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Tualatin star Noah Ogoli ‘continued to work’ and ‘didn’t hold back’ throughout his senior season — and it paid off with a 6A boys basketball state title

“This year, I feel like he took matters in his own hands. And after football, he said, ‘I want a ring.’ I think that was his motivation.”
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By Dan Brood | Photos by Ken Waz 

Maybe Noah Ogoli is a bit of a perfectionist. 

The Tualatin senior guard said it wasn’t his best game, that he missed a few easy shots. 

Well, if it wasn’t his best game, it was still pretty darn impressive.

And it might be a big reason the Timberwolves claimed their first boys basketball state championship. 

The 6-foot-1 Ogoli capped his standout senior season with an amazing, clutch performance, as he helped lead Tualatin to a 66-49 win over previously unbeaten Summit in the Class 6A state championship game Saturday at the University of Portland’s Chiles Center

“This means a lot. I’ve grown up playing basketball, and this was always a goal of mine,” Ogoli said during the Tualatin victory celebration. “I’ve grown up watching people play here, and I knew that I wanted to play here. It just feels great to be here and win it all with all of my guys.” 

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Ogoli scored a game-high 24 points. He had nine rebounds, four steals and three assists in the victory. 

“Nah, I don’t think this was my best game,” said Ogoli, who, like many of his teammates, was part of the Tualatin football team that lost to Central Catholic in the Class 6A state championship game in the fall. “It was good, but I missed a lot of easy shots. I kept attacking the basket and staying aggressive. I think that helped me a lot.” 

It might be tough to convince Summit that it wasn’t Ogoli’s best game – or convince his Tualatin teammates, for that matter. One thing’s for sure: His Timberwolves teammates definitely appreciate him. 

“I’m just so proud of him. He wanted this so bad, and he got it,” Tualatin senior post Kellen Hale said. 

“He’s the best point guard in the state, in my opinion,” Tualatin senior post Ashton Rose said.

Ogoli sure seemed to play that way early in the state championship game.

He started the contest ablaze. Ogoli scored the first points of the game, finishing an aggressive drive to the hoop. He then scored eight points in the final 3 minutes and 25 seconds of the first quarter. He also had five rebounds and two steals, and he assisted on a layup by junior Josiah Lake, helping the Timberwolves sprint to a 17-9 lead at the end of the opening period.

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“I came out confident,” Ogoli said. “I knew what we wanted to do, and I stayed aggressive and tried to draw fouls. We knew that their guards couldn’t guard our guards.” 

Ogoli also finished the contest strong, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter – including a key steal and layup with 1:40 remaining – to help the Timberwolves fight off Summit’s comeback attempt and pull away for the state-championship victory. 

“I was super excited for this,” Ogoli said with a smile.

It could almost be fitting that Ogoli had such a performance in the final game of his senior season.

While it’s his third season on the Tualatin varsity, Ogoli seemed to elevate his game to a whole new level as a senior.

“It was just his time for it to click in, and it was his time to ride,” Rose said.

“This year, I feel like he took matters in his own hands,” Hale said. “And after football, he said, ‘I want a ring.’ I think that was his motivation.”

Ogoli sure seemed to play like he was motivated – very motivated – this season. 

During the regular season, he averaged a team-best 16.3 points while also averaging 2.8 assists per game, helping him earn first-team all-Three Rivers League honors. 

You can add that to a couple postseason honors, as he was a second-team all-state tournament selection and he was named the 2022 OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union Basketball State Championships Moda Health Player of the Game for the state championship contest.

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All of those accolades didn’t come without a lot of hard work – just ask Tualatin coach Todd Jukkala. 

“They all work at their game,” Jukkala said. “Noah works at his game, Malik (Ross) works at his game. All of these guys worked at their games, and they got better. They lost their junior year, we played sort of a season, but we didn’t have a tournament. But they all found ways to get the work in. We talked to them about it and said, ‘This is what it is, but are you going to be ready when the time comes?’ And they all worked, and they got better, and Noah is one of those guys. And he’s still going to get better. He’s going to move on and he’s going to play at another level, and he’s going to get better, because he works at it.”

“I just continued to work,” Ogoli said of his senior season. “Every year, I wanted to progress in every category. And in my senior year, I felt like I couldn’t hold back.”

Noah Ogoli didn’t hold back, and maybe because of that, he ended up holding the state championship trophy.