Battle of the States at Portland CC
Champions North Idaho
All Tournament team
Sam Dowd North Idaho MVP
Andre McCowan Portland
Kaelin Crane Green River
Markus Golder North Idaho
Zach Hunsaker - Snow
The opening night of the Portland Community College Tournament was electric. The four team junior college showcase was well received by local fans and four year college coaches.
In game one, Snow College from Utah slowly dismantled a highly energetic Green River (Washington) team 103-65. Snow had multiple contributions from a deep, well coached team. They were led by 6’5 wing Zach Hunsaker. The Mike Dunleavy like Hunsaker finished with 17 pts, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. In defeat, the young Green River Gators had a lot of bright moments. Including the debut of freshman Kaelin Crane, a wiry small forward from Las Vegas, who finished with a game high 20 points.
The main event was one for the ages. A packed house awaited the matchup between #18 nationally-ranked North Idaho and the hometown Portland Panthers, who were eager to make their mark as one of the top JC’s in the country as well.
The game was full of back and forth action but in the end North Idaho was finally able to pull away for a hard earned 87-79 win.
The game featured two of the best dunks you will ever see. The first, an explosive baseline launch from former Clackamas, OR High School star Markus Golder, ignited the crowd.
The second dunk sent the crowd over the edge. The Panthers 6’8, chiseled, freshman Cameron Retherford, went into the ozone and came thundering down on a player trying to take the charge. It was a special sports moment that everyone in attendance will remember for the rest of their lives.
Retherford, who spent one year as a decathlete at Texas Tech, is a very impressive prospect with great size, rapidly improving skills and unlimited athletic ability.
Portland and Green River met in the 3rd place game with Portland vs. Seattle battle rights on the line. The Panthers wasted no time in jumping to a 19 point lead half time lead, led by a 25 point outburst from 6’6 guard Andre McCowan.
The sophomore was unstoppable, with a variety of drives, dimes and threes. He ended the game with 37 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 dunks. It was a very impressive performance that caught the attention of a lot of people. Kaelin Crane led Green River with 19 points.
The title game was a dandy, as North Idaho and Snow, two former conference foes, met for the championship. North Idaho jumped out to a 13 point lead early in the game led by point guard Sam Dowd.
The 5’7 sophomore dazzled the crowd with pull up jumpers, drives and great leadership. Snow eventually found their rhythm and fought back to take a lead late in the game with Zach Hunsaker leading the way.
Both teams traded baskets down the stretch as Markus Golder came alive for North Idaho. With seconds left, Hunsaker drew the foul on a great move, but missed the free throws. As the buzzer sounded, the Cardinal players rushed the court in joy and celebration of a hard earned Portland Tournament championship.