No. 7 seed Nathan Hale High School upset No. 1 seed Sierra Canyon to win the Les Schwab Invitational 67-65 on Friday night. The Seattle school is coached by former Trail Blazer Brandon Roy, whose first year of coaching has thus far been a whirlwind success. The Raiders are 8-0 this season, due in large part to the addition of Roy as head coach and the addition of their 6’9” star senior Michael Porter.
Porter tallied 27 points and 15 rebounds against Sierra Canyon and, according to a staff report on maxpreps.com, averaged 32.0 points and 16.7 rebounds per game throughout the course of the tournament.
The Raiders were down by as many as 11 points in the final matchup, relying on their talents and Roy’s experience in tight spots to mount a comeback; it was a story that Blazer fans know by heart.
Brandon Roy celebrates with his team after Nathan Hale's win in @LSInvitational pic.twitter.com/qBnoRFkWHE— Mike Tokito (@mtokito) December 31, 2016
As one might expect, Roy was immensely proud of his players after the win, citing the adversity of their previous season and how far the team had come, per Mike Tokito of The Oregonian:
“This team’s never been in a big national tournament, and when I told them we were going to play in one, they were excited about it,” Roy said. “Our whole school, they were supporting us, people have been texting me all day say, try to win it. It’s great for these kids to go back to school Monday with a championship. The team was 3-19 last year, and they beat one of the top teams in the country.”
The Raiders now return to Seattle to make a run at an undefeated season. Porter, who committed to Roy’s alma mater, the University of Washington, in November, will have the opportunity to build on an already stellar year. He is currently listed at No. 2 in ESPN’s recruiting database.
The season is still young and a lot of basketball is left to be played. With a major victory in the LSI, the Raiders are more than a blip on the national radar.