By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It took until the second half for West Salem to settle in for their eighth-win of the season Monday night, defeating Newberg 67-39.
The Titan offense was there, going off for 19 first quarter points and 35 by the halftime break. Their defense had left the door open for the Tigers as West Salem led 35-23 by halftime.
“I think in the first half we weren’t playing defense like we knew we could. We were putting the ball in the hoop more in the second half and we took off in the second half,” Conor Oertel said. “Defense will really help us and to improve on that. Defense is definitely important.
The Titan defense came out sharper in the third quarter and for the second half. Holding Newport scoreless through the first 3:44 of the quarter and holding them to six third quarter points as they pushed tempo, creating opportunities for their offense with their lead extending to 52-29 by quarters end.
“We came out of the locker room wanting to improve our defense. We wanted to come out and run fast and finish at the rim. We did a lot better job in getting the win at home,” Trenton Ferguson said. “We got to work better as a team and find our man on the perimeter. Get back on defense and just fight for it.”
Brooks Ferguson led the Titans with 14 points while Trenton Ferguson contributed 13 points. Oertel contributed another 13 himself as West led as much as 29 points during the fourth quarter with one more game left on their non-league slate before opening Mountain Valley Conference play against McKay on January 11. The squad travels to Liberty Friday as they look to finish the preseason strongly following their sixth-straight win.
Tip-off at Liberty High School will be at 7:15pm Friday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald