SALEM, Ore.– To start the playoffs, West Salem had to find a way to overcome the fast start that Clackamas had as the Titans found themselves in a 10-2 hole to the Cavaliers.
But Slowly but surely, West Salem found their shot and switched up their defense entering the second half up 38-34.
“We just started running the floor and got quick ‘And One’s’ and got some buckets in transition. We got the fans involved, got our energy up,” said Tyke Thompson in his final home game of his prep career. “It was fun, it was fun. It was a good enviornment tonight, the fans showed out. They led us to start playing our game.”
Zac Bulgin joked, as they scored 25 third quarter points to push their lead to 63-48 entering the fourth and pushed their lead to 20 that hovered around that number for the reminder of the game, that they were a second half team as they took the game 88-69.
“It’s easy to see that we’re a second half team, we’re trying to work on our first-half play,” laughed Zac Bulgin. “But we’re strong in the second-half and I think that’s how hard we practice. Our practices are very intense. We run up and down the court a lot, so we got a lot more energy than some teams would have and that’s credit to our coach and our practices.”
It’ll be something that they’ll need to work on however as West Linn (17-8, 11-3 Three Rivers League) took their game over Madison 63-58 by coming out strong against a Lions program that has won three of the last four State Titles.
“We’re just going to have to come out with energy and come out, fly around like it could be our last game,” said Thompson. “Just running the court, playing our game.”
Their game has led them to this point in the season, but the only thing that matters now is the game that is on Saturday night.
“Well it starts tonight with preparation with watching film, seeing what they do and what we can do and finding where our strengths fit in,” starts Bulgin. “Come game time, mental preparation (and) physical preparation. Getting ready for the game, getting it in the zone so when the ball goes up, you don’t slow down.
“You get it going and you’re already there.”
Bulgin had two points and Thompson had eight in the win. Kyle Greeley went full Hulk-mode with 38 points as Justin Scoggin (16) and Tyler Miller (17) were the other two West Salem ballers who scored in double-figures.
Kolby Cooper had four and three Titan scorers had two points each as nine total West Salem athletes scored Wednesday.
Tip-off is at 7pm Saturday night for Lions-Titans with the winner of the game going to the Chiles Center on March 8.