SALEM, Ore.– With coaches from North Salem and Sprague in attendance Tuesday night at McKay High School, they were treated to a show by the Royal Scots.
Down by 11 at one point in the second quarter, the McKay Boy’s Basketball team converted the deficit to a nine-point lead by the start of the fourth frame.
But, a 12-5 run by the Century Jaguars to start the fourth had all but erase the lead that the Scots (0-3) had created behind three three-pointers to overcome the “Martino Press” for a 89-80 victory with league coming up.
“Things were in the right direction, I think Coach (Jack) Martino’s intensity during practice is probably the reason that we got over the hump today,” said Head Coach Dean Sanderon. “That was a good team, I say a lot of credit goes to him.
“It was a step in the right direction (but) we’re not into moral victories here.”
After taking a two-point lead off in the beginning moments of the second; Century scored 21 of the next 26 points to take a 41-27 lead with two minutes to go.
Looking down and out, Tristen Wilson helped his team get within eight entering halftime with three late-second quarter points.
That was just enough juice to give McKay a spark.
Down 50-42 at the beginning part of the third, the rally was on.
Khyler Beach, Josaiah Castillo, Demeris Bailey and Wilson to name a few all contributed on a 15-0 rally that help the Scots not just tie the game, but to build a lead.
“We knew we had to step it up, just like the intensity yesterday at practice,” said Noah Tavera. “We were all positive and keep our minds towards that we knew we were going to win.
“We went forward and gave it all we got.”
That lead, stood at nine entering the fourth quarter. 63-54 McKay over Century.
Tavera described the environment on the bench as energetic with the belief that they could pull it off against a good Metro League team with the crowd support behind them.
“Century’s a good basketball team,” said Sanderson. “They’re going to be really competitive in the Metro League and probably the best league in the state.”
The Jaguars responded however.
After trading three’s Century hit back-to-back three’s to spark a 12-5 run to regained the lead for good against the pressing defense of the Scots.
“The game is never over when we’re playing it that style,” said Sanderson on the press. “I think we could’ve done a better job as when they are on a run looking for a great shot. We’re never going to stop doing that but I think we stop attacking there.”
McKay kept it within one or two possessions in the wanning minutes, but free throws late sealed the victory for the Jaguars.
With North Salem on Friday signaling the start of Greater Valley Conference play, Sanderson is confident his team is ready to play come tip-off with the press.
Despite giving up 89 points with the press, the 35 deflections sparked several runs for them Tuesday night.
“It gave us a run and the press is going to hurt us at times and the press is going to help us,” said Sanderson. “Against a team like (Century), it helped us tonight.”
“We need to do a better job of helping them, we got a young team. A lot of guys getting first varsity minutes, but I feel like we’re ready to go into league. We are ready to play.”
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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