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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Skyview outlasts South Salem 67-60 in day two of Les Schwab Invitational

Schumacher posts efficient game-high 26 points, fueled by teammates

By Andy Buhler, Columbian Staff Writer
Published: December 27, 2018, 4:11pm

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Skyview coaches sat in the stands the previous evening as South Salem built a lead as big as 15 on Oregon powerhouse Jefferson, so when it was decided the Saxons would be its next opponent, they gave players ample warning.

For Kyle Gruhler, it came in a text from head coach Matt Gruhler, who is also his father.

“Texted me right after, said South Salem is tough, they’re going to be tough, they really crash the boards,” the junior wing said, “so I was like OK, we’ll have to be ready for a good game with really no energy in the gym.”

The Storm utilized their coach’s scout to beat South Salem 67-60 on Thursday morning to notch its first win on the second day of the prestigious Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High School.

The Storm withstood multiple late runs, and patched up the areas that befell them a day earlier in a first round loss to West Linn (Ore.), which landed them in the loser’s bracket.

Its leading scorer, Alex Schumacher? He had a game-high 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Jace Chatman, a 6-foot-3 junior wing, hit three 3s and posted 11 points. Kyle Gruhler added 11, too.

And the glass?

They outrebounded the Saxons 30-23, and nabbed two more offensive boards.

Kyle Gruhler nabbed a game-high 10 boards to go with his 11 points, an area the Storm have been reliant on from their 6-foot-5 wing, who has been tapped to play bigger this season after being primarily a 3-point shooting guard last season.

Staying active, he said, has been the key to being a better rebounder.

“Today I just said I’m not going to let another person get those rebounds, so try to just get as many rebounds as I could,” Gruhler, a junior, said. “Even if they weren’t near me I’d try to go track it down.”

A hot start helped the Storm. Squeeky Johnson hit two 3s in opening minutes, which took pressure off leading scorer Alex Schumacher, and helped the Storm up to a 13-2 lead.

“At the end of the day that was our focus,” Gruhler said. “Come out early, set the tone, try to contest shots. It’s tough to get in a rhythm when they’re shooting contested shots. We did a really good job on those first two possessions doing that and then getting the shots we wanted out of it.”

Schumacher, a returning all-region selected, is Skyview’s top prospect at an event showcasing some of the top recruits in the country and attended by high level Division I coaches. And he’s played like it, having scored 50 points through two games.

His efficient scoring clip (9 for 15 from the field) was, according to Matt Gruhler, other players stepping up. When other players started hitting shots on Thursday, like Chatman, Johnson and Kyle Gruhler, Schumacher saw less pressure.

“We can always trust (Schumacher), he’ll always be there for us,” Kyle Gruhler said. “In a situation with a low shot clock we can just give it to (him) and trust that he can get a good shot. With Squeeky and (Chatman) hitting their shots, that’s super valuable.”

Chatman was a reserve guard last season and has embraced his increased role, even if it means guarding players bigger than him. His three 3s were among the reasons why Matt Gruhler says Chatman — who leads the team in 3-point percentage — has made strides.

Skyview will continue to call upon different players to step up as it faces another quick turnaround, playing Barlow on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

“Some days it’s going to be (Chatman), sometimes it’s going to be Squeeky, one of our first games was Sean Boss,” Matt Gruhler said. “Lowell Dunmire has done it, be our secondary scorer. So no, it’s kind of who’s got the right matchup, where can we exploit it, then knowing all of them can do it, it’s just stepping up to do it.”

SOUTH SALEM — Treyden Harris 14, Eric Lungu 10, Jaden Nielsen-Skinner 14, Trey Galbraith 17, Ryan Brown 4, Jacob Winstead 0, Parker Johnson 0, Peyton Keitzer 1. 23-51 (6) 8-11 60.
SKYVIEW (7-2) — Alex Schumacher 26, Squeeky Johnson 8, Sean Boss 5, Lowell Dunmire 4, Alec Marshall 0, Kyle Gruhler 11, Jace Chatman 11, Derek Lewis 2, Colby Barkee 0, Cody McKinney 0. 24-49 (10) 9-9 67.
S. Salem 13 15 19 13 — 60
Skyview 18 16 18 15 — 67

Columbian Staff Writer