By Jeremy McDonald
ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore.– If anything is certain when it comes to sports, that is on any given day a team can beat you; especially in the West Valley League where any of the teams are almost as tough as the next.
There was no doubt that when sixth-ranked Amity came made the trip along Highway 99 from the Amity/McMinnville-area to the Albany-area to start WVL-play against the third-ranked Eagles, they were in for a battle.
And as both teams neturalized each other entering the third quarter, the Warriors made the first strike by going up 36-24 on Santiam Christian.
“It just shows what kind of team we can be when we stick together and we all work together and play our kind of basketball,” said Zac Blake. “We can jump out on, I mean it’s a tough league but I think we can sneak up on just about anybody.”
But, what was brewing was the statement mentioned above about how tough these team’s are in the conference and the Eagles just found that next gear as Zach Baugher drained two of the next three’s as Santiam Christian hit five three-pointers in the third quarter to turn the 12-point deficit into a 47-41 lead entering the third.
That 23-5 run proved to be the difference maker in the contest Wednesday as the Warriors couldn’t draw the Eagles back in as they did early on in this game in the 60-45 defeat, just their second on the season.
“Turnovers and defense,” said Blake on what had happened. “I mean we came out and we knew (Baugher) was their shooter and we didn’t come out on him. So that’s just stuff we have to work on with communication in practice tomorrow and come out strong on Sheridan and just take on the league. It’s just going to come down to taking care of the ball and rebounding.”
Though this one burns like the Coquille-loss on December 19, and if Jaycen Nelsen was healthy perhaps he could have played a factor into if the contest going in a different direction, the loss Wednesday does serve as an eye-opener and fuel for their game Friday against Sheridan and a reminder that this league isn’t going to be easy to get those ‘W’s’ night-in and night-out.
“It shows how tough the league is. Our league is no joke. Every night, anybody can win,” said Blake. “Coquille was tough because a lot of us were sick and didn’t really have a good practice the night before that, but I think we can handle them at home the next time we get Santiam. We’ll watch some film on them and get better.”
The Warriors play the nightcap against the Spartans with the scheduled 7:30pm tip on Friday night for their league home-opener before traveling to Dayton Monday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald