By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– Dallas had changed things up a bit at the beginning of their game against McKay Wednesday evening by breaking out the press coverage from the opening whistle. Catching the Scots in a bit of a lull jumping out to a 9-2 lead before McKay wheeled them back in by the media timeout in the second quarter.
The Dragons press had made the Scots work for points and created turnovers as McKay struggled to find a groove in the opening half with Dallas leading 33-18 by the halftime break in their 52-45 victory. Thanks in part to a 16-5 run to close out the opening half behind said defense.
“We started the game with the press, which kind of caught them off guard because no team expects to be pressed right off the start,” Dallas’ Ashton Foster said. “So we picked up an early lead and it determined how the rest of the game went.”
In the locker room, McKay Head Coach KJ McCrae and his staff said the right things during halftime because in the second half, the Scots came out swinging and fired up. Matching the Dragons intensity and passion on the court with the two squads looking for their third win of the season.
“We needed to come out firing. It’s their Senior Night and we knew they were going to play hard; their record is the same as ours. We knew they wanted the win as much as we did, we knew they were going to be tough and we needed to go fight,” said McKay’s Ivan Gutierrez. “They finished, they did what they needed to do and they got us.
“We got to get back into the gym, we got one day of practice and then we’re back at it. That’s what we love about it, we know we’re back at it the next day. We just have to work hard and we’ll get one.”
Shots continue to be difficult thanks to hands and bodies in their shooting lanes, poking out the ball at times during the third quarter. But thanks to a Guiterrez three late in the third quarter, the Scots got it to within nine going into the fourth.
Guiterrez scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half. Teammate Daniel Mendez each finished with 16 points for McKay as well with the Scots cutting the lead to six a few times in the heated fourth quarter. The Dragons defense continued to clamp up on McKay, challenging them to make free throws and hit clutch shots to maintain and try to make ground with.
“Super clutch, especially since we had over 12 fouls. We had to stay disciplined and keep doing our thing. Force them to throw up shots that they didn’t have a high chance of making,” Foster said. “We can take this into consideration, go into practice tomorrow and work our butts off. Improve day-by-day.”
Foster finished with 12 points for the Dragons. Kobe Brizel finished with a team-high 13 points. Jace Grillo led the Seniors in scoring with ten as Dallas brought home the Senior Night victory with McNary on Monday in Keizer.
McKay hosts Central on Monday night.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald