By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It is tough to think that in the closing moments of the first half that Dallon Morgan’s basket had pushed Sprague’s lead to 28-25 after being down as much as 12-2 to start the game against Wilsonville.
The Wildcats would finish the first half on a 4-0 swing before soaring to a 68-47 victory Friday night in the Capitol City Classic quarterfinals.
The nightcap contest that started at a little after 9pm was tough yes, but the Olympians answered their slow start with a strong finish. Having outscored Wilsonville 26-13 leading into Morgan’s basket that had complete the rally, thinking that momentum was theirs as they entered the second half.
“Last year if we would be down 9-0 at the beginning of the game of a game like that, everyone’s head would drop,” said Greyson Salinas. “But this year, everyone is focusing on being tough and that’s why I think we came back and we were all keeping it all together.”
Keeping it all together until some tough adversity presented itself that challenged Sprague in the heat of battle.
Late in the first half, Mason Lomax went up for a hard lay-up and landing funny on one of his wrist. Grabbing it, Lomax tried to play on it for the reminder of the first half but was limited for the reminder of the game.
The absence of Lomax put pressure on Sprague and Wilsonville quickly answered on it into the third quarter pushing their lead to double figures in the third quarter. Seth Shortis hit a three to get the Olys to back to within ten at 40-31.
“We had a big injury, one of our big players went out. We weren’t tough enough yet, we’re getting there and working on getting tough,” said Salinas. “We have to fight through adversity because it happened in this game, we had a big injury. Our main focus should be to stay tough, take charges. Be a good teammate, help a teammate up.”
The ‘Cats however showcased why they had made five consecutive trips to the 5A State Title Game, winning three of them, by finishing the game on a 28-16 advantage.
With Mountain Valley Conference-opponent in West Salem Saturday at 6:30pm, the challenge of playing without Lomax is adversity they may have to continue to face moving forward.
Lomax finished with seven points. Salinas had eight and Kobe Withers had a team-high 14 points for Sprague.