By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Andre Tovar yet again showcased why he’s an overlooked guard this season.
After scoring 24 points in the season opener against Lakeridge, Tovar again was on fire as he opened up the game against North Salem with 11 straight point as McKay led 11-0 within the first two minutes of the game against the Vikings.
“Coach tells us everyday to keep an edge every time espically with our Willamette game, we let down the lead and it almost cost us a loss so I told the whole team we got to keep our heads in,” starts Tovar. “And I just keep that mentailty in the first quarter and I didn’t really recongize it until halftime, they told me and I just had to keep going and just keep adding points.
Tovar credits his teammates in setting him up through driving to the hole and feeding him the ball as he finished the first half with 15 points with the other 14 coming in the second half.
North Salem did not score their first points until the 4:05 mark of the game when Braden Vasquez scored his lone two points of the game to make it then 13-2 McKay as the game slowed down a bit.
Both sides traded fouls and turnovers in the game as neither could capitalize much as the Scots led 19-6 after one and 38-21 after two, and the Vikings, as frustrating as it was to get turnovers from a McKay squad that pushes tempo with their zone, they couldn’t finish the opportunities given to them to cut further into the deficit than nine points a few times during the first half.
“It was hard, it was hard you know we tried playing our pace but our pasce wasn’t good enough,” said North Salem’s JD Drioji who scored 12 points in the 74-49 loss Friday night. “The way we can work on that is to go into practice, watching film and be ready the next time we play them.”
North Salem, who had high hopes entering this season of picking up a few wins this season with the talent and confidence they’ve had, 0-4 to start the year was not what they were expecting as they prepare for McNary Tuesday in Keizer.
“It’s a hard way to start the season, but it’s also a motivation for us to keep going. We got a motivation to motivate us just to try hard to get a win, get a couple of wins this season,” said Drioji. “Just keeping our heads up, just by going to the gym everyday working hard, working through our plays. Just bring up the intensity every time we play.”
The Scots, how they’ve played against the last two games in almost surrendering a 38-27 halftime lead to Willamette and not play sharply against the Vikings is not going to fly well when West Salem comes across the Marion Bridge Tuesday.
McKay remembers the 110-77 loss to the Titans on their home-court last year, but the core group of kids from last year’s team too remembers that 99-98 win at West towards the start of the year in that 10-3 beginning, all they need to do is clean it up to have a chance Tuesday.
“We just got to come out and play the way we know we can,” said Khyler Beach who added 20 in the win Friday Night. “We played them good last year and we kept pushing the pace and not letting mistakes get us down.”
North Salem’s six-foot-six post player Tameron Hampton scored 10 points as the second leading scorer as the Scots are the lone undefeated team left from the Greater Valley Conference at 3-0.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald