By Jeremy McDonald
PERRYDALE, Ore.– At this point of the season, the only thing that matters is winning. That’s why they call it win-or-go-home.
Perrydale, who advanced after their 54-51 overtime home win over North Clackamas Christian Wednesday night, we’re a minute away from winning the game in regulation. An 8-2 Saint run had North Clackamas marching into overtime with momentum.
Without David Domes out on fouls entering the extra four minutes, the Pirates were down to one-point guard to run their offense in Khyler Thorson instead of the Thorson-Domes duo and creating a challenge for Perrydale to respond with. Something that they were ready for.
“We switch off, so I’m comfortable in that position,” said Thorson of the opportunity. “Having our bench come in and being able to pick up the slack and keep calmness under pressure, it really helps,” said Thorson. “We’ve went through so much as a team. Our chemistry has been going up-and-up-and-up and we’re becoming more of a family. To win this game was huge.
“I can’t even describe it; this is my Senior Year. Like my season could be over, but we’re still going. We’re still going as a team. Everyone’s happy to be here, everyone wants to be here, everyone wants to play. It’s great.”
It wasn’t until the second half until both teams found their offensive rhythm. The Pirates opened with a 11-3 run, but Caleb Matias helped keep the Saints in the game with Perrydale leading 36-31 after three quarter.
Matias scored eight of his 14 points in the third frame; teammate Luke Nelson finished with a team-high 16 points for the Saints. Nelson scored eight points, including two free throws coming off of Domes’ final foul of the game that tied the game at 49 with 2.7 seconds remaining in regulation.
Nonetheless, the Pirates settled in behind their defense and were the first team to break the stalemate when Thorson made both of his free throws that handed Perrydale a 51-49 lead with 2:23 left in overtime.
Isaac Minne pulled North Clackamas Christian to within one a minute later before Kaej Haynes and a Thorson split iced the first-round victory Wednesday night.
“We just needed to bond together. Get a little dirty sometimes, be physical, but do what we needed to do to get those buckets and we came out on top,” said Josh Crawford. “We did a lot of good things well, somethings that are really good to look at and some ugly things that we need to clean up.
“But we got two days to clean it up to play whoever we need to play.”
Being physical, yet without as many fouls. Coming together, yet staying calm through pressured situations will be crucial Saturday evening with they travel to play Ione/Arlington.
It’s been since the 2016-2017 season since Perrydale reached the final site, having coming up short the last two years in the spot they are in now in the second round. With how big the win was for the Pirates, there’s still work to be done ahead.
“Just more communication with the team. Having more cohesion within the offense, just knowing where everyone else is going to be,” said Crawford.
Crawford finished with 14 points; Chandler Campos added another 13 points in the win for Perrydale. Thorson finished with 11 points for the Pirates.
By Jeremy McDonald