DAYTON, Ore.— Sometimes it’s all about taking advantage of what is given to you in sports.
With Dayton-Amity, the Pirates didn’t give out quiet their best effort and the Warriors took full advantage of the opportunities given to them in their 70-64 upset win over number-one Dayton.
“It was all us, we beat ourselves. They played a good game, but it was all us,” said Braeden Nowlin. “Defensively we were reaching, we weren’t rebounding there at the beginning. We got better there in the second half, but we just continued to reach the whole game.
“That gives them fouls and that gives them drive by’s. Once they drive by, you have to rotate and rotate all game is rough.”
And that seemed to be the root cause of the Pirates troubles that the Warriors would turn into runs offensively.
Josh Wart and Tyler Parr set the pace for Amity’s offense in the win, Wart had 22 points and Parr added another 18 with the Warriors building a 40-31 lead before Tyler Spink scored five of Dayton’s seven points in a 7-2 run to get to within four.
The Pirates got the deficit to two, but then Keenan Graham hit a big three-pointer to put Amity up two possessions in the fourth quarter.
“It was just awesome, we just had to hit shots. We just had to keep our minds in it. They were just physical and we just had to stay in it,” said Graham. “We just played perfect defense and it was just perfect.”
With the game entering it’s final three minutes. That’s when it got interesting.
Amity was up three when Michael Duncan’s three missed that could’ve put the Warriors up six. Dayton couldn’t capitalize. Amity goes up three, the Pirates cut it to three. Gets another chance offensively and Nowlin got the Pirates to within one with 50 seconds left, 61-60.
Nowlin went off for 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter when West Streeter went two-fer at the free throw line to put the Warriors up three.
“In a game like this playing our rival on their home court, you got to make every shot you take pretty much or it could go either way,” said Streeter. “My team trusted me with the ball at the end to make free throws and I got fouled. I got to step up for them, I got to do what they ask.”
Streeter scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter at the line, going six-for-seven at the line with Amity going 14-for-17 at the line in the final frame with the Warriors putting the exclamation point on the big road win over their rival.
Now with one game left in the regular season, the momentum is there for Amity to possibly take third-place from Blanchet Catholic with both teams tied at 5-4 in league entering their Friday match-up.
For the Pirates however, it’s a good eye opener for them as they host Yamhill-Carlton Friday for Senior Night to sharpen things up entering the league playoffs and the postseason ahead.
“Hopefully that’s what it ends up being, they got the best of us,” said Nowlin on the game. “Hopefully we can move on into playoff strong.”
Findley finished with 14 points for Dayton and Howard added another nine points.