By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s weird to think that Blanchet Catholic started the season 0-8 before stunning the then-number two Stayton Boys Basketball team on December 28 in Stayton.
The Cavaliers, who’ve been a prominent force in 3A the past few years have since 4-4 after their first win of the season as they slowly find their groove this season and built a 15-5 lead on St. Mary’s of Medford with three minutes to go in the first quarter.
With eight of their 11 players just putting on the Varsity jersey for the first time this season, Blanchet held tough when the Crusaders cut the lead to two during the second quarter only to push it to 35-27 by the halftime break.
The Cavs extended their lead to 12 into the four quarter, but a few hiccups along the way almost reopened the door for St. Mary’s to make a run at them in the closing moments of the game Monday.
“Coach Max (Goodman) has really been putting stuff in for us in practice to really work on that and we’ve been getting better with that over the course of the season and taking care of the ball and making the right decision at the right times. So we’re definitely getting it,” said James Moore, who finished with 25 points, five rebounds and six assist.
Moore credits the team work of Sean Duffy, Andrew Hill, Parker Mills, Jasper Phipps and Kalvin Sindlinger to name a few to help get Blanchet to their sixth win of the season 72-64. It’s their sixth win in the last 10 games after starting the season a little slow out of the gate.
“We came out and closed it out and put the metal to the pedal there at the end of the game. We played really well. Sean was huge, Andrew was huge, Parker was huge. Everyone contributed a lot,” said Moore.
Kalvin Sindlinger had 13 points and Duffy contributed 10 points in the win.
But this win, as nice as it was, is just Game two of a three-game stretch for Blanchet over a five-day period as they host another tough team in Amity Tuesday night at 6pm before having a few days off to recover before Scio on Friday.
And with the Warriors, there’s already strategy designed for them said Goodman even though it’s difficult not having that extra practice time to prepare for Amity. Goodman too mentions that it’s a good opportunity to see what they’re made of with them vying for a league playoff spot in the PacWest Conference.
“It’s kind of a unique situation with a game Friday night, you got three games-in-a-row with no practice and against three really good teams. For us trying to fight to get into that league playoffs, we’re going to have to steal a couple from (Salem) Academy and Amity,” said Goodman. “But yeah it’s going to be a big one tomorrow night and we’ve been kind of working out a few things for Amity specifically. So hopefully we’ll come out and execute and have that energy and determination.
“Defensively fly around and that’s where it starts for us. You work on that defensive end and offensively we feel like it’ll take care of things there.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald