By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.– It came down to the wire between the undefeated Dayton Pirates Boys Basketball team and the 14-4 Amity Warriors Monday night in front of a screaming, packed crowd at Dayton High School.
The Pirates built a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Amity began to chip away at the lead.
The Warriors got to within seven before Zach Bernards drained a three to increase the lead back to ten with 5:50 left.
But, that’s when Amity began to really chip away at it. First to eight, then five, Dayton increased it to seven then eventually to three as it hovered to one possession as Dylan Stearns gave the Warriors a one-point lead and Brandon Wilson put them up three with 1:45 to go with the intensity of the game felt like that of a playoff game.
“Oh it was crazy,” said a breathless Stearns on the intensity of the game. “I can’t explain it, it was so hard.”
The Pirates weren’t done just yet as both sides traded blows in shots, and as the crowd grew louder with the time going down, the game was tied at 89 following Bernards shot as time entered its final 30 seconds.
Both sides coughed up the ball, but with time entered the final ten seconds, Clint Hatch found himself driving to the hole, and being contested and the time expiring the senior threw it up and it fell right through as Amity snaps the 19-game winning streak of Dayton as they surround and dog-piled Hatch underneath the hoop where he scored the game winning basket.
“I wasn’t really thinking, it was just a habit going up and getting it,” said Hatch. “It feels really good, it’s unbelievable.”
“The first game we sucked, we didn’t do very good,” said Stearns on the win this time around versus Dayton. “Then we played so much like a team and we knew they had an undefeated record, and I just need to take a breath its unbelievable.”
Though the frustration is there with their streak coming to an end, the Pirates know it’s just one game in the grand scheme of things as they go back to practice with refreshed eye and renewed sense of hunger.
“I mean, it’s horrible that we lost on our home floor especially to our rival, but definitely needed a teaching moment,” said Jalen Flowers. “This year, when you beat teams by a lot, it gets into your head, you get overly confident.
“Now, when we hit practice, we’re practicing that much harder, not slacking off, taking any days off thinking we’re better than everybody when you know there’s someone out there that can beat you. You play harder, you got that much more advantage, you don’t want to lose that much more and I think we gained a little of that now and we just have to look in the mirror now and try to figure out the problem and try to fix in the next practices.”
Amity is at home versus Willamina Wednesday at 7pm, while Dayton is on the road to Sheridan with a 7:30pm tip.
GIRLS BASKETBALL- Amity came out swinging versus their rival Dayton as they held a 6-2 lead early on the Lady Pirates to start the game, something that was awesome said sophomore Keely Graham as they found their groove offensively from the start.
“It was actually pretty awesome how we came out passing the ball, and finishing our shots,” said Graham who scored 12 points for the Lady Warriors Monday.
The lead was short-lived however as Dayton did too find their groove to take a 21-11 lead with 5:20 left in the half thanks to a 19-5 run.
Amity made a quick run as they cut it to single-digits off a Graham shot, but was answered by Shawnie Spink as she pushed the score to double-figures entering the second half. Spink would score a game-high 19 points.
The Pirates added to their lead to start the second half as they led by 19 at one point of the third before the Warriors cut it to ten moments later on a run as they enter the fourth quarter.
Dayton kept their composure as they managed to deny their rival of a comeback victory as they take their 14-game winning streak to Sheridan Wednesday night.
“It was really important to come out there, we’re getting better on becoming more of a first-and a second-half team,” said Lady Pirates Gabby Shadden. “Even if they get a lead, we just always come back. We just got to keep pushing and doing good.”