A 4A boys basketball championship game preview? With the top two teams in the Cowapa League, it usually is.

The first meeting of the season between Banks and Seaside went to the Braves, who held off a Seaside rally, then pulled away for a 54-42 win Thursday night at Banks.

The last three state championship games at the 4A level (2017, 2018, 2019) have featured an all-Cowapa League final, including the 2019 title game, when the Braves beat the Gulls.

Banks led 14-4 after one quarter in Thursday's showdown, saw its lead whittled to 26-25 in the third quarter, then went on a 24-5 run to rebuild a 50-30 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Braves struggled at the free throw line (4-for-11 during the second and third quarters), while the Gulls missed six of their first eight attempts.

The teams exchanged five 3-pointers in a one-minute span in the second period, featuring treys from Seaside juniors Cash Corder, Ever Sibony and Conner Langmo.

After the Gulls pulled to within 26-25, the Braves reeled off a 15-3 run.

Banks had key second half scores from Tyler Exline and Cooper Gobel.

Loggers 57, Nestucca 44

Knappa led from start to finish in a Northwest League basketball game Wednesday with a 57-44 win over visiting Nestucca.

The Bobcats were within 13-12 after one quarter, but the Loggers went on a 29-7 run over the next quarter-and-a-half, building a 42-19 lead midway through the third quarter.

Shane McMahan had 13 points to lead a balanced Knappa attack, with Brandon Gale adding 11 points, followed by Logan Morrill with 10. Eight Loggers made it into the scoring column.

Knappa improved to a league-best 4-1 overall, and the Loggers control their own destiny over the other three teams in the west half of the league.

It was a “big win for the league standings,” said Knappa coach Paul Isom. “Great group effort tonight. The plan was to sub a lot early and it paid off in the third quarter. We were able to get out and run and get some easy buckets.”

The Loggers play a nonleague game Friday at Kennedy, which “should be a good test to see where we are at about halfway through the season,” Isom said.

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