By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Stayton opened Day one of the Capital City Classic against a tough pressing team in Seton Catholic of Washington, but the Eagles were managing to work around that press that SC was throwing their way to lead the game 32-19 by the half.
“It was fun, good lead,” said Riley Nichol. “We really figured out how they’re going to play and we covered it.”
Stayton led it 36-20 with 6:08 left in the third tostart the second half to continue their success against the press their opposition was tossing their way.
But mental lapse’s with fouls and turnovers allowed Seton to cut into the Eagle lead by the fourth with the lead down to nine.
“This is a good team but we just lost focus and we played not our ball, and we just kept shooting,getting random stuff,” said Jerry Daniels. “We just didn’t play our ball, we played their ball and we had to work harder to keep the lead that we wanted.”
Slowly it was down to five with 4:14 left in the game, then three.
But The Eagles of Stayton kept fighting as Jerry Daniels would put Stayton back up four with 3:15 left then six when he turned a steal to two as SC hit a three.
The Eagles ran back on the court as Kaleb Anundi one-handed dunk the ball as Seton lays it up as Eagles led it by three with 1:48 left in the game.
Nichol was fouled as he hits one of two to put Stayton up one with 75 seconds left in the game that he followed with a sick block with 1:04 left.
SC cut the lead to three as Daniels rebounds the miss on the second free throw as Daniels makes one of two himself with 44.7 left. Nichol put Stayton up 5 as Seton made a three.
Nathan Hendricks hit both free throws to put Eagles up four, but SC to cut it to two with 8.5 left.
However, Kurtyus Hernandez would ice the win with a pair of Free throws to have Eagles win 62-58.
“We should’ve kept our lead from half that we had,” said Nichol. “We had a solid lead going into halftime, but we let it slip a little bit. But clutch free throw shooting at the end got us the win.”
The frustrations and this fight they had there late will motivate them for Thursday’s game versus Estacada at 2:30 as Stayton looks to avenge their season opening loss to the Gladiators back at Willamette University.
And one thing is for certain on how they can come out mentally sharp and ready to go:
“Just come out focused and prepared that’s all,” described Daniels on how the Eagles can come out swinging Wednesday.
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