By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The rollercoaster of high-moments and the lulls of the Amity Boys Basketball squad had left open the door against Kennedy Friday night in the Crusader New Years Invitational Black bracket Semi-Final game at Blanchet Catholic.
The Warriors had stormed back from an early deficit in their 61-55 victory to advance to play Columbia Christian in the bracket’s Championship game Saturday, holding a 32-21 lead on the quick Trojan squad in front of them during the second quarter, leading 32-23 at the halftime break.
Kennedy were presented with a Amity lull that they took advantage of, eventually tying the game up at 38 as Luke Miller pulled his squad even at 38 with three minutes left in the third quarter.
It’s part of the Trojan nature of being scrapers, grinding and see what happens until the game ends.
“It was really tough,” said Luke Hall, who finished with 39 points in the game. “I knew Amity was tough, they always had athletes and we had to box them out. I believe they killed us in the boards today, but we gave it a good effort and I like it that we’re scrappy.
“We’re scrappers. With Columbia Christian, we were down something like ten and we scraped after halftime to win. Same thing with this game, we were down by ten and we scraped back into the game to six or four points.”
The height of the Warriors had presented a major challenge for the Trojans, and Hall admitted that the rebounding game and their lack of height is their crux entering this season, Amity had turned to it with Josh Wart at the helm to slowly rebuild the lead to 61-51 in the final minute of the contest.
It’s also grueling for the Warriors thinking about it. Having those lulls are good and all if you pull yourself out of it, but with the Knights Saturday evening they know they need to try their best to limit those lulls the best to their ability.
“The biggest thing is to keep it in our heads. Come out with confidence and don’t let their size and their shooters get to us because we played two teams who are really good at shooting and are big,” said Wart, referencing to Nyssa and Kennedy the last two days. “We just kept our heads up and kept positive (today).”
Wart finished with 25 points in the win as Amity tips it off against Columbia Christian at 4:30 at the main gym at Salem Academy, the Trojans at 2:30 at the Blanchet Catholic main gym.