By Jeremy McDonald
BROOKS, Ore.– The St. Paul continued to be tough entering their third game of the week and second within 48 hours of playing the same Willamette Valley Christian team they had just played in St. Paul Wednesday.
Their defense, that kept the Buckaroos within reach of both the Warriors and Croshill Christian this week, was physical and were the aggressor Friday night in Brooks. They collapsed the paint, made shots contested and were in the faces of the Willamette Valley Christian ball handlers in the low-scoring affair. St. Paul took the game 34-22 for their eleventh win of the season, the most by the Bucks program since they won 19 during the 2018-2019 season when they reached the 1A State Playoffs second round.
“We just gave it our all. We knew we had each other’s back, so if one guys’ is crashing down a little, we’ll help him back up so we’re all on the same level,” said St. Paul’s Warren Rose. “We worked really hard and I hope we can do it again in our next game because we did phenomenal.”
Rose led the offensive charge with 15 points, Logan Connor contributed nine with St. Paul led 20-7 at the halftime break. The Warriors adjusted to the defensive pressure in the second half, but couldn’t make a significant run to close the gap closer than nine with 3:51 left in the game. The game was 25-16 at this point before Rose scored five of the next seven Buckaroo points to turn the lead back to double-figures entering the final minute of the game.
Being more aggressive and matching the intensity that’s thrown their way is one of the main focuses that the Warriors will turn to now them and St. Paul are tied for third in the Casco League standings at 8-5 coming down the stretch of the regular season.
“It was really tough, they’re a really good team. They played really good defense and we weren’t ready for that,” Willamette Valley Christian’s Ben Norbo. “We want to see St. Paul again and we know we have to get better in order to beat them. I think we’re just going to build on this, try to get better. Analyze our weaknesses from this game and try to get better at that.”
Norbo scored eight of his nine points in the fourth quarter, Ben Sellers contributed another five as the Warriors host Livingstone Adventist Academy Monday evening at 7pm. The Bucks host C.S. Lewis/Veritas Monday evening, also at 7pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald