Lakers News · Les Schwab Invitational


LES SCHWAB INVITATIONAL
PRESENTED BY EXPRESS EMPLOYEMENT PROFESSIONALS

The Les Schwab Invitational is considered one of the most prestigious holiday high school basketball tournaments in the nation. This year will mark the 24th anniversary for the tournament, and it once again will feature the type of likely future college and NBA stars the LSI has been accustomed to showcasing for more than two decades.
This year’s tournament — with three nationally ranked teams along with some of the best teams in Oregon — will take place Dec. 26-30 at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.
Tickets are available for purchase exclusively at www.LesSchwabInvitational.comFans have the option of buying individual session tickets – both Reserved and General Admission that are good for all games of that respective session– or 5-Day Tournament Passes that are good for all 32 games of the 2019 LSI. Reserved seating is available during each evening session of the tournament. The tournament will be divided into nine sessions – two winners bracket sessions on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday. Monday’s evening session will begin at 7:00pm and feature the 3rd Place and Championship Games. All games will be played at Liberty High School.
FIRST ROUND
December 26th 
Game 1 (SESSION 1) – Central Catholic vs. Grant, 9 a.m.

The opening game of the 24th annual Les Schwab Invitational Presented by Express Employment Professionals features Central Catholic, the defending co-champions of the Mt. Hood Conference against Grant, the 2017 State Champion. The two inner Portland schools are located less than two miles from each other and have grown into a rivalry in recent seasons. To tip-off the 2019 LSI they will rekindle their rivalry for the right to advance to a coveted Friday night quarterfinal game. The Rams return four starters including standout senior Isaiah Amato (6’4) and Co-Mt. Hood Player of the Year Darius Gakwasi (6’5). The Generals, who graduated three-year starters Aaron Deloney and Ty Rankin, will fill the void with senior guards Eric Fraser (6’3)Emmanuel Steward (6’3) and Tai Warner (6’0) along with standout incoming freshmen Adrian Mosley (6’2) .

Game 2 (SESSION 1) – Battle Ground vs. Jefferson, 10:30am

Led by Gonzaga commit Kaden Perry (6-9), Battle Ground will make their LSI debut against then consensus #1 ranked team in the state of Oregon, the Jefferson Democrats. The Demos return the state’s best front-court tandem; Washington State commit Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge (6’7) and Kam Robinson (6’9); but graduate four-year starter Marcus Tsohonis. Softening the blow of losing Tsohonis, Jefferson welcomes highly touted freshmen Marquis “Mookie” Cook (6’6) who is considered among many to be one of the top prospects on the west coast in the class of 2023.

Game 3 (SESSION 1) – Barlow vs. Churchill, Noon

In a matchup featuring arguably the two best senior tandems in their respective classifications, both teams have high expectations heading into the 2019-2020 season. Churchill (5A) will be powered by Oregon’s lone Division 1 signee (Eastern Washington) in the 2020 class – Kaelen O’Neil (6’4) and Point Loma signee Brian Goracke (6’5). Barlow returns firepower from the guard positions in Co-Mt. Hood Conference Player of the Year Evan Inglesby (6’4) and sharpshooter Jesse White (6’1). Expect a high scoring competitive affair for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.

Game 4 (SESSION 1)  – Clackamas vs. Crater, 1:30pm

Perhaps the most intriguing match-up in the first round of the 24th Annual LSI features the state of Oregon’s top two ranked players in Clackamas’ Ben Gregg (6’8) and Craters’ Nathan Bittle (6’10). Gregg, who as a sophomore put on a show at last year’s tournament with averages of 23-16-4, is ranked #29 in ESPN’s national rankings and has offers from both Oregon and Oregon State among other Power Five universities. Bittle, who also has scholarship offers the Ducks and the Beavers plus Arizona, Gonzaga, UCLA, and Virginia is ranked #13 in the ESPN rankings – making him the highest ranked junior from the state of Oregon since Kevin Love and Kyle Singler in 2007.

Game 5 (SESSION 2) – Norcross vs. West Linn, 4:00pm

To open the evening session on Day 1 West Linn will once again look to play ‘giant killer’ (Whitney Young 2013Wheeler 2014) – as they take on the Norcross Blue Devils from Atlanta, Georgia. Norcross, who has won 5 State Championships, will make their LSI debut featuring consensus top 100 players JT Thor (6’10) and Josh Taylor (6’8). The Lions will rely on their talented but inexperienced back-court of senior Micah Garrett (6’4) -who missed a chunk of last season due to injuries- and heralded freshman Jackson Shelstad (5’11).

Game 6 (SESSION 2) – Eastside Catholic vs. Wilsonville, 5:30pm

Eastside Catholic will make their Les Schwab Invitational 16-team debut after an impressive performance in the inaugural year of the LSI 8-team tournament in 2018. The Crusaders are led by the talented backcourt of Nolan Hickan (6’3) and Shane Nowell (6’5) who both have University of Washington scholarship offers. Defending 5A State Champion Wilsonville will return to the LSI for the first time since 2011 led by senior forwards Dakota Reber (6’6) and Keegan Shivers (6’5) who combined for 33 points and 20 rebounds in the 5A State Championship game last March.

Game 7 (SESSION 2) – Mater Dei vs. Jesuit, 7:00pm

Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) returns to the LSI for the third time (20012017) looking to bring home their first championship trophy. Fabled Head Coach Gary McKnight (1,136 victories + 11 State Championships) will lead a talented group with as many 7 Division 1 players on the roster; headlined by five-star guard and University of Kentucky commit Devin Askew (6’4) and USC commit Harrison Hornery (6’8). Jesuit, led by legendary coach Gene Potter (567 victories + 7 State Championships), will try and make history repeat itself with another win over the Southern California Juggernauts (2001 Quarterfinals).

Game 8 (SESSION 2) – Bishop Gorman vs. Lake Oswego, 8:30pm

Also returning to the LSI for the third time (20102013) and looking to bring home their first trophy will be Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV). The Gaels will bring a talented group led by Top 50 guards Zaon Collins (6’0) and Will McClendon (6’4). Lake Oswego, a tournament mainstay and 2012 Champion, will have an opportunity to knock off the eight time Nevada State Champions, led by talented junior forward Trace Salton (6’6) and 2018 Three Rivers League Defensive Player of the Year Sam Abere (6’2)