By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– “That was a good game” Kobe Braziel said.
And it sure was as something just clicked coming out of halftime in Dallas’ 66-64 victory over West Albany Thursday.
Down 36-22 their press defense, their transition and most importantly their offense clicked. Turning the 14-point deficit to a 40-38 hole following a pair of Ashton Foster free throws with two minutes left in the quarter.
The energy is high. The home crowd made the gym deafening.
The question became, did they shoot their shot too soon as West Albany pushed their lead back to eight by quarters end to 54-43 soon after?
Dallas answered with a 8-0 run. 54-51 4:30 left in the game. Trading shots with the Bulldogs leading 58-55 by the 3:15 mark. Eventually the Dragons took the lead with 94 seconds left off of free throws with back-to-back technical fouls on West Albany.
“The first half was kind of slow, kind of sloppy but we picked up in the second half. Basketball is a game of runs, they had a few leads, we had a few leads and we came out on top,” Foster said.
Dallas would push their lead to 65-61 before the Bulldogs pushed for the lead with a three-pointer from Laik Gregory with 12.7 seconds left as the two-teams came down to the finish line.
Persevere was the best way to describe that second half. Both teams left it on the court with blood, sweat and tears with the Dragons clamped down to finish the game, winning their third game of the season and first in Mid-Willamette Conference play.
“It’s really a testament to their resiliency,” Head Coach Jordan Solloman said. “We’ve talked about it all year and we weren’t able to show it on the scoreboard. We were able to start forcing some turnovers and just the resiliency…good teams are going to go on runs and you got to be able to answer those runs, be resilient and handle those kinds of things.
“Hopefully as the year goes on, we’re going to start to click on that and I’m looking forward to having a few days of practice and playing North Salem.”
Dallas hosts the Vikings Monday night at 7:30pm. Foster led the Dragons with 21 points, Braziel finished with 17 points and Kailyr Gibson added 18 in the win for Dallas.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald