By Jeremy Mcdonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The Axman showed why he’s a bad, bad man at the 4A Classification.
Stayton were flat coming off of their 39-35 defeat to Cascade on Friday night on Saturday afternoon against Newport.Yes, they held leads after the first, second and third quarters; but they were letting the Cubs just hang around.
Down to Newport 30-28 midway through the third quarter, Axmaker kicked down the door like a horror flick and didn’t look back.With two three’s by Axmaker, mixed in a Garrett Callsen basket, the Eagles just started to feed off of that spurt and The Axman was front-and-center of all of it.
By the end of the quarter, Stayton led the Cubs 48-34.
For reference. Of the Eagles 22 third quarter points, the Stayton senior in Axmaker owned 17 of them with five three-pointers as he finished with a game-high 28 points in the win as he couldn’t miss when he shot.
“I was noticing that our offense was pretty staginant in that first half. In the third quarter I was like, ‘let’s run this one set we have’ and we ran it. We were pushing transition and I just found open space, started shooting it and starting going in,” Axmaker said. “I was like, ‘ok, guys keep attacking’. After last night, we were all kind of drained and even in the first half (today), this game was a good confidence for us.”
“That (run) definitely gave us a lot of momentum. Our bench got into it, our student section got into it and that gave us the momentum and we were energized after that. We were kind of flat in the first half, we got out in the second half and after that run…that run really gave us energy for the rest of the game,” Gavin Berning adds.
Berning scored ten of his 16 points in the first half as the Eagles led 26-24 at halftime. Berning hit the go-ahead shot as the first quarter ended with Stayton riding the momentum from the third to the fourth.
The squad looked a lot more comfortable and working through sets and defense to close out one week with another tough week ahead with Philomath and Sweet Home ahead. Knowing that they’re hitting their stride coming off of their quarantine break recently entering Oregon West Conference play.
“We know Sweet Home isn’t going to roll over on us, they always play us hard, so we’ll have to fight against them,” starts Axmaker. “Our whole preparation will be for Philoamth and stopping their two big guys and not letting them control the pace. We’re just going to grind all that game like we did against Cascade and hopefully this time we’re on the winning end.”
The win was the Eagles eighth over the course of the last nine games with Sweet Home on Monday and Woodburn on Thursday in preparation for the Warriors on January 25.
The Cubs Quintin Travis led Newport with 20 points. The Cubs travel to Sisters Tuesday before hosting Cascade Friday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald