By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Oh what a day does to get a team fired up.
A day after their 4th-quarter collapse versus Estacada, the Stayton Eagles Boys Basketball team answered the bell as the boys exploded to a 50-25 mid-third quarter lead on Yakmia of Washington en route to a 69-58 victory to finish third in the Capital City Classic small-school division.
“It felt good,” said Aidan Hill. “(Yesterday) not being ourselves, just a lot of turnovers, a lot of sloppy play. We had that today too but we were able to make shots, play good defense, we just got to be able to do a better job finishing games. Just playing hard, we just got to finish games man.”
The Eagles committed 30-plus turnovers in the win and allowed Yakima to creep back into the game in the fourth quarter with the turnovers that were converted into quick points, some in Yakima territory.
But, they got time to fix some of those mistakes entering the their hosted Tournament that the Stayton Boys and Girls teams host every year; and Riley Nichol said that finishing third was great and all, but it showed where they can improve on and work on moving forward.
“We’re all got to know what we need to work on, the coaches told us, and I feel like if we really think about it, watch film and know what we need to work on; it’ll happen. It’ll just happen,” said Nichol.
As for the offense, behind Cade Nau and Jacob Claussen, the two seniors helped the offense get rolling as others followed. Jerry Daniel scored six straight points to start the second by just driving to the basket, Nichol and Kaleb Anundi used their height to grab rebounds and either put it back or passed it out to their guards.
“I would thank senior point guard Cade (Nau) and Jacob (Classen) both big leaders to help us through that. It’s always fun to have them clicking,” Nichol said of his seniors.
Classen had two points and Nau had roughly 20 points in the win.
For the time being, Stayton can enjoy finishing third in an always tough Capital City Classic and learn from the experience as they prepare for the December 28-30 tournament in Stayton.
“It feels good, knowing the skill level that we’re at, knowing that we have a different team from last year,” “Knowing the skill level that we got, it’s good to come in here and show what we’re made of, I think we could’ve showed a little bit more.
“But heading into league now, we got a couple more games until league, it feels good going into the position that we’re at.”
The Stayton Boys will host Scio to start the tourney December 28 at 730pm with the Lady Eagles playing Scio the game before at 6pm.