By Jeremy Mcdonald
STAYTON, Ore.– It sounds like we’re talking about earthquakes and ‘The Big One’, or in this particular analogy, ‘The Big Run’ and who was going on that decisive run between Jeffferson and Regis in the Central Valley Conference match-up Friday night at Regis.
And both teams had their runs in the opening 16 minutes of the contest, the Rams leading 29-27 over the Lions as the big run was just on it’s horizon on the other side of the halftime break.
“We were confident, it was run-after-run. They get a big one, we get a run,” Regis’ Noah Koenig starts. “But after half, we got down one ourselves and they got a few more runs. It was downhill from there. These two games (against Jefferson) lit a fire. We were complacent and we’ll see where these two games take us, but it definitely lit a fire.”
Jefferson didn’t take long to make The Big Run happen. Whatever Head Coach Danny Aguilar said to them in the locker room fired them up enough to jump out to a 41-33 lead with 4:43 left in the third quarter. Nine points later, it was 50-33 Lions. All without probably one of the best shooters in 2A in Diego Aguilar out with an ankle injury.
Hunter Courtney scored eight of his 11 points in the third quarter, Eli Stelly contributed 12 of his 14 in the frame and was a vocal point defensively as Jefferson outscored Regis 30-6 in the frame to take a 57-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
“(Coach) told us to keep passing the ball, moving it to the open lanes. We just started to take it slow and then we started to hit our shots. It was a big win for us,” Courtney said.
“We knew coming into this week starting with Central Linn on Monday, we’re down a key player and everyone had to step up big this week and it really showed in that third quarter. It was contagious energy, we fed off each other and we got a nice lead that got us the win,” adds Wusstig. “We all knew we had to step up. Eli stepped up big, Jace (Aguilar) stepped up big, I played a good game. We had a few key players coming off the bench, they hit some big shots and everyone played their role tonight.”
The Rams cut the lead to nine following a pair of Nick Woods free throws with 1:09 left in the game, making it a 63-54 contest before Aguilar hit a pair himself to extend the lead to eleven. The pair of free throws sparked a 6-0 run to close out the game as Aguilar scored seven of the Lions 12 points in the quarter. All at the line as Aguilar scored a team-high 16 points.
Grant Goesch led Regis with 17 and Isaiah Koehnke contributed 14 with three three-pointers. Koenig finished with eight points himself in the defeat as Regis host Lowell Tuesday at 7:30pm. Jefferson, who are 15-2 and won their last 13 games, host Oakland Monday at 7:30pm
Photos By Jeremy McDonald