When a team is ranked number one in the state and favored to be in hunt for the state title, it doesn't make the road any smoother. It may bring pressure; it may put the fear into weaker opponents; it may raise confidence; but the one thing it doesn't bring is a guarantee of a state championship title.
St. Paul High School from the Willamette Valley carried their No. 1 ranking all the way to Baker City, Oregon this weekend, site of the OSAA 1A Basketball Championships, and managed to close the deal by winning the whole enchilada with a 54-49 overtime victory against Joseph High School of northeastern Oregon.
After a first round bye, St. Paul earned their way to the tournament with a home court 45-22 win over Imbler High School. I have shot some St. Paul football and basketball games over the past couple of years. St. Paul High School has a strong commitment to athletics and receives tremendous support from the community. It is characteristic of all the small towns all across the state of Oregon where the high school is a central point of the community. The spirit is refreshing, which makes shooting small school athletics a lot of fun.