work the ball around Stanfield's Eddy Ramos durig the Pirates' 41-35 loss Saturday in the championship game of the Columbia River Clash tournament in Umatilla. The loss drops the Pirates to 4-2 on the year, while Stanfield moves to a perfect 6-0.

The Umatilla girls held strong on their home floor and the Stanfield boys slogged through their final game, both winning Columbia River Clash basketball tournament titles Saturday.

In the girls final, the Vikings were able to overcome the slow, deliberate pace employed by the Riverside Pirates for a 26-15 win.

Stanfield also had to deal with a slow start in the boys final, but stellar play from senior guard Derek Monkus lifted the Tigers to a 41-35 win over Riverside.

For Umatilla, 6-foot, 1-inch Naomi Castanon set the tone early and scored the first four points of the ballgame.

She connected on only one more hoop the rest of the way, however, due to a swarming Riverside 2-3 zone that collapsed on her every time she touched the ball.

The problem for Riverside wasn’t really its defense — it was the lack of offense. After trailing 16-7 at the half, Riverside didn’t score until the 1:15 mark in the third quarter.

The Vikings didn’t exactly shoot the lights out, either. They began the third quarter with the ball and held it for 1:24, but couldn’t find the bucket. A Jessica Siler free throw was the first point of the frame for the Vikings while the first field goal was hit by Crystal Gomez at the 2:45 mark.

The Vikings (6-0), ranked No. 4 in the latest Class 3A coaches’ poll, are back in action at home Monday against Weston-McEwen.

Riverside’s Whitley Reece scored four of her team-high six points in the final quarter.

Riverside plays at home Saturday against Mac-Hi.

In the third-place game, Stanfield got the best of Griswold, 37-15, behind the play of freshman Megan Bailey.

The rookie poured in 13 points and snatched five steals while Allysa Sobotta pulled down eight rebounds.

The Stanfield girls will begin Blue Mountain Conference play Friday, visiting Enterprise.

In the late matchup for the boys title, the Tigers were able to repeat as champs thanks to Monkus’ outside presence along with Quin Grogan’s activity in the paint.

Monkus scored 11 points, nine coming via 3-point baskets, and Grogan scored a team-high 13.

Monkus put up a NBA-range 3-pointer at the first-quarter horn to pull the Tigers within a point, 28-27, and the rest of the team took it from there.

For Riverside (3-2), not having leading scorer Marco Carranza on the floor for essentially the entire fourth quarter definitely made things difficult for the Pirates to keep pace with the undefeated Tigers (6-0). Carranza led all scorers with 15 points, but earned a seat on the bench with his fifth foul just inside the fourth-quarter start.

The club is No. 3 in the rankings with its perfect mark — only one of five teams in Class 2A still undefeated. Stanfield will open BMC play against No. 1 Enterprise.

In the third-place boys game, Umatilla was able to right the ship and earned a 53-43 win over Weston-McEwen, a team that beat the Vikings by more than 30 points the first time they met.

Umatilla guard Andres Sanguino was scalding-hot from beyond the arc, draining five 3-pointers to score a team-high 15 points.

Marc Montez and German Campos combined to shut down Weston-McEwen post, Dallas Reich, who scored just three points.

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