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By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

The Joseph Eagles werent about to make the mistake of going into the Class 2A state basketball tournament on a loss.

Thats what they did last year after losing to Union in the first round of the District 8-2A Boys Basketball Tournament.

Im really pleased with the way were going to state, Joseph coach Ron Lathrop said after the Eagles dispatched the Imbler Panthers 67-55 in Saturdays tournament championship game.

There was little doubt how this one would go once it started. Joseph jumped to a 13-4 lead by running its fast break well and built it wider with defense.

We played some excellent man-to-man defense this weekend, Lathrop said.

By halftime, Joseph (25-1) had a 42-24 lead. The game got closer in the fourth quarter, but by the time Imbler made its run, time was running out and both teams had emptied their benches.

Joseph shot 53 percent from the field, with leading scorers Marcus Wells, Levi Stubblefield and Dollen Stroup leading the way.

Wells was 9-for-12 with 22 points, Stubblefield was 7-for-9 with 20 points and Stroup was 6-for-11 for 12 points.

Stroup had nine rebounds as the Eagles pounded Imbler on the boards, 40-30.

Brandon Campbell led Imbler (16-10) with 17 points and Colin Culbreth added 14 points. Both made the all-tournament team, as did Stroup and Nall.

Imbler has the unenviable task of playing top-ranked Dayton to open the state tournament Tuesday. Furthermore, Imbler has to play at 9:30 a.m. at Pendleton High School, not the best of draws.

Third-ranked Joseph will play unranked Regis at 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Convention Center. Joseph is the highest-ranked team on its side of the bracket, with sixth-ranked Heppner in Josephs quarter.

Were peaking, but I know we can get a lot better, said reserve guard Cody Lathrop. I dont know how far we can go, but hopefully we can go all the way.

Imbler boys 10 14 11 20 55

Joseph 22 20 14 11 67

Imbler Crow 0-3 0-2 0, McIntosh 1-11 0-0 2, Glenn 1-5 0-0 3, Culbreth 7-11 0-2 14, Campbell 4-12 8-9 17, Tra.Hoskins, Davis 2-3 1-2 5, Gorham 1-1 0-0 2, Davidson 1-3 0-1 2, Wyatt 1-1 0-0 2, ODonald 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-57 9-16 55.

Joseph Nall 1-8 2-2 4, Stroup 6-11 0-0 12, Wells 9-12 4-7 22, Col.Lathrop 3-6 1-4 7, Stubblefield 7-9 6-8 20, Hayes 0-0 0-2 0, Otten, Gorsline 0-1 0-0 0, Cod.Lathrop 0-2 0-0 0, Butterfield 1-2 0-2 2, Layton. Totals: 27-51 13-25 67.

Three-pointers Imbler 2-17 (Crow 0-2, McIntosh 0-5, Glenn 1-4, Campbell 1-3, Davis 0-1, Davidson 0-1, ODonald 0-1), Joseph 0-8 (Nall 0-4, Stroup 0-2, Wells 0-1, Cod.Lathrop 0-1). Fouled out Tro.Hoskins. Total fouls Imbler 21, Joseph 18. Technical fouls None. Turnovers Imbler 19, Joseph 19. Rebounds Imbler 30 (Culbreth 6), Joseph 27 (Col.Lathrop 6). Assists Imbler 13 (Crow 5), Joseph 17 (Nall 7).

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