Never a doubt with this one. Wilsonville showed why they’re a preseason favorite to win it all, even though Woodburn showed flashes of why they’re a potential tournament team. The culmination of the Wilsonville Invitational confirmed more suspicions than it challenged.
Wilsonville, the #2 team in the 5A preseason coaches poll, certainly has the size and athleticism of a contender, and in tonight’s contest showed once again the championship level poise and cohesion that got them past 4A Baker last night. Even when Woodburn had success pushing the pace and trapping Wilsonville defensively, players like Maxim Wu—who may be the most unsuspecting but sensational player of the tournament—and Kallen Gutridge had little issue getting the Wildcats out of trouble. Fundamentally Wilsonville looked like a team that had been there before, while Woodburn looked like a team that was trying to take the next step.
Woodburn has some dudes, possibly enough of them to earn a trip to the state tournament and make this a quarterfinal preview. Players like Spencer Karsseboom and Cruz Veliz will get Woodburn out of a lot of offensive log jams in similar ways to Wu and Gutridge from Wilsonville, just with a larger emphasis on deep outside shooting. Athletically the Bulldogs can compete, the question is can they do it on a night-to-night basis in 5A as they have for so long in 4A. The first two games of the Wilsonville Invitational gave an answer of yes, but the third made plainly obvious that there is another step to take beyond that.
Leading Scorers: Maxim Wu (Wilsonv.) 23, Kallen Guthridge (Wilsonv.) 10, Kyle Counts (Wilsonv.) 9, Spencer Karsseboom, Liam Slattum, Tony Carrasquillo, Esai Carrasquillo (Woodb.) all with 6.