MEDFORD, Ore.– After eight games, three of which the McKay Scots were a basket away from that Hundo-Burger they’ve been craving all year, they finally got it Thursday to close out the Abby’s Holiday Classic Thursday afternoon at South Medford High School.
“Cracking 100 is good,” said Shaton Daniels on the achievement. “For a team like us, being close to every game we’ve won, we were close to getting 100. This game, it feels good to get hundred.”
Daniels scored 12 points in the contest and was one of six Scots who scored in double-figures in the win.
But they would need every, single one of those points and those from everyone in general as they were in a shootout with Reynolds to end the tournament.
The pace was set at fast-paced as both teams tried to wear the other out. Neither bowed down or out as both kept it to a two-to-three possession game.
The Scots seemed to have wore out the Raiders in the third quarter as they turned a 47-41 deficit entering the third quarter to a 74-68 lead entering the final eight minutes.
But, an issue for McKay that need to work on moving forward, is to learn to how play with the lead because Reynolds rallied back into contention with a 14-4 lead to take a 82-78 lead thanks to a combination of mental errors with fouls, turnovers and shots not falling.
“We obviously got a lot to work on in situations on how to handle being ahead,” “We didn’t do a very well at that at the end of the game, at the end of regulation. We got a little luck there and made the most of it in overtime. We played really well in overtime.”
How they got to overtime to win this game was a very interesting and very tense-ful.
After a miss McKay three-pointer, Reynolds was fouled rebounding the ball with 0.3 left in the game with the game tied at 92 apiece following a late Scot push to get back into it.
Game over right? Not necessarily.
Sanderson pulled off some Greg Popovich hardball as he used his last two timeouts back-to-back to ice the Raiders Jorge Crawford with the both sides holding their breath.
It paid off. Crawford missed both free throws as time expired.
What seemed like game a moment ago on the faces of everyone turned into confidence for the Scots as in the four-minute overtime period as they outscored Reynolds 23-10 to win the fourth-place trophy and improve to 6-2 on the season.
“I thought it was a good game for us to get better for the next game,” said Castillo. “So it was really important.”
Daniels points to how they progressed to this point over the three-day tournament after starting off slow Tuesday.
“Coming into the tournament after a two-week break, we started off slow,” adds Daniels. “First game was kind of going through the motions for us, second game we got better, this game we showed McKay can be a good team.”
They can enjoy this win, enjoy matching last year win total, but it’s back to work Friday as the team loads the bus for Saturday’s home game versus Crescent Valley (4-3) with another tough test ahead.
“So Crescent Valley last time I looked were a Top 10 5A team, so it’s a big game for us,” said Sanderson. “It’s a easy game to kind of go through the motions on, it’s on New Years Eve, it’s different, it’s a 3 O’Clock game on a Saturday. We have to play well, it’s the most important game we play.”
As they pull out of South Medford High School, the question will be asked if they’ve stopped at In-N-Out, and the answer is yes, the first night. As for Sanderson,he shares what he gets from the fame burger place.
“Oh the Double-Double Animal-Style man,” smiled Sanderson.
Tip-off for their next focus point against the CV Raiders is at 3pm Saturday at McKay High School.
MCKAY SCORERS- Castillo-23. Beach-17. Garza-15. Tovar-14. Daniels-12. Hull-12. Bangs-8. Sampson-8. Beaty-3. Joel-3
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PHOTOS BY JEREMY MCDONALD