Foxes Set Tone In Second Half Of CCC Opener

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

SALEM, Ore.–  Cascade couldn’t ask for a better half of basketball against one of 5A’s best in Silverton.

They were holding the Foxes to 25 points.  Neil Efimov had five points, Jordan McCarty had three.  Austin Ratliff was leading Silverton with ten entering the second half while the Cougars held a narrow margin at 26-25.  Sam Horne’s basket in the closing seconds was the difference on the board in what would be a Foxes 49-39 victory at the Capitol City Classic.

“We knew we had to play our best game to beat these guys.  We needed to keep our composure and we did in the first half,” Horne said.  “In the second half we kind of fell down, they started to put the pressure on us.”

The thing bears repeating about Silverton is don’t let them catch the momentum.  They’re that team that could turn a close tight game that was entering the second half into a near blowout in a matter of a few possessions.

For the Foxes, it was a matter of cleaning up the little things across the board.  Mainly limiting Cascade’s big men and drives to the hoop, which came to fruition in the third quarter and swung the momentum into their favor.

Cascade led Silverton 26-24 at the halftime break, going toe-to-toe with the Foxes before Silverton pulled away in the third quarter Friday night at Willamette University (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“We just needed to step it up more.  Play more defense, run the court more and keep doing what we know to do,” Efimov said.  “They had some size against us, but we had to run the post and have backside help, keep everyone out of the lanes and close out to shooters.”

The defense made lay-ups hard for the Cougars with about five or six lay-up opportunities not falling with Silverton closing those running lanes.  The Foxes pressured and caused turnovers and eventually set it up for a break-out performance by Efimov with the senior scoring nine of his 16 points in the third quarter alone to help Silverton build a 41-31 lead going into the final eight minutes of the game.

“We all stepped up.  We all did things, everyone played defense.  Joey (Haugen) had a few nice blocks and found us in transition.  Jordan found a groove, everyone just passed the ball to the open shooter,” Efimov said.

Cascade found their footing again in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t find that run similar to the Foxes as they fell to the consolation side of the Capitol City Classic.  They’ll return to Willamette University Monday morning at 10am to play 6A’s Jefferson in the next round of the six-day tournament.

Silverton plays West Salem Monday night at 7pm at Willamette University while the Cougars play Monday morning against 6A’s Jefferson (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“In that third quarter, they were just hammering us. We were folding under pressure and if we do that we’re going to lose the game,” Sam Horne starts.  “So we have to not fold under pressure, keep our composure and we’ll be fine.  It’ll be huge if we can beat Jefferson, we want to finish off 3-1 in the tournament and we’re not going to give up now.”

Horne finished with five points while his twin brother, Spencer, finished with nine.  Ty Best finished with a team-high 14 points.

Ratliff finished with 12 points for the Foxes and Ryan Brown contributed another 13 for Silverton, who’ll play West Salem Monday night at 7pm.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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