Grizzlies' Lipski the 'go-to guy'

Ashland is ready to ride the shoulders of senior post Matt Lipski as far he's able to take the No. 9 Grizzlies (16-9) in the Class 5A state playoffs.

Good thing he's 6-foot-9 and 325 pounds.

"We're definitely going to go inside, and we'll go inside until they can stop Matt," Ashland coach Larry Kellems said. "Matt knows he's our go-to guy. He's stepping up big. He knows it's his responsibility and his team."

Lipski and Ashland are host to Sherwood (15-10), the No. — seed from the Northwest Oregon Conference, in a second-round playoff game tonight at 7. Lipski leads Ashland at 15 points per contest and will be looked to often against an undersized and perimeter-heavy Sherwood team.

"We are concerned about the big guy," Sherwood coach Brian Burke said. "We've never had a lot of height, but our guys battle."

Kellems expects the Bowman, like most teams, to throw double and triple teams at Lipski, forcing Ashland's supporting cast to take charge during some stretches.

The most likely candidate is 5-10 senior guard Dillon Thigpen, who averages 13.3 points per game.

"Matt's gotten much better at finding the open guy (out of double teams)," Kellems said. "Our guys are extremely excited."

The Grizzlies have won 12 of 13 games but have not played in nine days.

Sherwood advanced to the second round with a 63-58 win at home over Woodburn despite 28 points from freshman post Andy Agvi. Sherwood had to rally from a seven-point deficit with less than four minutes remaining to earn the win.

The Bowman have four perimeter players who average in double figures, led by 6-4 senior wing Connor Rumpf at nearly 16 points per game. Colin Wester, a 6-1 wing, and 6-0 guard Ian Donovan average around 12 points.

"They are probably the best outside shooting team we'll face all year," Kellems said. "As long as we can contest shots and get them off rhythm, we'll be okay. If they start stroking from outside, it could be a long night."

Ashland heads into the playoffs slightly banged up. Senior point guard Cameron Clement suffered a back injury last week and practiced moderately the last two days. Senior forward Austin Raymond suffered a severe ankle sprain and did not practice. He is questionable tonight.

Share This Story