HILLSBORO, Ore. — Timberline High School standout Erik Stevenson steps onto the basketball court to compete.
It doesn't matter who the opponent is.
"That's just built into me," he says.
Stevenson, The Olympian's All-Area player of the year, showed the same grit that defined his high school career Saturday in the Merritt Truax Memorial Northwest Shootout.
Be the first to know.
No one covers what is happening in our community better than we do. And with a digital subscription, you'll never miss a local story.
The Wichita State signee finished with a game-high 33 points and 11 rebounds for the Washington boys, but it wasn't enough to shut down a sharp-shooting Oregon team, which won the annual contest 105-98 at Liberty High School.
"I wanted to come down here and play well. I thought I did that," said Stevenson, who added 4 steals and 3 blocks. "I made shots, I competed, I defended, I blocked a lot of shots."
But, for every rally Stevenson led the Washington squad on, Oregon answered emphatically, and often from the perimeter.
Oregon combined to shoot 16 of 35 (45.7 percent) from 3-point range, led by Portland State signee Kyle Greeley (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Western Oregon commit Jake Estep (24 points), who each nailed four 3-pointers.
"Every time you come down to Oregon you have to expect them to shoot the ball," Wilson's Emmitt Matthews Jr. said. "They're fundamental. They play really good basketball.
"They swing the ball right, and they knock down their shots, too."
Washington did not lead during the final 15 minutes of the game. Stevenson hit a triple to cut the advantage to 73-71 with 10:54 remaining, but Oregon fired back by stringing together four unanswered 3-pointers to keep Washington out of reach.
Oregon has won five of the past six meetings.
"Every time we got tied or cut it to 2 or 3 (points), they'd come down and hit two more (shots) because we didn't match up in transition," Stevenson said. "That comes with time and chemistry. It happens."
Washington entered the game as the favorite with several Division I recruits on its roster, while Oregon had just one.
Rainier Beach's Kevin Porter Jr., who will play at USC next season and dazzled scouts at a Nike Hoop Summit scrimmage earlier this week, finished with 19 points. He dunked five times in the first half, and pitched in 3 blocks and 3 assists.
Matthews, The News Tribune's All-Area player of the year, closed his high school career with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.
He announced his decommitment from UConn last month following a coaching change, but still has interest from several Division I programs, and was recently visited by West Virginia.
Rainier Beach's Tre Anderson (8 points, 7 assists) committed to San Francisco this week, Cleveland's CJ Elleby (10 points, 6 rebounds) is headed to WSU and Seattle Prep's Nic Lynch (11 points, 9 rebounds) will play at Lehigh.
"We have a lot of talent in this class. We have a lot of talent that wasn't even in this game from Washington," Stevenson said. "There's a lot of guys going to college, and we're going to be doing big things in the future."
Washington 97, Oregon 74: This may be the most talented class of seniors Washington has ever seen.
Led by Central Valley standout Lexie Hull, the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, a squad of college-bound players — nine of whom are headed to Division I programs — ran away in the second half.
"We've played against them forever, so to get the chance to get to know them the past few days was really fun," Hull said. "I wouldn't want to end a high school career any other way."
Hull, who was later named the game's MVP, tallied a double-double with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, and added 4 steals and 3 assists.
She and sister Lacie Hull (7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) led CV to a state and national titles this season. Both will play at Stanford next season.
The Hull sisters are two of four Pac-12 signees that played for Washington's squad, which has won nine of the last 11 contests against Oregon.
Moses Lakes' Jamie Loera (8 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) is headed to Arizona State, and Bellarmine Prep's Shalyse Smith signed with Arizona.
"It's definitely going to be fun to watch the next four years, and to get to play them the next four years," Lexie Hull said. "I'm excited.
"I think it just really shows how hard everybody works in Washington, and the expectations we set for ourselves."
Skyline's Jade Loville, bound for Boise State, complemented Hull with 23 points, including a handful of 3-pointers.
She said this group — which also included players committed to schools like Gonzaga, San Francisco and Idaho — brought a lot of intensity to Saturday's game.
"We saw the names on the paper," Loville said. "Once we were all in that building playing with each other and getting into practice, it was crazy to see the amount of talent we had all around. We didn't have one weak link."