. By Jeremy McDonald
MCMINNVILLE, Ore– There was a different sense to the McKay Royal Scots Sunday morning versus fellow Greater Valley Conference foe West Salem at Patton Middle School.
Though it was a Summer League game, and it doesn’t affect the standings in anyway whatsoever, the difference in McKay seemed there already.
With eight people on the bench, and without any guards, the Scots went to battle with the Titans.
Josaiah Castillo tied the game up at seven, Khyler Beach was driving to the hoop. There was a different feel for the Boys in the Green and Gold.
Some turnovers turned an early 18-all tie to 25-19 early in the second quarter as you saw confidence by McKay.
Castillo banged around the basket and laid-in the leather while being fouled. 25-21 West Salem 5:33 left in the opening half.
“It was good but we just need guys that drive to try to get kicks so we can get that other guy open for easier shots,” described Castillo on how his team drove to the basket.
Shaton Daniels blocks a shot as West rebound the block and made an contested hoop to go up 35-28 2:10 after the first half.
Boxing out for rebounds and turnovers seemed to slow the hustle and bustle of McKay entering the second half, but they kept battling.
“It was good, we just didn’t have enough guys with only eight guys we were gassed but we played great and hustled,” described Castillo on the hustling of his team.
Israel Garza hits a pair of free-throws midway through the third quarter to bring the Titan lead to 17 as Ryan Bangs and Daniels battle for a block down in the post minutes later as the Scots played ‘small’-ball against the height of West Salem.
Head Coach Dean Sanderson knows that his team has progressed physically and mentally, he knows that if they played as hard as they did in the first 15 minutes of the game for the whole game and limit the down times, his team would be really good come the regular season.
“If we get to the point where we can do that for an entire game like we did for the first 15 minutes I think we’ll be good,” said Sanderson. “I thought for most of the time, it was pretty good and I thought there was five or six minutes where we didn’t really do that.”
Though the scoreboard read 92-63, as McKay stepped out of the gym for a brief moment in between games and heard wise words from Coach Sanderson and Coach Matt Espinoza and a deep breath, the boys in the Green and Gold went back out for their Summer League scrimmage against McMinnville.
“It helps a lot so we know what to prepare for when the regular season comes up,” said Castillo on facing fellow GVC-Teams. “It gives us something to prepare for.”
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!