- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Call it the Ben DeSaulnier show.

The senior guard absolutely dominated the 4A boys championship game with 30 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, leading top-seeded Philomath to a 48-39 win over second-ranked La Salle.

“It’s everything I dreamed of. It’s the best feeling ever. Just to do it with this group of guys. . True family right here,” said DeSaulnier. Philomath (24-3) had no other players with more than five points.

“Fantastic job,” said Philomath Coach Blake Ecker. “He absolutely took over that first half.”


The Warriors’ only other basketball title came in 2002.

Junior Keeston Smith had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Falcons (22-4). La Salle, out of Milwaukie, last won the boys basketball title in 1986, which was its fourth championship in a six-year span.

The Warriors led 13-8 after the first quarter, with DeSaulnier scoring nine.

And he was just getting started.

DeSaulnier started the second quarter with eight straight points - a 3-pointer, a steal and breakaway dunk, then another three. He had put Philomath up 21-8, and he had 17 points by himself.

The three-sport star entered the contest leading the tournament in scoring, averaging 22.5 points. He had 23 by halftime on Saturday, and Philomath led 29-15.

“I just kind of went with it. I saw a lot of open opportunities,” DeSaulnier said.

La Salle shot just 28 percent in the half, and made 13 turnovers.

In the third quarter, DeSaulnier only scored two points on a backdoor cut and lay-in. The Warriors’ other players picked up the scoring, though, and Philomath led 39-26 going into the fourth.

A Ryan Cavanagh 3-pointer for the Falcons made the score 43-36 with 1:49 left. DeSaulnier promptly went coast-to-coast for a lay-in.

The contest was a rematch of the third-place game from last year, which the Falcons won.

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