The old and the new came together to get the West Linn boys basketball team back to its familiar stomping grounds. Coach Eric Viuhkola, back from a three-year absence after leading the Lions to four consecutive Class 6A state championships, and freshman point guard Jackson Shelstad helped steer West Linn back to the state tournament for the first time since with a road win over Mountainside on Saturday night in Beaverton. Shelstad, who has received offers from several Big Sky schools, had 18 points, six steals, five assists and five rebounds, and senior Micah Garrett scored a game-high 20 points to lead the No. Viuhkola surprised some observers when he stepped down in the spring of after cutting the nets for a fourth consecutive season. He again surprised some when he decided to return last summer after his former assistant and successor, Tyler Toney, resigned following the playoffs , which saw the Lions fall in the second round to South Salem. The players learned right away that a new sheriff, same as the old one, was back in charge. He pushed us to our limits, and we appreciate that now.
This was his second time sharing a senior night with Payton Pritchard, they also had a senior night together in high school at West Linn. What a special moment for the two best friends. Anthony Mathis had a short lived career in Eugene, but his reunion with his life long friend and teammate Payton Pritchard was a fun sight for the state of Oregon to relive their West Linn days. Shakur Juiston speaks from the bottom of his heart in his senior speech, thanking Eugene for his one season at Oregon. Shakur Juiston is yet another example of Dana Altman successful finding transfers that fit into his program. Juiston averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds on the regular season for Oregon, as well as adding a veteran presence on a team that saw many underclassmen in the lineup. Payton Pritchard couldn't even get a word in before his speech, the crowd wouldn't stop cheering for the senior guard who has a chance of finishing No. Payton Pritchard will go down as one of the best Oregon Ducks of all time. He is closing in on No. From that freshman team of his, when Oregon reached the final four, to now, Pritchard has played the role of follower and now the role of leader.
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