By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– During her freshman season for Sprague, Baylee Butler had showed off some of her athleticism on the court for the young Olympians this past Winter.
And as the incoming sophomore prepares to help Sprague bounce back from their tough 0-24 season in 2018, Butler once again showcased that athleticism and physical play from her freshman year at the 2v2 tournament at Hoopla XXI Friday evening.
“Whoever wants it more wins and I just had to take it and go,” said Butler. “Our team went 0-24 so I just had to keep that fire in me going just coming off of that season into the summer and just grind. Keep going and get back into the season.”
With Maggie LaPray, Butler tied the game up at six with 90 seconds remaining. The team they were facing hit a big three to put them down one before Butler put Buttered Toast, their team name, ahead 10-9 with 20 seconds left.
Faced with a big defensive task, Buttered Toast came through in the clutch as they won the first of three straight games 10-9 Friday evening at the Hoopla event.
“It’s good because I could get a couple of wins under my belt for me and go back into the season, just try to work and get some (more wins),” said Butler.
Surrounding Butler’s team on the nearby courts was Kaleb Anundi, incoming freshman at Northwest Christian University and Oregon West Conference Player of the Year from Stayton High School, and this kind of competitiveness is what makes Hoopla fun as his Coast Busters crew went to overtime in their second game of the day Friday.
“Those games are always fun. The 2-on-2, me and (South Salem’s) Treyden (Harris) won it and now we’re in the Men’s league, so now I’m playing with Rick (Smart),” said Anundi. “It’s always so fun and it’s super competitive. I don’t like to lose and got super into it, but I can’t get hurt out here.
“We’re just getting ready for tomorrow.”
Anundi had what seemed to be a ‘controversial’ foul on him that lead to overtime, but him and Smart had opportunities to win the game with a few three-point opportunities that didn’t fall through in their 17-13 defeat Friday.
However, as the six-seven post player eluded too, it’s all in preparation for the 3-on-3 tournament Saturday and Sunday.
“I mean you got to get use to these hoops. They’re a lot lower and there’s the slant on the road, so this is just preparing for tomorrow,” said Anundi. “It’s fun to come out here and play regardless.”
The first day of the 3-on-3 Hoopla tournament starts at 8am following the Opening ceremonies at 7:45am and will run until 6:30pm.
The Finals of the 2-ball (3pm), Skills Challenge (3:30pm), Hot Shot (4pm), Free Throw (4:30pm) and 3-point (5pm) will happen Saturday with the Slam Dunk at 6pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald