By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– Sixteen minutes.
That’s all McKenzie Reger, Katelyn Gray and Kelsey Pollard had left in their basketball careers at Scio High School.
It’s been a rough season yes, no doubt frustrating for the seniors who were used to going into the league playoffs and contending for the postseason every year until this season.
In the locker room at halftime, down 17-15 to Chemawa, Head Coach Jim White told his seniors and his team one thing:
“We just told everybody, ‘hey we got sixteen minutes left of your high school careers on this gym floor. You either going to let them back into this game or we’re going to put the pedal to the ground and try to beat them right now’, and they just went out there and they put the pedal down,” said White. “I said, ‘you could have regrets when the game’s over or celebrate when the game’s over and have fun, which one do you want to have?’
“They said, ‘celebrate and have fun’, and so I said, ‘let’s get out and go’.”
They walked out to the court and left no regrets, no what if’s as the Lady Braves weren’t going to steal their last chance for victory away from them.
Reger tied the game at 17, Gray gave the Lady Loggers their first lead of the game at 19-17 to set the pace.
Slowly the underclassmen got confident around their seniors, Bailey Davis put Scio up 20-17, Laurel Otto turned a steal into a wide-open lay-in to put the Lady Loggers up 22-17 before Gray scored on a contested lay-up to make it 24-17.
For Gray, after the game as she was greeted by friends and family, said it was surreal that Thursday night was her last high school basketball game.
“It hasn’t quite hit me yet that it was my last game ever because I’m use to going into the first-round of playoffs and having that being my last game, that’s how it’s been the past three years for me at least,” said Gray who finished with 14 points in the game.
“I’m going to miss playing with those girls, yeah they’re younger and I played with them this summer and got to know them pretty good and it was new but I’m going to miss playing with them,”
Reger hit a three and gave Coach White a high-five on her way back on defense that put Scio then up 12 at 29-17 in part of a 18-2 run that helped set the pace and tone for the remainder of the game.
During that stretch included a third-quarter in which the Lady Logger defense didn’t allow a single point defensively.
“I just say, ‘hey, we got one game to kind of put it all together’ and we did some good things tonight,” said White. “We moved the ball and we scored when we moved the ball so I think the younger kids just doing that and we played for the seniors tonight so we wanted to send them off on a good note.”
Davis scored five points in the game, Otto added another seven and Alexus Franklin scored four as the three freshman look to grow upon this season for their sophomore campaigns next season.
With 1:03 left, with the game in hand, White replaced Pollard, Reger and Gray to loud cheers from the crowd.
As the final 63 seconds ticked off with the young girls on the court in front of them, the three seniors walked away victorious one last time.
“It’s great, end it with a win instead of a loss since the season hasn’t really been good,” smiled Reger, who had 11 points in the win. “But to end it with a win is good.”
As they pass the torch to the younger girls for next season, Reger left behind one piece of advice:
“Just work together, have fun and just enjoy the season,” she said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald