The Portland Chinooks’ David Fisher goes up for a shot over the Southern Oregon All-Star’s Tony Akbar and Aaron Barlow (5) as Keith Young (1) looks on during the International Basketball League game at Kids Unlimited on Thursday. - Jamie Lusch

Chinooks race to victory

It was basketball at breakneck speed Thursday night at Kids Unlimited.

The Portland Chinooks, an International Basketball League team, ran up and down the court, pausing only to deposit the ball in the hoop, en route to a 145-116 victory over the Southern Oregon All-Stars.

The Southern Oregon squad, made up mainly of former Southern Oregon University and Oregon Tech players, held its own against the minor league professionals early in the contest but couldn't overcome the height, athleticism and 3-point shooting of the Portland unit.

The two teams also played Wednesday night in Klamath Falls, with Portland holding on for a 172-165 victory.

"It was definitely a good time," said All-Star player Don Guy, a standout point guard for SOU in 1999. "If you look at the teams, we're not organized or anything. Half of the guys here tonight weren't even at our practice. Who knows what we could do if we had more time to play together."

The exhibition games were brought to Southern Oregon to showcase the Portland team and possibly pave the way toward Medford welcoming an IBL squad.

IBL commissioner Mikal Duilio had not yet been contacted by anyone interested in starting a franchise but was hopeful Thursday's game was a starting point for a future area team.

"I haven't heard anything yet," said Duilio. "We'll wait and see.

"But we hope to come back here next year and do this again. We could get more seats next to the floor and fill those up so people can get up and excited for it."

Spectators in the half-full gymnasium had the chance to see the up-tempo style of play synonymous with the IBL. They also got to witness the play of former collegiate stars hoping to further their professional careers.

One spectator, Eric Fiegi, knows about the IBL firsthand. The former South Medford High and Corban College all-star led the IBL in scoring in 2006 while with Salem.

"I think something like this would do well in Medford," said Fiegi, who has turned his time in the league into a successful career overseas. "If you get enough local guys that people can recognize and get behind, I think it could be successful."

"It's tough, though," Fiegi added. "Our first couple games (in Salem), we had 1,000-plus people come out and watch. After that, it fizzled out a little."

David Lucas, a former Oregon State star, is using the IBL as a warm-up for a shot at the NBA or another professional contract playing overseas.

"This is to stay in shape and ready," said the 6-foot-8 Lucas, who scored 51 points Wednesday and added 31 more in Thursday's win. "I'll try to do the NBA summer league thing and see how it works."

On Thursday, Lucas and his teammates fell behind in the opening minutes but flexed their muscles from there on out.

Southern Oregon jumped to a 6-2 lead in the first two minutes before buckets by Lucas and Marc Williams, a former Indiana University of Pennsylvania player, put Portland ahead to stay.

Williams was on the finishing end of several soaring, one-handed slam dunks that brought oohs and aahs from the crowd.

Guy tried to keep his squad in it, scoring a quick five points to open the second period as Southern Oregon got within 36-29.

But Portland responded with a 3-pointer from former University of Massachusetts forward Brennan Martin, and Williams later sank another trey as time wound down in the half to extend the Chinooks' advantage to 71-53 at the break.

Southern Oregon would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the way.

Williams led the way for Portland with 32 points, while Mario Vargas had nine assists and Lucas had nine rebounds. Kenny Tate added 25 points, 11 assists and nine boards.

For Southern Oregon, Guy finished with 30 points, Daveon Fleming added 21 points and five assists and Tony Akbar had 13 points and seven rebounds. Brian McLoughlin contributed a team-high 11 boards.

The two victories over Southern Oregon count towards Portland's record, moving the Chinooks to 8-10 on the season. Portland is in second place in the five-team Southwest Division.

PORTLAND (145) — Vargas 17, Williams 32, Tsuchimine 7, L. Smith 8, Fisher 8, Lucas 31, Samuels 1, Martin 6, D. Smith 10, Tate 25.

SOUTHERN OREGON (116) — Woodard 7, Akbar 13, Young 8, Guy 30, Dukeshire 10, Barlow 0, Alexander 6, McLoughlin 7, Espinoza 14, Fleming 21.

Portland 35 36 45 29 —145

Southern Oregon 24 29 27 36 —116

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail

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