By Jeremy McDonald
MEDFORD, Ore.–It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but McKay found a way to get it done.
Facing a Red Bluff team out-of-its-element without a Shot Clock, a usual component in California prep sports, the Scots got into their usual groove jumping out to a 20-10 lead early in the game but turnovers and eventually fouls from the second quarter into the fourth slowed McKay’s pace as Khyler Beach and Andre Tovar were on the bench much of the third quarter with fouls against the two seniors
“It was frustrating because we literally couldn’t play the game, espically in the fourth quarter. I don’t think there was one stretch where we went down-and-back without a foul being called and it ruined momentum,” said Beach on the game.
The bench players were cruical in trying to maintain the lead and trying to spark something in trying to put the nail in the figuitive coffin of the game as players like Taran Trumbly, KR Tipkins and Damian Rios to help overcome the foul troubles.
“We just stepped up and did what we usually do in practice and played hard,” said Trumbly as the lead did not dwindle less than nine-points for the remainder of the half.
Tovar and Beach would returned to the court to start the fourth with the Scots leading 57-42 and both sides traded blows in baskets, fouls that saw Tovar foul out and turnovers before Red Bluff made a run to cut it to a 69-61 lead with 3:48 left in the game.
McKay went back up 15 before the Spartans wheeled them back in to a resonable 11 point deficit with under two minutes to go in the ball game when the Scots did just enough to take the win.
With under two to go and the game and McKay up 11, there was a technical foul called that turned into a 7-2 run and a Scots 87-71 lead.
Beach shot those two free throws that helped the start the run that set up the 91-77 win Friday Night at North Medford, giving McKay some form of confidence and momentum entering the Championship game versus one of the two host teams in the Black Tornado of North Medford.
“It was very crucial because we’re playing a playoff team in North Medford tomorrow next and it’s going to be a tough game tomorrow,” said Beach. “But I think we’re going to rest up and be ready.”
The Black Tornado come into the game 10-1 with their lone loss being against West Salem, a team that the Scots believed they should have beaten themselves when McKay and the Titans played on December 12; and the biggest thing that the Scots know they could improve on for that game is rebounding, something that Red Bluff had the advantage in during Friday’s game.
“We can get more boards and keep going up and down the courts as hard as we can like we usually do,” said Trumbly.
Beach adds too that it starts in pre-game warm-ups and the last two games were indicative to the game versus Eagle Point and the Spartans.
“It starts with rest and warm-ups,” said Beach. “Our warm-ups the past two games haven’t been the best and we just got to be more intense in warm-ups and act ready to play.”
Tip-off is at 5:15pm at North Medford High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald