By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– It was all you could hope for this late in the foundation-laying season for Dallas.
It was weird to think that, when Tyler Crawford hit his lay-in with 7:47 left in the game that the Dragons were in the game with West Albany. The Bulldogs were the fifth-ranked team in 5A and were on a 14-4 run when Crawford hit his lay-in to make it 44-37 at the time in West Albany’s 66-47 win Thursday night.
“The kids’ effort was phenomenal tonight. When you’re playing against a team that’s of that caliber of where they’re at and with the season the way it was going for us…for our kids to play with that kind of heart and kind of give them that kind of scare,” starts Head Coach Jordan Sollman. “I think at times they weren’t expecting us to come out and play like we did.
“It’s all the kids coming out and their effort and just come out and execute. Overall a good game, obviously we could’ve gone without that last run in the fourth, it was a good game.”
The Bulldogs found their groove with their second-half adjustments in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of Dallas’ turnovers and missed opportunities that turned into feeding their post TJ Zimmerman.
Zimmerman scored ten of his 21 points in the fourth quarter with West Albany using a 22-10 to seal their regular season up.
“He’s a tough player for sure,” the Dragons Jace Grillo said of Zimmerman. “I just think we have to game plan for him a little bit better. We’ll get them next time.”
Grillo scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half that saw Dallas lead 24-22 midway through the second quarter and were down 28-26 at the halftime break.
The Dragons used a 5-0 run in the third quarter to retake the lead at 31-30 following a Crawford lay-in by the 5:43 mark of the third quarter, staying within striking distance with the Bulldogs until that final run in the fourth.
“It was great seeing our team going out there and doing everything right. Working together, that’s what we need to do every time,” said Grillo. “That’s our potential, we got to see our potential and we’re just going to work every day, play like that every game.”
For a team that’s returning all but four Seniors entering next season, they’ll have one more crack at finishing the season strong with Central coming across the way to close out the season Monday evening in Dallas.
Ashton Foster finished with 12 points, Crawford finished with 11 points for the Dragons.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald