By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The week off seemed to have helped Sprague settle in for the final stretch of their season with four games left entering Thursday’s match-up with Summit.
Playing without Senior Ethan Flannigan and his athleticism and length due to a hand injury for the reminder of the season, the Olympians split their first two games without him when they jumped out to a 23-10 first quarter lead on the Storm.
“It’s definitely an adjustment not having him out there, but I think we’re doing good and obviously getting ready for next year. This is going to be our team without Ethan, he’s our only Senior,” said Kobe Withers. “So I think we’re transitioning nicely into that.”
The lone loss came way through South Salem last Thursday 89-88 before pulling off an 15-point win over McKay last Friday. Withers scored 13 points in the 66-57 Sprague win this Thursday as four Olys scored in double-figures against Summit.
But, the youthful Storm that feature just one senior themselves as well, got Sprague’s lead down to single-digits on several occasions during the second and third quarter with the closest Summit getting being 35-28 during the early goings of the second half.
Sprague would keep the Storm from getting any closer with a 7-0 run that featured a Dallon Morgan lay-in, free throws from Withers and an And-One by Morgan to put the Olympians up 42-28 4:38 left in the third quarter.
“Just making sure you’re getting back on defense and making sure that you’re stopping momentum. Getting runs on offense and getting stops,” said the freshman in Morgan, who finished with 14 points.
Sprague travels to McNary Friday night on the back-end of a back-to-back for the two squads as the Celtics defeated Bend 57-44 to set up a battle for third-place in the Mountain Valley Conference in Keizer.
It’ll be a crucial battle as Top Three teams in the conference will be getting an Automatic bid to the postseason.
“I think we’re prepared, we come out and practice hard every day…back-to-back games, that’s nothing new to us,” said Withers. “I think we’ll be good, come out with a lot of energy and play well.”
Tip-off is at 7:15pm.