By Jeremy McDonald
MT. ANGEL, Ore.– The last week has been a difficult one for sure for Delphian coming off of their three-week lay-off from Winter Break.
Playing their fourth game since last Monday, their second against an Elite 8 team in Kennedy, the Dragons opened the game on a 7-0 run against the Trojans to open the game.
Delphian Head Coach Brandon Lidgard smiled when he talked about how taxing the last three games have been for them coming out of the break.
“It’s definitely been tiring on them. My guys in the locker room were saying that their legs were tired,” said Lidgard. “They came back from break, so we’re not around for all of the holiday tournaments. They all go home to China, New York and all over the place so we’re still just trying to get back on our feet and get back into the routine of things.
“It takes a week or two to get back to our feet and hopefully get back to it this week.”
Similar to their game against Western Christian Thursday before playing Chemawa this past Friday, the heaviness of legs of shaking off the rust plagued another promising start for the Dragons. Kennedy, coming off a tough four-point loss to Santiam Thursday on the same home court they were playing on Monday, came into form as they finished the half on a 41-3 rally in their bounce back win over Delphian 65-27 behind their strong defense and hitting their shots offensively.
“It feels great for the whole team. You lose and then you come out playing the best basketball you can. Everyone gets into the game and everyone has fun,” said Isaiah Barrigan.
With them traveling to play the Braves on the road, no easy task in itself playing at Chemawa, the focus will be on being mentally focused and using Thursday’s road game to prepare for Sheridan and the Pioneers next week.
“We’re just going to be in the gym everyday working as hard as we can, the best we can, play our hardest every game and see what we can do,” said Barrigan, who had five points.
Luke Hall had a team-high 16 points to Riley Cantu’s 14 Thursday night.
Alex Han led the Dragons with seven points and Owen Rappoport added another five for Delphian who will have two days off to recover before facing cross-town rivals Sheridan Thursday at home before traveling to Mill City to play Santiam Friday night. The biggest thing, said Lidgard, for the Dragons was just their mental state and keeping their heads up when situations arise for them as they head back into practice Tuesday.
“It’s just really up to us to keep our heads up and keep working. That’s what we talked about in the locker room, using the next two days to really work hard and really look inward on our weaknesses and try to get them corrected,” said Lidgard.