By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– McKay has been on to something in changing up their strategy.
Instead of their up-tempo system that can make the simplest of High School games into a border-line real life NBA 2K video game, they slowed the game down to a near crawl; the second time the Scots have done this in back-to-back games after doing the same to Sprague Friday evening.
The student section for the Titans yelled out for some kind of speed to the game as the clock slowly ticked away, but it worked in favor of McKay as they built a 31-20 lead on West Salem.
“Just our confidence,” said the Scots Andre Tovar on the first half. “In our head thinking that we are always going to make that next shot and don’t rush anything and make them set it up. That’s where our system work in the game and that’s how I got open, (Ryan) Bangs, Drioji (Joel) and (Khyler) Beach.”
Tovar hit on four three-pointers in the second quarter as the senior finished with 18 points in the game as McKay looked to snap a four-game skid and looking for their second win of the 2018 calendar year.
West Salem however, though the scoreboard was not in their favor in the opening minute or two of the quarter, found a spark in what started as a 5-0 run to cut it to 31-25 as they started to speed up the game and began to feed off of their home crowd.
“First half, we weren’t playing our game, we were playing their game. We played slow and then in the second half we just wanted to speed it up,” starts Titans Kyle Greeley. “We wanted to play our game and once we got the crowd into it we just took off from there.”21
Greeley, Zac Bulgin and Justin Scoggin were finding the bottom the net as Tovar and company were in the first half for the Scots with the game was tied after three at 38.
Scoggin gave West Salem their first lead since the second quarter with a three as another Titan three gave West a 44-38 lead during a 24-7 momentum changing run as they pushed it to 10 during the fourth.
McKay slowed the Titan’s momentum down, but couldn’t make another deep cutting run as they did in the first half as they had to resort to giving up foul shots into order to try to hopefully do as they dropped their fifth-straight game and sixth in their last seven.
“We just got to keep up our energy and just keep playing the way we know how to play and keep hustling,” said the Scots Ryan Bangs.
McKay will play host to Forest Grove Friday, who lost 61-41 to South Salem Tuesday night. Beach led all Scot scorers with 19 points, Tovar had 18 and Izzy Garza had 17.
As for West Salem, they will be traveling to The Furance to play McMinnville and are two-games behind the Titans for third-place, will look to slow down the Titans Friday night following their 16-point win versus Glencoe Tuesday.
“We got seven games left in league, every game is important,” said Greeley as West sits two-games behind Sprague for first-place. “At McMinnville, a tough place to play, we just got to keep doing what we did in the second half every game.”
Greeley finished with 19, 15 in the second half. Bulgin had 12 points, all coming in the second half while Scoggin too had 19 points in the win.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald