By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.—It’s weird to think not even 24 hours before that Stayton completed a double-overtime nail-bitter over Gladstone that saw Kaleb Anundi break the school record with 44 points en route to the 83-76 win Wednesday night.
And now they were getting ready to play Molalla on the back-end of a back-to-back with them trying to muster enough juice to power through and get their fifth win of the young season Thursday night at home.
“Double-overtime, that’s a little tough to comeback from especially on the second night. So coming back from that, that’s a little bit harder,” said Micah Jenkins, who had nine points in the game. “We had to get our rest and realized that we can’t underestimate teams. Against Estacada we underestimated them and it was a close game.
“So we came out with a mindset that we need to put teams down early, that didn’t happen tonight and they kind of hung with us and we played decently.”
The Indians made it interesting throughout as they took advantage of what the Eagle defense was giving them. Molalla found themselves taking advantage of a few missed opportunities in the Stayton shot selection that probably made it closer then it probably should have been as the game progressed as fatigue began to appear for playing the equivalent of nine or so quarters the last two nights.
And with the two-time 4A State Champions coming to town Saturday in Seaside, it’ll be a quick turnaround for Stayton knowing they’ll need their defense to be as sharp as it can be with the Seagulls looking for a battle in less than two days.
“It’s definitely testing us, last night (Gladstone) hit I think 13 three-pointers on us and tonight (Molalla) had over ten and that just shows that we need to lock down on defenders,” said Anundi on the last two games. “I think on defensively we need to lock down is what the last two games have showed us. I think if we lock down defensively as we know we can, I think we have a good shot.”
The Eagles seemingly looked as if they were taking full control of the game up 47-35, but went on a 12-4 run to get to within four at 51-47 looking to do more damage before a Jordan Butler steal led into a Jenkins lay-in that eventually sparked a run that saw Anundi all but sealed the game with ten straight points.
Anundi, who scored 37 points last week against North Marion, put up another NBA 2K-like game with 36 points and 13 rebounds following his record-breaking point total and 18 rebound game the night before. He was humble when it was brought up that he scored 80 points in less than 24 hours, knowing the points are great but the dubs are better.
“It felt really good obviously, I’m still on a little bit of an adrenaline high from that,” Anundi said with a smile about his record-breaking performance. “I just came out posting out hard how I know I can and obviously it worked out.
“Feels good, it feels good,” Anundi laughs about the 80 points. “But you know, two wins are more important to me.”
Seaside will be on the back-end of their back-to-back games Friday and Saturday having to play Scappoose Friday night before coming to Stayton, the Seagulls are sitting 2-1 on the year with the Eagles looking for their second straight three-game winning streak.
“They’re obviously a great team, they’re the two-time State Champs and they’re trying to go on three and we’re going to try to shut that down as well,” said Jenkins. “We’re going to play our game, we’re not going to play theirs. They have great guards, but know also that we have great players too and so we’re going to play our game and we’re going to established our presence as well.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald