By Jeremy Mcdonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The Stayton defense had to change things up mid-game against Woodburn Thursday night in their 62-42 win over teh Bulldogs. Going from a Man Defense to a 1-2-2 that helped turn momentum into their favor in the second half.
Up 29-23 going into the third quarter, this new-look defense threw Woodburn through a loop.that challenged them and allowed the Eagles to grab some rebounds and transition them into points on the other end of the court in the Oregon West Conference matchup.
“It was really hard at the beginning playing man, so we switched it up to a 1-2-2 and it was working better,” Stayton’s Garrett Collisen said. “It was pretty good. they were getting good rebounds and we just needed to box out better and we got on it.”
“It threw us off guard a little bit. We didn’t really attack the gaps that much, we were playing too patient. We weren’t scoring down there and they were getting easy transition buckets,” Woodburn’s Cruz Veliz said.
Experiencing a game like this will help points both Veliz and Spencer Karseeboom as they travel to Hood River to play Hood River Valley Tuesday and wrap up the first-loop through league next Friday in Woodburn against Sisters. Good experience and exposure so they know what to do the second time they play the Eagles in February.
“I think for the first time this season it was a good loss to take. (Stayton’s) a good team, they were hitting shots and we couldn’t get them down on defense,” Karseeboom said. “But its good to see early. We’ll see them again at home, so know what to expect now. It was a tough night, we couldn’t hit shots offensively like we normally would do. We just gotta keep shooting and get ready for the next game.”
Karseeboom led the Bulldogs with 11 points, Veliz and Kaleb Robles each scored ten in the defeat.
Stayton’s Jacob Axmaker scored a game-high 29 points, hitting five three-pointers with four in the first quarter alone. Gavin Berning contributed 14 points in the victory as the only other Eagle to score in double-figures as Stayton prepares for a tough road trip at philomath on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a completely different game than it was tonight. It’s going to be big man work, so our bigs are going to have to hit their guys once they shoot the ball. Us guards are going to have to guard well and execute our offense because they play at a slow pace,” Axmaker said. “So we got to take advantage of our opportunities.”