By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Cade Nau made his return to the court Thursday after battling the flu leading up to the Capital City Classic tournament at Willamette University this week, and the Stayton Eagles used his leadership to lead most of Thursday’s game versus Estacada.
Nau knew his absence yesterday left a huge hole on the floor as Stayton found a way to fill his shoes in the victory over Seton Catholtic to start the tournament.
“Yesterday we lacked my spot on the floor, so coming in today, leading my team was important,” said Nau.
Behind Nau, the Stayton team built a four-point lead on a Ranger team that defeated them to start the season; and for most of the third quarter and into the fourth, the Eagles held a one-,two-,three-possession lead on Estacada as the young Eagles looked to continue their winning ways.
“Oh you got to love the heart that this team has, the team chemistry is unlike any team I’ve ever been apart of,” said Nau. “ But, at the end of the fourth quarter, emotionless and it came to bite us in the butt. So we got to work on that. Play four quarters all the way through it.”
What happen during the fourth quarter would frustrate and upset anyone involved.
Slowly, the Rangers got into a groove and took advantage of miscues by Stayton as the Eagles saw the lead they’ve been holding on to, shrink and disappear as Estacada built a five-point lead en route to victory, snapping Stayton’s four-game winning streak.
But you can tell that they won’t dwell on this loss for too long as they look to go back to their winning ways and continue to bring Stayton Boys Basketball back to greatness.
“This is my third year and we’ve been .500 for a couple of years and I’m freaking tired of it,” said Head Coach Joe Kiser. “I’m tired of being .500, I’m ready to get Stayton back to where I think we’re very close to where we want to be.
“And that’s winning league titles, competiting for playoffs, we just got to get a little bit tougher.”
Nau adds to it that it’s about learning from these experiences to get better for the next game, in this case Friday at noon versus Lakeview of Washington.
“Just learn from it, we only lost by four points to the number one team in the State,” he said. “We cut our turnovers in half and pick up the defense a little bit. Learn from this loss and go into tomorrow hungry and we’ll just be great.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald