By Jeremy Mcdonald
STAYTON, Ore.–For much of the second half, it was a Cat-and-Mous game of Stayton jumping out to a nice lead only to have rival Cascade rally back to within a possession.
But with 2:13 left in the game, Stayton seemed to have put the game away up 14 points and the Cougars seemed to be out for the count.
For Aidan Hill and the Eagles, though the lead was there, they weren’t counting out Cascade themselves as Stayton looked to get a victory over a Cougar team that they haven’t had in years.
“We know people are going to make runs like that, basketball is a game of runs and things aren’t going to go your way,” said Hill. “But at the same time we knew had to battle adversity, we had to finish out that game because we wanted nothing more than to come out with a ‘W’ because Stayton hasn’t beaten Cascade in over ten years.”
And that’s what happened, the game of runs had one last run in it and it was up to Stayton to stop it.
“It’s excited to be able to give last bit of energy we all had to come out with that good win,” Hill added on the excitement of being able to squeeze it out.
Even Head Coach Joe Kiser expressed his excitement for the victory
“At the moment I’m pretty ecstatic,” “I remind the guys often of how long it’s been since we’ve beat those guys. I have tremendous respect for Coach (Steve) Ball and the program’s he’s built.
“The guys came out on a mission, our backs been against the wall with the record in league and they really wanted it. The seniors played well tonight. Cade Nau had 11 rebounds, he led us in board and he came out on a mission and closed that game out for us.”
From the other side, you saw the frustrations on the faces of Cascade as they wanted this game as badly as the Eagles did; but they know as well that the deficit was too much to overcome late as they look to finish the season strong.
“Our team wanted it as bad as they did,” said Ball. “But we kind of put ourselves down early on and we fought back and that’s kind of where we ended up.
“(If we) play every minute like we did those last few minutes, that’s the best way to finish the season.”
Cascade (8-8, 4-3 Oregon West Conference) will be at home Tuesday versus Newport for a 5:30pm tip. For Stayton (10-9, 3-4), they’re on the road to Yamhill-Carlton Tuesday night for a 6:30pm tip.
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos by Jeremy McDonald