By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Facing Salem Academy has been a House of Horrors of sorts for Scio in recent years.
But it seemed as if that gap between the Loggers and Crusaders have shrunk when the two squads met in the Consolation finals at the Abby’s Holiday Classic at North Marion High School Saturday morning.
Salem Academy had cleaned up their ball control significantly compare to their disastrous 27-turnover game versus Valley Catholic Thursday to open the tournament with their offense paying dividends in Saturday’s game.
“It was good, we picked it up defensively and we took care of the ball better. First game we had like close to 30 turnovers and we wanted to make sure we cleaned it up and take care of the ball,” said Benett Bos, who had a dunk to go with his 19 points. “Like our coach said we need to value the ball like it’s gold, so I think we did good in keeping our turnovers low the last few games.”
The Crusaders held a 52-40 lead on their PacWest Conference opposition after a Luke Miller three-pointer, but the Loggers answered with the three-ball.
As Garrett Workinger and Lance Grossman hit two big three’s that got the game to 55-50 entering the fourth quarter. Grossman’s three beat the buzzer to get it to five that got the mojo following for Scio entering the final eight minutes.
“It was nice to see the hard work pay off, we’ve been working hard all off-season and preseason. We went in respecting them, but we weren’t fearing them and we were able to do what we were suppose to do,” said Workinger.
Workinger (27) and Grossman (26) accounted for the bulk of the Loggers points as Grossman hit six of Scio’s ten three-pointers in the game as the Scio offense was moving the ball around crisply against Salem Academy.
Both sides traded minimal runs to open the fourth, but the Loggers couldn’t get it closer than six before fouls became an issue for Scio as Salem Academy slowly shut the door on the Loggers for the 84-69 win.
It was the first 80-burger for the Crusaders since February 24, 2017 versus Irrigon as they hope to build off of this momentum entering Thursday’s game versus Portland Adventist Academy.
“Just trusting in our abilities and our Senior leaders like Hayden Wakefield. We follow his lead offensively and when he gets yelling, everyone gets going and then we pick up our D and when our D gets going, it’s tough,” said Bos.
Wakefield finished with 13 points in the win, nine coming in the fourth quarter.
Scio, who will host their tournament next week, they got a template on how to play Salem Academy for when they play again in league on January 22 and Feburary 8, now it’s just cleaning up the fine details along the way.
“We had a lot of chances to get more points and we gave up a lot of them. Stupid lay-ins, blown coverage, we missed some free throws,” said Workinger. “If we get them down, it’s a way closer game. It was already a close game.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald