When Nate Sherwood wasn't at his best, West Albany proved that it has the depth to compete with anybody.
With Sherwood, the 6-foot-8 senior forward and Mid-Willamette Conference player of the year, playing through foul trouble for most of the game, the Bulldogs rallied to defeat Eagle Point 56-41 in the Class 5A boys basketball state quarterfinals on Thursday at Matthew Knight Arena.
Sherwood still finished with 11 points and six rebounds, helping West Albany (21-5) advance to the semifinals, where it will face top-ranked Jefferson at 3:15 p.m. today.
"You work all season to get here and when you get here you know you're going to run into great teams," West Albany coach Todd Zimmerman said. "What better challenge to try and overcome than seeing the No. 1 team and defending state champs on a Friday afternoon?"
The Bulldogs looked comfortable right away, going 6-for-8 from the field to build a 14-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. West Albany held Eagle Point without a basket for the first 5 minutes, 10 seconds and the Eagles never fully recovered.
Jorge Quintero and Cesar Chavez did their part to help Eagle Point erase most of its 12-point halftime deficit. Early in the third quarter, Chaves, a 5-foot-8 senior guard, connected on back-to-back three-pointers and later stole an inbounds pass for an easy layup that brought the Eagles within five.
Quintero scored eight of his 15 points in the second half, but Eagle Point (21-4) couldn't overcome a poor shooting performance to stay with West Albany. The Eagles, who set the school record for victories in a season, shot just 23 percent from the field (14-for-61).
West Albany shot 56.1 percent (23-for-41) for the game and held a 36-31 rebounding advantage.
The Eagles forced 23 turnovers and kept Sherwood largely in check.
"We play defense and we play hard and give ourselves a chance to win -- that's who we are," Eagle Point coach Bryan Wood said. "Sometimes we capitalize off of (turnovers) a little better and today we didn't capitalize off the turnovers very well and that hurt us."
Sophomore point guard JJ Stewart led West Albany with 14 points. Isaiah Edwards added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Chavez and Kramer Edwards had 10 points each for Eagle Point.