By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– In a battle of two teams vying for a promise of a playoff spot come next week, number 31 West Albany and number 32 McKay found themselves in a dogfight throughout the game.
The score was tied at 11 after one, the Bulldogs took a 31-27 lead into the halftime break. The Scots stormed back and took a one point lead into the fourth as they held a five point lead with five to go.
West Albany tied things up at 54 and both sides traded baskets as we were tied at 58 with a little more than three minutes to play when things got interesting.
McKay was on defense and fouled a Bulldog in attempt to make the points earned at the line instead of in play, but off-the-ball there were some commotion as the Scots were called for two technical fouls when the Scots crowd and Head Coach Dean Sanderson were asking why it wasn’t a technical on both teams?
But the two technical stood after the debate as the Bulldogs regained the lead with a four point lead at 62-58. McKay battled, keeping it to a one possession game as they were force to foul in order in trying to get the ball back to score again in the final minute.
Down 68-63 with under ten seconds to go, Andre Tovar hit a three with five seconds to go with the strategy to foul and hope West Albany doesn’t make more than one free throw to give them a chance to tie or win the game.
However, as Tovar hit the three with the time trickling below five seconds, the clock didn’t stop. It continued to run out despite the yelling of the crowd and from Sanderson to stop it, forcing McKay to pick up their third technical foul by reaching over the end-line to foul to stop the clock.
“I mean there wasn’t anything we could have done, just try to play hard and trying to get a stop on the defensive end,” said Israel Garza. “It was real frustrating you know, we came off a big win on Friday night, but we just got to come out this next week and hopefully get the win against South (Salem).”
Sanderson pleaded for it to not be a technical because they had to stop the clock because it didn’t stop after the Tovar three, the ref stuck to the rule book and awarded the technical. The Bulldogs missed on both as the 0.5 seconds on the clock was put back to 2.2 seconds, but West Albany milked the clock for the 68-66 victory.”It was real frustrating, we came off a big win on Friday night but we just got to come out this next week and hopefully get the win against South (Salem).”
“We just got to take the sting and we just got to come in more focused, we were obviously the better team but we weren’t prepared,” said Damian Rios. “We just came in and thought we were going to walk all over them. They are a good team, but for the next game we got to be more focused and more prepared. South is a better team and beating them will move us up in the rankings.”
Despite the result, both teams dropped a spot in the rankings. The Bulldogs to 32, The Scots to 33 with West Albany playing Forest Grove next and McKay’s traveling to play #18 South Salem Tuesday.
The Scots remember that 101 points that the Saxons put on them on January 12 and will use that as fuel as they fume over this loss over the next week leading up to that game.
“We’re definitely going to use it as fuel, we’re going to practice better than we did. Last time we played South, we’ve gotten better in each game and it proved it. We’ve gotten better as each game as gone on,” said Garza.
“We just got practice, put ourselves into some fourth quarter situations and see what kind of situations we can do against South, they beat us pretty bad last game and we’re about to come out strong and better than we did last time,”