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Thunder Sports

Local pair boost Washington All-Stars

Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 by The Columbia
PORTLAND — Washington ruled the Les Schwab Northwest Shootout, and Southwest Washington had a lot to do with that Saturday night at the Chiles Center.

Joseph Vance scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and Steven Bjornstad grabbed five rebounds and made his only shot in Washington’s 101-80 victory over Oregon in the 16th annual showcase of the state’s best senior boys basketball players.

Vance, from Mountain View, and Bjornstad, from Columbia River, were on the floor when Washington made its initial run to erase an 11-point deficit in the first half. And Vance scored nine of his points in the second half, helping his squad build the lead. He connected on two 3-pointers to make it 87-69.

"I just had a lot of fun being here," Vance said. "I didn’t expect to be here at the beginning of the season. It was really cool to represent Washington."

Washington used a 22-2 run from the end of the first half into the opening minutes of the second half to gain a 60-47 lead. Alex Schrempf of Bellevue was named the game’s MVP after scoring 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Freddy Wilson of Franklin in Seattle led Washington with 24 points.

"It was just really fun playing with these guys," said Bjornstad, a 6-foot-10 post who saw 13 minutes of playing time.

He wasn’t complaining.

"It’s more of a guard’s game," he said, referring to the style of an all-star game.

"It’s just an honor to represent Washington," he added. "It was a really high-tempo game, and our guards did a really good job and turned things around for us."

Vance fed Bjornstad on a nifty pass for the big man’s lone basket. In the second half, Bjornstad passed the ball back out to an open Vance, who buried a 3-pointer, to return the favor.

Vance’s best play might have been an offensive rebound and an assist to Killian Larson, who completed a three-point play. Vance said one of his buckets felt better than the others, though.

"Knocking down that first jumper after I airballed one really helped," he said with a smile.

This all-star game caps the high school careers for both Clark County standouts. Bjornstad has signed a letter of intent to the University of Nevada. Vance is undecided.

"Your guess is as good as mine," he said. "I’m talking to a few schools."

While his future plans are up in the air, he leaves high school basketball on a high note.

Washington swept the series this year as the girls beat Oregon 75-65. Kenzie DeBoer of Lynden Christian in Lynden scored 20 points and was named the MVP

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