By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– It was a battle to close out the season for the Scio Loggers for Senior Night, maybe a little too close for comfort for the Scio squad looking to build some momentum for the league playoffs after Gervais’ loss to Blanchet Catholic gave the Loggers assurance that win-or-lose that they were in.
Lance Grossman gave Scio a brief 43-41 lead with 3:20 to play in the game as seconds later Garrett Harrison received an controversial second technical by the sounds from the Logger home crowd that allowed the Braves to knot it up at 43.
Defense proved to be crucial as both sides wanted that last shot to go their way between the shooting guards that the Chemawa Braves had that would try to squeeze in for a lay-in versus the run-and-pound, trying to find the open guy game-plan the Scio Loggers were playing
“I was really tempted to go out and block it, but just got to stay calm and try to take the charge,” said Lukas Binau who was in late in trying to make a stop or two down in the post.
The Great Dane was called upon after being fouled to possibly give Scio the lead back with 2:03 remaining in the game.
Having played 10 years of basketball, the majority back home in Denmark, the pressure free throws here Stateside was a little unique for Binau.
“It’s very different, in Denmark there’s not a huge crowd. I didn’t play high school basketball there I played club, it’s a very different feeling,” described Binau on the moment. “There’s a huge crowd cheering for you, there’s a lot of pressure.”
But no worries, Binau drains both to give Scio a 45-43 lead and Grossman pushed the lead to 46-43 going one-for-two from the line. Chemawa cut it to 46-45 after a weird situation that saw double fouls called when the Loggers was on offensive and the Braves were on defense with 1:11 left in the game.
The pressure was on for both teams and more so on the defensive side for Scio following Grossman’s back-to-back missed free throws knowing the Braves could hold for the last shot.
Chemawa did not do that as Grossman makes his next two to give his team a three-point lead to redeemed himself after the two prior misses with 30.7 seconds left in the game.
“It just felt really good because after I missed those two free throws I was like, ‘oh crap, maybe they have a chance to comeback’. But I just thought, ‘alright, got to stay composed, we got to get this win for my team. We got to get the Seniors going out with a bang’,” said Grossman with Scio up 48-45. “It was awesome to see the Seniors last game at Scio, go out with a win, it was kind of cool. It was nice to see.”
Going back on defense, it came down to the final stop for the win.
The Braves moved the ball around, trying to find that last possible shot to force overtime. They found a big enough window and released. No good as Scio rebound the ball as the buzzer went off and the Logger crowd cheered their Scio Boys team as they walked off the court one last time in front of the home crowd.
“Definitely the boards helped us at the end with Garrett Harrison, he helped us out a lot with the boards and being a scrappy as he could in the 2-3 zone so it was kind of nice to see that. That really helped us a lot,” said Grossman on the defensive effort during the game.
In terms of momentum it was big in that the Loggers snapped a three-game losing streak entering the League Playoffs versus Colton next week.
“It was very big,” said Binau. “We have not won a lot of games this season so every win counts as motivation.”
But, it’ll be interesting to see how they come out without a major key in Harrison who will have to sit out a game because of receiving two technical fouls in the game versus the Braves Thursday night in a loser-goes-home game versus the Vikings.
“It’s kind of hard trying t replace Garrett but we just got to trust in all of our teammates that best we can,” said Grossman on how they can step up to replace Harrison in his absence.