HILLSBORO -- Michael Holton Jr.'s performance Friday was one of the best of the first round in the Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High School.
Beyond the 20 points, six rebounds and five assists in Sunset's 56-49 victory over Lake Oswego, Holton's biggest contribution might have been organizing his teammates for practice while the Apollos were shut out of the practice gym for nearly two weeks by snow.
Between a Dec. 12 home victory over Lincoln and Friday's Les Schwab opener, Sunset had just one full practice due to school closures caused by winter storms and icy roads.
"We were pulling everyone together and going to the athletic club across the street (from Sunset)," Holton said. "We had mini-practices there as many days as we could."
Even so, Holton and others worried that too many days of lounging at home on the couch would lead to sloppy play.
But Sunset (4-0) arrived ready, hustling to more rebounds than the taller Lakers, 41-27. The Apollos don't have much size. The only player on the roster taller than 6-foot-3 is freshman Landen Lucas.
"We're probably one of the smallest teams in the state," said Holton, who is listed at 6-1.
The Apollos' defense stopped Lake Oswego early and fueled a 14-4 lead. Then they were consistently able to get shots to go down when they needed them.
"That early energy defensively was key, and (our) commitment to rebounding," Sunset coach Todd Sherwood said.
Lake Oswego (4-2), with two big players inside -- Max Jacobsen (6-7) and Billy Reader (6-8 1/2) -- shot 31 percent in the first half.
"They're scrappy and they played hard," Lake Oswego coach Mark Shoff said of the Apollos. "We didn't show up with much effort."
The Lakers, who played three games at a tournament in Red Bluff, Calif., haven't been able to practice much the past two weeks, either.
"We're all in the same boat in that," Shoff said. Holton, who has taken Sunset's point guard reins from Co-Player of the Year Garrett Sim, has been preparing for his lead role.
Against Lake Oswego, he showed off his uncanny knack for making shots after contact, whether off-balance, falling backward, or into creases of daylight between the limbs of taller players.
"He adjusts to contact better than most players I've ever seen," Sherwood said.
Holton's younger brother, Anthony, finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Sunset moves on to a second-round game against rival Westview.
Reader led Lake Oswego with 13 points and six rebounds.
Westview 64, Tigard 56 : Garrett Jackson scored 19 points to lead the Wildcats in the 9 a.m. game. The Wildcats jumped out to a 15-2 first-quarter advantage and held off the Tigers from there. Austin Kuemper added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Jalen Caoile scored 18 points and had nine assists and two steals to lead Tigard.
Jesuit 50, Canby 38 : The Crusaders broke open a close game in the fourth quarter. Kyle Wiltjer scored 15 points to lead Jesuit, which forced Canby into 24 turnovers.
Cody Hickey scored 19 points and had seven rebounds and four steals to lead the Cougars.
Grant 64, Sheldon 46 : Mike Moser scored 18 points and blocked three shots for the reigning Class 6A champion Generals, who had a 43-22 rebounding advantage against the Irish of Eugene. Dominique Giles came off the bench for 13 points and 15 rebounds for Grant. Kenneth Acker added 13 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) 57, Beaverton 47 : Sherrod Wright scored 23 points to go with seven rebounds, and the Knights took advantage of 26 offensive rebounds and 26 Beaverton turnovers to pull out the victory. Mt. Vernon jumped to a 23-4 lead in the first quarter before Beaverton woke up and outscored the Knights 18-2 in the second quarter.
Beaverton's 6-foot-10 center, Jordan Railey, recorded nine blocked shots to go with eight points and five rebounds. Deangelo Davis scored 12 points to lead the Beavers.
Fairfax (Calif.) 58, Central Catholic 49 : Standout center Renardo Sidney went to work in the second half, using his 6-10 size to muscle inside and help his team push past the upset-minded Rams.
Sidney finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Fairfax shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half after going into the break at 28-28.
The Rams, who had a 12-5 lead early, made 9 of 21 three-point shots. Nate Carr had three of them and finished with a team-high 13 points.
Jefferson 68, South Medford 62 : Terrence Jones and Alex Johnson made four free throws in the final 8.9 seconds to preserve the win for the Democrats, who led by double digits in the first half.
Jones scored 19 points and had five rebounds and five blocked shots for the Democrats. E.J. Singler had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three steals for the Panthers, who got within 56-55 on Josh Havird's free throws. Mike Brassel, a 5-7 sophomore, took charges on back-to-back Jefferson possessions to help South Medford pull close.
Dominguez (Calif.) 67, Columbia River (Wash.) 45 : Myron Green scored 21 points and Dominguez of Compton, Calif. shot 54.9 percent for the game in an easy win.=