By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– You just can’t teach seven-foot-three, and West Salem knew they couldn’t out height Corvallis’ Jasper Reinalda so they did the next best thing in their 75-51 victory:
Be Physical and use their athleticism to throw Reinalda off his game in teh Capitol City Classic-opener Wednesday night at Willamette University.
“We don’t have anyone to guard seven-three, so we just made sure he didn’t get the ball too deep. Try to keep him eight-feet, so he at least is shooting over somebody instead of dropping in dunks,” said Titan Head Coach Travis Meyers. “The key is to try to be physical in the rules of own your space and try to get him get too deep.”
The Titans rotated the size of Holden Whipple with the athleticism of Jackson Lowery and Justin Scoggins in order to keep Reinalda in-check.
It was a challenging task for sure said Lowery of it.
“He’s a good player being seven-foot-three so we just tried to play our game and do everything we can to help get an advantage,” said Lowery. “It’s tough man. Seven-foot-three, you can’t teach that. So you got to give him different looks and see what you can do with it.”
Reinalda finished with 16 points, 14 coming in the first half.
As much as West Salem kept an eye on Reinalda, their offense rolled behind Lowery. A pleasantly surprised to show that the Titans are not a one-trick pony with Scoggins scoring. Especially considering Scoggins had a slow start to the game, something that plagued them in their 6A playoff opening round loss to Westview last season when Scoggins started slow in that game.
“I feel like it’s a difference compare to last year’s team, we’re not a one-man show,” said Lowery who scored 26 points in the win. “We got different guys who can shoot. It can be one night one guy steps up, the next someone else is going to be there. We got numerous guys who can shoot the ball.”
Scoggins score three points through roughly the first 12 minutes of the game before the Senior finished with 15 points in the game as West led 41-29 at the halftime break.
With them awaiting the winner of Scappoose and Lainier of Gerogia for Friday, the two teams play Thursday, the hope is to bridge Wednesday’s success to Friday with the day-off in between the two games.
“The biggest thing for us is that we’re not going to scheme to try to beat anybody. We’re going to look into taking what our strengths are and just working them,” said Meyers. “If we play to our strengths, we’ll be just fine. It’s not so much of what that team does, it’s more of ‘here’s what we can do. Let’s find ways with what they do to get good shots on our end’.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald