Elgin kept the Sherman offense reined in for much of the first half, but then the defending Class 1A state champions put together one of their patented runs to break away.
Jacob Justesen had 13 points, six assists and six steals, and Sherman pulled ahead with a 21-4 run on its way to a 55-33 win over Elgin in the title game of the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic Friday.
Elgin held an early four-point lead, and limited Sherman to just six points on 3-for-14 shooting in the first quarter.
The Elgin edge was at 12-9 on a runner by Caleb Lathrop midway through the second quarter before Sherman asserted itself.
Treve Martin started the game-swinging run with a layup, and a rebound and putback by Keenan Coles gave Sherman the lead for good. Luke Martin scored five straight points, and Justesen found Coles for back-to-back layups and a 12-point lead. Sherman held a 26-16 lead at the half, and capped the run with back-to-back layups early in the third.
Elgin twice cut the lead to 12, the second time on a putback by Brandon Howes, and later to 34-23 on a 3-pointer by Lathrop, but Elgin drew no closer.
Sherman torched the nets in the final three quarters, primarily by getting to the rim, and finished shooting 51 percent (26-for-51). Elgin shot 28 percent (13-for-47).
Howes led Elgin with 13 points and eight rebounds. Lathrop added 12 points. Coles had 12 points for Sherman, and both Treve and Luke Martin added 11 points.
Elgin (8-5 overall) travels to Heppner for a nonleague contest Saturday.
Powder Valley 76, Union 58: It took three quarters before Powder Valley finally got some breathing room, but the Badgers eventually pulled away to top Union in the third-place game Friday.
Powder Valley never trailed, and led by as much as 12 points in the first half on a basket by Tanner Eubanks, who had 19 points.
The Bobcats, through, didn’t go away. Hunter Coon hit a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 run, and Union was down just 37-33 at halftime. Union inched as close as 40-39 on a coast-to-coast layup by Keegan Glenn, who led all scorers with 22 points. Powder Valley extended the lead back to 58-45 on a layup by Dawson Smith, but Glenn, who added five rebounds and five assists, banked in a 3-pointer, then opened the fourth quarter by scooping in a layup to make it 58-50.
A 12-1 run, though, capped by a Eubanks layup, put Powder Valley up 70-51 with 4:34 to play. The Badgers went on to lead by as much as 22 points.
Hunter Davis joined Eubanks by also scoring 19 points for Powder Valley, including 10 in the second half. Smith added 17 points, Omar Benites also reached double figures with 12 points.
Ryan Shoemaker added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Union, his third double-double of the Christmas Classic. Tate Lantis added eight points.
Powder Valley (7-3 overall) returns to Old Oregon League play Friday at Nixyaawii. Union (5-6) hosts Heppner in nonleague play Friday.
Council 60, Cove 35: A three-point second quarter put Cove in a double-digit hole at halftime, and the Leopards never recovered in a loss to Council in the fourth-place game Friday.
Cove was within 16-11 after the first quarter, but saw the deficit swell to 25-14 at halftime. Council then took off in the second half to break the game open.
Wacey Fite led Cove in the loss with nine points. Both Blake Witten and Collin Ruth added seven points.
Lance Nichols led all scorers with 19 points for Council.
Cove (2-9 overall) hosts Griswold in an Old Oregon League contest Friday.
Wallowa 35, Imbler 27: Sam Hilliard scored 14 points, eight of which came in the first half, and Wallowa salvaged a victory in the final day of the Optimist Christmas Classic to take seventh place.
Christopher Nobles added 10 points and also had eight in the first half for the Cougars. Wallowa jumped out to a 10-3 first-quarter advantage and held its margin most of the contest, leading 22-14 at halftime and 30-20 after three quarters.
Jayce Burnette led Imbler with 12 points, including 10 in the first half. Grant Slater added six points.
Wallowa (6-5 overall) returns to Old Oregon League play Friday at Pine Eagle. Imbler (1-10) travels to Pilot Rock Friday for a nonleague contest.