By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.–It was a week to forget for the McKay Basketball team to say the least.
This time last week, they were celebrating a epic win over South Salem as they sat towards the top of the Greater Valley Conference standings; now a week later, they are sitting 4-4 after three tough losses.
“It’s been really frustrating, but we just have to fight through it and keep going,” said Jordan Sampson on the frustrations on the week in general.
You saw the frustrations there Saturday versus Forest Grove as their intensity didn’t match that of the night before versus Sprague or a week ago versus the Saxons.
“We knew that coming in from the start that they’ll be a tough team to play and it was really frustrating that not all of our effort was there and that we should’ve had it in the first half,” said Hayden Hull, who had three points in the game Saturday.. “It took us until the second half to get that intensity back up and hopefully we can pick up the intensity the next practice to come up on West Salem on Tuesday.”
But, at 4-4 in the GVC Standings, and in a two-way tie with South for fourth, the Scots still have a lot to play for as they start this second leg of the season versus the Titans at home as they look to turn things back to how things were.
Back to their winning ways and having fun, and by looking at the faces of those athletes coming out of the locker room that night, you can tell they are already thinking about what they need to do to get back to when they were riding a five-game winning streak, back to scoring 90-plus a game, back to having the feeling that they were unbeatable while seeing their shot going down and their defense doing work.
To get there, it starts at practice as Hull points to more leadership from them as players.
“I think we need to show some more leadership in our practice,” starts Hull. “Instead of Coach getting after players, players getting after players and I think that’ll fire up the team and make this week a good week and get some wins against these teams coming up.”
To get there, it has it come from within. It has to come from their leaders, and for seniors like Noah Tavera, who had helped get something going in the second half Saturday for McKay, this could be it as they start their final eight games of the regular season.
“As a senior, I know I’m never ever going to play basketball at High School again,” said Tavera. “And so I got to remember I want to try as hard as I can to give it my all and hopefully next time, we’ll get better.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald