By Jeremy McDonald
Dayton stepped up to the challenge of Cascade Christian in the Crusader Classic Boys Black Bracket Saturday night. Going toe-to-toe with Austin Maurer and the Challengers in one of the final tune-up games before league kicks off this month.
“We just tried doubling him and trying to minimize stuff like that,” said Trae Wall, who guarded Maurer for much of the game. “It was fun playing against him, I like challenging myself a little bit by playing the taller guys.”
Maurer finished with 32 points in Cascade Christian’s 62-60 overtime win to close out the annual Salem Academy tournament.
It was one of those games that could’ve gone either way. A coin flip game that came down to who will be ahead in the game by the final buzzer.
Dayton built themselves a sound 50-44 lead in the second half. Tyler Spink, Benji Hudson led the offense. Wall’s defense on Maurer let the other Dayton defenders do what they do best in trying to be ahead. Trying to be difference makers as Cascade Christian slowly came back to force overtime.
Twas the little things that had opened the door for the Challengers, who executed on those opportunities down the stretch to separate themselves from Dayton over the final few minutes of the contest.
“Defensively I thought we played great. Just a couple of missed rebounds I think down the stretch was really what got us at the end,” Hudson said. “Missed free throws down the stretch. Offensively we played great. Could’ve hit a couple more shots when it mattered, but I thought we played a great game.
“That was a big game for us to get ready (for league). That game really showed us what we’re capable of tonight. Going into next week and going into league, I think we’ll be more humble about how we’re playing and not take anything for granted.”
It won’t be out of the realm of possibility to see both teams meet again down the road in Coos Bay as Cascade Christian turns their focus to Harrisburg Tuesday. Dayton’s at Willamina Wednesday.
Spink finished with 17 points for the Pirates, Hudson contributed another 15. Wall scored eight points for Dayton in the defeat.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald