February 27, 2001 11:00 pm
FLYING PASSER: Joseph's Dollen Stroup goes airborne before passing against Gilchrist. (The Observer/C.J. GISH).
FLYING PASSER: Joseph's Dollen Stroup goes airborne before passing against Gilchrist. (The Observer/C.J. GISH).

By C.J. Gish

Observer Staff Writer

PENDLETON It took some lessons learned from Idaho to help Joseph win Tuesday.

The fifth-ranked Eagles boys basketball team used a strong second half to get past Gilchrist 57-45 in the first round of the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 2A Basketball State Championships.

The win sends Joseph (22-3) into tonights championship quarterfinals round against third-ranked Salem Academy, which knocked off the defending state champion, top-ranked Oakland.

The only thing Joseph will have to worry about is if it shows up with the same team that got off to a slow start against Gilchrist (21-6), trailing 9-3 early in the opening quarter.

We were both a little flat and tentative in the first half, Joseph coach Ron Lathrop said.

The key was how Joseph emerged in the second half after taking a 20-19 halftime lead.

We learned from Lapwai (Idaho). They came out tough in the second half, Joseph guard Marcus Wells said.

Lapwai beat the Eagles twice during the season using that strategy, and it worked like a charm for the Eagles.

After trading baskets early in the third quarter, Joseph broke a 25-all tie on back-to-back baskets from Tyler Nall and a pair of free throws from Wells to go ahead 32-25.

A 3-pointer from Brad Haynes pulled Gilchrist within 34-32, but Wells drove for a basket and, with 29 seconds left in the third quarter, Cody Lathrop banked home a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 39-32.

The final quarter featured strong rebounding and some fastbreak offense from Joseph as the Eagles built a double-digit lead they never relinquished.

We were more patient in the second half. We were a lot crisper in our passing, Ron Lathrop said.

Another key was getting the ball to 6-foot-6 senior post Clint Steen, who picked up 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half.

We were 7-of-8 (in the paint) in the first half, so we needed to get the ball inside. Clint is a force and weve just got to use him, Ron Lathrop said.

The Eagles fastbreak got to Gilchrist in the second half.

They ran with us, but then we wore them out, Steen said.

Steen not only proved himself in scoring, but added 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals.

Wells used his slashing ability to score 17 points. When he was stopped on a drive to the basket, he would pass off to one of his teammates, ending up with five assists. Wells also grabbed eight rebounds.

Joseph received contributions from Nall, who scored nine points, mostly from the perimeter, and Cody Lathrop with seven points. Dollen Stroup added six assists and two steals.

Gilchrist was paced by Andrew Knotts 12 points.

Joseph boys 5 15 19 20 59

Gilchrist 9 10 13 13 45

Joseph Nall 4-7 0-0 9, Moro, Stroup 1-5 3-4 5, Shear, Wells 6-11 5-10 17, Williamson 2-4 0-0 4, Cod.Lathrop 3-5 0-0 7, Butterfield, Baynes 0-1 0-2 0, Col.Lathrop, Steen 8-15 1-2 17, Stubblefield 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-49 9-18 59.

Gilchrist Ernst 2-8 0-0 5, Ke.Wirtz 0-1 2-2 2, Ky.Wirtz 0-1 0-0 0, Page 0-0 2-2 2, Knots 6-18 0-1 12, Haynes 3-13 0-0 8, Heim 3-7 2-3 8, Smith 3 0-0 8. Totals: 17-56 6-7 45.

Three-pointers Joseph 2-7 (Nall 1-2, Cod.Lathrop 1-2, Stroup 0-1, Steen 0-1, Stubblefield 0-1), Gilchrist 5-15 (Haynes 2-3, Smith 2-7, Ernst 1-2, Ky.Wirtz 0-1, Knotts 0-1). Fouled out None. Total fouls Joseph 11, Gilchrist 14. Technical fouls None. Turnovers Joseph 13, Gilchrist 17. Rebounds Joseph 33 (Steen 11), Gilchrist 31 (Heim 10). Assists Joseph 17 (Stroup 6), Gilchrist 7 (Haynes 3).