By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Three things are certain: death, taxes and De La Salle North Catholic girls running their press defense to a tee.
And for Dayton in the Crusader Classic Black Bracket Consolation Finals, they had to withstand the press to finish the three-day tournament 2-1. Defeating the Knights 57-40 to end the tournament on a high-note following their Day one 49-45 loss to Regis on Thursday.
“We had a tough loss the first day and we wanted to come back from that, it was hard on us. But I’m glad we stepped up,” Taylor Wilson said.
Wilson finished with 19 points while freshman Kya Lindell had 19 points herself as well as the duo and the Pirates settled in towards the tail-end of the first half. Building momentum going into the second half against De La Salle North Catholic, turning a nine-point halftime lead into a 45-32 lead 45 seconds into the third quarter.
Renika Oliveira and Melissa Arroyo each had the opening baskets of the second half. Adjusting to the press was difficult with the ability of a run against you with Dayton leading 40-32 by quarters end, but it was the fourth quarter in which Dayton took off. Using a 17-8 quarter to lock up their eighth-win of the season.
“We stopped turning the ball over, boxed out, ran wide, played together and it showed at the end,” Wilson said. “Willamina is definitely going to challenge us. Santiam Christian gave us a little bit of a challenge to get us ready for Willamina and teams like that. So we’re really excited, but I think we’ll do well.”
The Pirates play at Willamina Wednesday before wrapping up non-league play Friday at home against Western Christian.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald