Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Les Schwab Invitational shows off prep basketball talent

Wilsonville High has built itself into an Oregon prep basketball powerhouse among small schools. And when the Wildcats took on national power Yates High School out of Houston, Texas, it looked for three quarters as if they would pull off the upset.

Using stifling defense and a red-hot shooting hand, Wilsonville played the Lions to a draw over the first 24 minutes of the game last month at the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro. Ultimately, the Lions, who feature a host of players bound for NCAA Divison One schools, pulled away in the final period to win 71-57. But the game actually was closer than the scoreboard might indicate.

Held at Liberty High School, the LSI tournament has grown into a nationally-regarded event and this year featured the consensus top prep team in the country in Oak Hill Academy from Mouth of the Wilson, Va. The event also featured some of Oregon’s top 5A and 6A schools, as the athletic ability on hand was higher even than the state championships held each year at the University of Oregon.

Along with the usual action shots, like  this photo gallery, I took some time to practice panning with running and jumping subjects. This involves slowing the shutter speed down, perhaps to one 15th or 30th of a second, and allowing   the camera follow the subject as he or she moves. By holding the camera steady as you pan you can get colorful streaking of varying lengths across the background. If you’ve done it right and focused on your subject correctly, it will be in acceptable focus despite the camera movement and slow shutter speed.

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